May 23, 2008
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The University of Cincinnati baseball team earned its first trip to the BIG EAST Championship Game tomorrow by putting up eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined to blow open a close game vs. the University of South Florida and win, 13-2, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Sophomore starter Brian Garman (Wapakoneta, Ohio/Wapakoneta) threw 6.1 innings allowing two runs and striking out five for his fifth win of the year.
Junior third baseman Mike Spina (Newbury, Fla./Florida CC) provided the offensive fireworks for the Bearcats going 3-for-5 in the game with a double, two singles, two runs scored, three RBI and his team-leading 19th homer of the year in the third frame. The home run ties Sprina with UC Hall of Famer and current Boston Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis for the school single-season record. It was Spina's sixth home run in his last seven games. Catcher Ryan Baker and Justin Riddell each added three hits of their own in the contest.
Junior reliever Jake Geglein threw the final 1.2 innings and shut down the USF offense in the seventh inning with an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play in a close 6-2 ballgame. UC tacked on seven runs in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach and with a 10-run rule victory after USF left two on base in the bottom of the frame.
Tomorrow, the Bearcats (39-19) will face long-time rival Louisville in the BIG EAST Championship game at 1 p.m. Cincinnati was 1-2 vs. the Cardinals during the regular season and is now 3-2 in BIG EAST Tournament play since joining in 2005-06.