May 27, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team had its season come to a close Thursday morning falling by a score of 13-4 to the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in the first of four games at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
Before UC took its first hacks of the game, Pitt jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind singles from BIG EAST Player of the Year Joe Leonard and Kevan Smith, and a double from David Chester.
Following Pittsburgh’s three-run outburst in the first inning, the Bearcats were retired in order in their first at-bat and the Panthers used a Cincinnati error coupled with three doubles and a triple to put a four-spot on the board in the second inning, quickly taking a commanding 7-0 lead through an inning and a half.
UC got one run back in the second inning on a sophomore Braden Kline solo home run to left field, the first home run of his career, and proceeded to hold the Panthers to a 1-2-3 top of the third as sophomore Sam Slavik threw just five pitches to retire the side.
The Bearcats looked to be slowly gaining momentum when senior Kevin Johnson drilled a fastball over the fence in right field for a lead-off solo home run in the third inning to make the score 7-2, but later in the frame UC stranded two runners on base which would be the story of the day.
Both teams scored a run in the fifth inning to keep the Pittsburgh advantage at five runs, 8-3, but in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings combined, UC stranded seven runners on base and Pitt capitalized on UC’s wasted opportunities by turning four hits into three runs in the seventh inning to widen its lead to 11-3.
After the Panthers expanded their lead to 12-3 in the top of the eighth inning, the Bearcats plated their final run in the bottom of the eighth inning when senior Beach Brooks hit a solo home run in the bullpen beyond the left field fence in his final at-bat in a Cincinnati uniform.
Pittsburgh tacked on one last run in the ninth and proceeded to retire UC in order to defeat the Bearcats, 13-4.
Six of Cincinnati’s seven seniors donned the Red and Black uniform for the final time and seniors Jamel Scott, Jimmy Jacquot, Johnson, and Brooks each collected hits in their final game with Johnson and Brooks both going deep. Scott and Jacquot each recorded a pair of singles.
On the mound, seniors Andrew Burkett and Tyler Smith pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out their careers. Burkett finished the 2010 campaign with 14 saves, which is a UC single-season record. The Bearcats other senior, Brian Garman, pitched 3.0 innings in Wednesday’s loss to No. 19 UConn.
With a 1-for-5 performance at the plate against Pittsburgh, junior Justin Riddell finished the campaign with a .313 average, leading the Bearcats in that category.
Cincinnati’s record evened out at 29-29 on the season with the loss, while Pittsburgh improved to 38-17 and advances to play the loser of the Pittsburgh/Rutgers match-up on Friday, May 28, at 4 p.m.