Bearcats Open 2012 Season Friday at Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge
gobearcats.COM Jr. RHP Andrew Strenge
gobearcats.COM
Jr. RHP Andrew Strenge
gobearcats.COM

Feb. 16, 2012

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2012 BIG TEN/BIG EAST BASEBALL CHALLENGE

Game 1: Indiana vs. Cincinnati | Feb. 18 | 10 a.m. ET | Al Lang Field | Listen | GameTracker
Probable Starters (2011 Stats)
UC | RHP Andrew Strenge | 6-1 | 199 | Jr. | Yardley, Pa. | 4.54 ERA | 4-5 | 73.1 IP | 28 BB | 56 SO
IU | LHP Joey DeNato | 5-10 | 165 | So. | San Diego, Calif. | 2.80 ERA | 7-3 | 64.1 IP | 31 BB | 53 SO

Game 2: Cincinnati vs. Purdue | Feb. 18 | 7 p.m. ET | Al Lang Field | Listen | GameTracker
Probable Starters (2011 Stats)
UC | RHP Matt Ring | 5-11 | 192 | So. | Muncie, Ind. | 3.72 ERA | 4-1 | 29.0 IP | 13 BB | 26 SO
PU | RHP Lance Breedlove | 6-1 | 180 | Sr. | Long Beach, Calif. | 3.51 ERA | 3-1 | 38.2 IP | 11 BB | 33 SO

Game 3: Penn State vs. Cincinnati | Feb. 19 | 10 a.m. ET | Walter Fuller Complex | GameTracker
Probable Starters
UC | RHP Christian McElroy | 6-4 | 211 | R-So. | Middletown, Ohio | Pitched at Sinclair CC in 2011
PSU | RHP Cody Lewis | 6-3 | 225 | Jr. | Laguna Niguel, Calif. | First Division I Game

The University of Cincinnati baseball team opens the 2012 season by playing in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge in the greater Tampa, Fla. area for the fourth consecutive season. UC begins the tournament by playing Purdue at 1 p.m. on Friday at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla., which will be streamed live on PurdueSports.com.  Junior righty Andrew Strenge will take the mound for UC in the opener. Cincinnati follows up by taking on Indiana on Saturday 10 a.m. at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. where sophomore RHP Matt Ring will make his first career start. The IU tilt will be streamed live on IUHoosiers.com. In their third and final game of the Challenge, the Bearcats play the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Walter Fuller Complex, Field #3 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

BIG TEN/BIG EAST BASEBALL CHALLENGE
-Cincinnati is making its fourth trip to the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge in as many seasons and is 3-8 all-time in the event.
-Last year at the Challenge, UC won its first game vs. Ohio State 11-5, then dropped  games to Illinois, 7-3, and Michigan State, 8-4.
-Then-freshman DH Justin Glass was named to the `11 BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge All-Tournament Team after batting .545 (6 for 11) with three RBI and three scored three runs. On the opening day of the '11 Challenge, Glass hit 4 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored in Cincinnati's 11-5 win over Ohio State.
-In 2010, UC lost to Penn State, 5-4, in 12 innings, then  won consecutive games against Purdue (7-6) and No. 13 Ohio State (12-4). The win over No. 13 Ohio State was the highest-ranked team the Bearcats have defeated since taking down No. 11 TCU, 12-4, on April 4, 2004.
-The Bearcats played in the inaugural event in 2009, falling to Purdue (11-10), Michigan (6-1), and Ohio State (6-5).

ON THE MOUND FOR THE BEARCATS
-Jr. RHP Andrew Strenge will take the ball for the Bearcats on Friday. The 2010 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American will look to improve from the 2011 season when he posted a 4-5 record with a 4.54 ERA and averaged 6.87 Ks per 9 inn.
-So. RHP Matt Ring will make his first collegiate start on Saturday against IU. Ring  posted a 3.72 ERA and 26 punchouts in 29 innings pitched in 18 relied appearances in 2011.
-Redshirt sophomore Christian McElory will get the start for UC against Penn State on Sunday, nearly two years to the day when he made his only appearance for the Bearcats on Feb. 21, 2010 against Florida Atlantic. McElroy suffered an arm injury after pitching just 1.1 innings and was redshirted. In 2011 he pitched for Sinclair Community College and led the team to an OCCAC Championship after going 4-3 with 55 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched and hold opposing hitters to a .212 batting average.

SCOUTING PURDUE
-Purdue has been predicted to win the Big Ten Conference Championship by Baseball America.
-Purdue returns seven of eight position players back from a team that went 30-27 in 2011.
-Junior catcher Kevin Plawecki is ranked the 23rd best college player by College Baseball Daily.
-Senior RHP Joe Haase made a team-high 13 starts and led the team in wins (6) and innings pitched (82 1/3) while ranking second in ERA (3.39) and strikeouts (55).

SCOUTING INDIANA
-The Hoosiers are predicted to finish outside of the top six in the Big Ten Conference Championship by the league's coaches.
-Junior second baseman Micah Johnson has been selected as a Baseball America Preseason All-American, earning third team honors after hitting  .335 with a .402 on-base percentage and 19 stolen bases.
-Sophomore LHP Joe DeNato is slated to start against UC on Saturday. DeNato, a 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and First Team All-Big Ten honoree, led IU with a 2.80 ERA and seven wins, slotting him second and fifth in the conference, respectively. He also picked off a Big Ten-best 12 runners.
 
SCOUTING PENN STATE
-The Nittany Lions are not predicted to finish in the top six of the Big Ten standings this season after finishing sixth and going 32-22 in 2011.
-Junior SS Elliot Searer and Sr. 3B Jordan Steranka were named Players to Watch in the Big Ten by the league's coaches.
-Searer batted .214 with 27 RBI in 2011, while Steranka led PSU and finished third in the Big Ten with 57 RBI and ranked second in the conference with five triples and fifth with eight home runs and a .544 slugging percentage.
-Junior RHP Cody Lewis, a junior college transfer, is slated to start against UC on Sunday and will be making his Penn State debut.