Bearcats Host Herd in Mid-Week Match-up|
March 5, 2008
SETTING THE SCENE: The University of Cincinnati baseball team continues its 17-game stretch at home on Wednesday afternoon when it hosts Marshall. Victorious in three out of four games against Chicago State over the weekend, Cincinnati (3-4) looks to continue its winning ways against the Thundering Herd (2-5).
SPEEDY SCOTT: After showing he was loaded with power at Miami (FL), where he hit the Bearcats' first home run of the season, Jamel Scott showed his speed in four games against Chicago State. UC's swift sophomore stole eight stolen bases on as many attempts against the Cougars. Scott's performance was highlighted by a straight steal of home in Sunday's 7