Feb. 26, 2009
THE BIG EAST/BIG TEN BASEBALL CHALLENGE
After an opening weekend in Florida, Cincinnati heads south to Davidson, N.C., where it will take on Georgetown, Davidson, and Pennsylvania Feb. 27-March 1 at Wilson Field on the Davidson College campus. The Bearcats dropped three games at the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge and look to get on track in North Carolina. UC plays Georgetown twice this weekend, while squaring off with Penn and Davidson once.
· Georgetown enters this weekend with a 1-3 record after earning its first win of the season on Wednesday at Norfolk State, 10-4.
· Tommy Lee leads the team in batting average (.556) and runs (6).
· Sean Baumann leads the team with five RBI and Erick Fernandez has the lone home run for the Hoyas.
· However, opponents have only hit one home run off of Georgetown this season.
· Four pitchers own an ERA under 4.00, including Tommy Isaacs, who picked up the win against Norfolk State on Wednesday.
· Davidson owns a 4-1 record on the young season with wins over Ohio, Army, Lafayette, and N.C. Central.
· The Wildcats play 14 of their first 16 games at home this season.
· Chase Fitzpatrick leads the team in batting average (.533) and is the team’s leading run producer, driving in nine runs in five games. Six of Fitzpatricks eight hits this season have gone for extra bases.
· Matt Webb and Zach Kayne are also swinging hot bats in the young campaign as both are batting over .400.
· Webb is 5-for-5 on the season in stolen bases and as a team, Davidson is 17-for-18 this season in stolen bases.
· Zach Kayne has been the power threat for the Wildcats thus far belting three home runs in five games.
· On the mound, the Wildcats post a 4.00 ERA, compared to a 7.24 ERA for their opponents.
· Chris Kennedy has the top earned run average among starters with a 1.80 ERA in 5.0 innings.
· The Quakers head to Davidson, N.C., to play their first games of the 2009 campaign.
· Penn is coming off a 15-23-1 record in 2008, including a 6-13-1 record in the Ivy League.
· As a freshman last season, Mike Mariano led the team in batting average (.379), slugging percentage (.591), and on-base percentage (.446).
· The top returning pitcher for the Quakers this season is Todd Roth. Roth posted a 4-5 record last season, but owned a 2.32 ERA in 14 appearances. Roth struck out 54 batters and walked 17 in 62.0 innings of work.
· In his rookie campaign at UC last season, Justin Riddell played in 40 games and made 35 starts for the Bearcats. In those 40 games, Riddell collected two home runs, 15 RBI, and owned a slugging percentage of .360.
· At last weekend’s BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, Riddell was a tough out as he batted .615, going 8-for-13 from the plate.
· In the opening game vs. Purdue, Riddell went 4-for-4 from the plate and equalled his home run total from 2008 with two home runs in the contest.
· Against Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 22, Riddell hit his third home run of the season, surpassing his total from 2008.
· At the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge, Riddell led the tournament in home runs (3), total bases (19), and slugging percentage (1.462), while tying for the tournament lead in batting average (.615).
· Riddell also ranked second among all players in on-base percentage (.643) and hits (8).
· For his efforts, Riddell was named to the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge All-Tournament team presented by CollegeBaseball360.com, and was also one of 12 players nationally selected as Players of the Week by RecruitingCloser.com.
· With the departure of Tony Campana, junior Jamel Scott stepped into the lead-off spot in the line-up last week and got off to a great start.
· At the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, Scott batted .500, including a 4-for-5 performance against Michigan.
· Against the Wolverines, Scott made arguably the top defensive play of the week when he made an over-the-shoulder catch before slamming into the wall in the fourth inning, preventing two runs from scoring.
· Scott also proved to be a terror on the base paths, going 3-for-3 in stolen bases.
· Scott joined sophomore Justin Riddell as a BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge All-Tournament Team selection, presented by CollegeBaseball360.com.
SPINA CLOSING IN
· During the opening weekend of the 2009 season, senior Mike Spina made an immediate impact for UC.
· In his first season in the Red and Black in 2008, Spina hit a UC single-season record 21 home runs and drove in a UC single-season record tying 79 RBI.
· In the first game vs. Purdue on Feb. 20, Spina hit two home runs to continue where he left off last season and he finished the weekend with two home runs and six RBI.
· Only 62 games into his UC career, Spina is two home runs away from tying Brian Szarmach (2003-07) and Mike Mottice (1988-91) for 10th on the UC career home runs chart with 25 round-trippers.
BIG EAST PREDICTIONS
· In the 2009 BIG EAST preseason poll, UC was picked to finish fifth by the BIG EAST head coaches.
· Seniors Michael Hill and Cameron Satterwhite were chosen to the all-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
· Louisville was unanimously chosen as the favorite to win the 2009 conference championship. Louisville’s Chris Dominguez and Justin Marks took home Preseason Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors, respectively.
· USF was picked to finish in second place with 103 votes, followed by Notre Dame (99 votes), St. John’s (93 votes), and Cincinnati (77 votes). Filling out spots six through 10 were Connecticut, West Virginia, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Villanova. Pittsburgh and Georgetown were selected 11th, and 12th, respectively.
UC TRIO MAKES BROOKS WALLACE WATCH LIST
· Seniors Mike Spina , Cameron Satterwhite, and Jake Geglein were named to the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List, the College Baseball Foundation announced on Dec. 4.
· Last season, Spina hit .377, which ranked eighth in the BIG EAST, and belted 21 home runs. Spina’s 21 home runs were matched by Louisville’s Chris Dominguez. Spina also drove in 79 runs last season, which ranked first in the BIG EAST.
· Satterwhite hit .364 for UC last season, which ranked third on the team, while recording 21 doubles, 14 home runs, and 61 RBI en route to second-team all-BIG EAST honors and second-team ABCA Rawlings all-Mideast recognition.
· Geglein made 26 appearances out of the bullpen last season and pitched 43.0 innings with 36 strikeouts compared to just seven walks. Geglein finished the season with nine saves and a 2.30 ERA, and his nine saves ranked third in the BIG EAST.
· The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27.
MORE PRESEASON HONORS
· Coming off a season in which he tied for the BIG EAST Conference lead in home runs (21) and led the conference in RBI (79), senior Mike Spina earned preseason second-team all-America honors by RecruitingCloser.com, the website announced on Wednesday, January 21.
· On Feb. 17, Spina also was tabbed a preseason honorable-mention all-American by CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
· Spina posted a .377 batting average last season and added 12 doubles to accompany his home run and RBI numbers. Spina also led the conference with a .731 slugging percentage and ranked in the Top 12 of the league in nine statistical categories.
· The Newberry, Fla., native was drafted in the 35th round by the Minnesota Twins in the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, but elected to return to UC for his senior season.
· On its first official practice on Sunday, Feb. 1, head coach Brian Cleary announced that the captain for the 2009 Cincinnati squad will be senior Jake Geglein.
· “Jake is coming off a great season last year,” Cleary said. “He is incredibly well respected by our staff and his teammates, who selected him as captain, which I think is a great choice.”
· Last season, Geglein saw action in 26 games and did not give up an earned run in 20 of 26 appearances. His 26 appearances tie for ninth on the UC single-season appearances chart.
LOOK WHO’S BACK
· Coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history, Cincinnati lost some key parts from last year’s squad, including 2008 BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year Josh Harrison. Despite the losses of Harrison, UC’s all-time wins leader Dan Osterbrock, and UC’s career stolen bases leader Tony Campana, the Bearcats also return a core group of players that look to build upon last seasons success.
· Seniors Mike Spina and Cameron Satterwhite return to Clifton after both players had career seasons in 2009. The duo combined to hit 35 home runs and drive in 140 RBI.
· In 2008, Spina and Satterwhite accounted for 51.5 percent of UC’s home runs and 35.8 percent of Cincinnati’s RBI.
· With the departure of Campana, who stole a UC record 104 stolen bases in his two seasons in the Red and Black, junior Jamel Scott will be counted on to manufacture runs with his legs.
· A season ago, Scott swiped 35 bases in 44 attempts, ranking second on the team and second in the BIG EAST.
· Cincinnati also has a solid mix of hurlers returning with seniors Michael Hill and Jake Geglein.
· Despite the fact that 7th round 2008 MLB Draft choice Dan Osterbrock received most of the attention from opposing teams last season, Hill owned the top ERA among all UC starters in 2008.
· Hill owned a 6-4 record last season and struck out 65 batters in 80.2 innings of work en route to a 3.46 ERA.
· Geglein was UC’s anchor out of the bullpen last season, appearing in 26 games and finishing with nine saves.
· Alongside Hill and Geglein, junior Brian Garman looks to add to the success gained from his final six starts of the 2008 campaign.
· From April 30 - May 25, Garman went 3-1 and owned a 2.43 ERA in five starts. Garman sent UC to the BIG EAST Championship game after giving up six hits in 6.1 innings in a 13-2 win over USF.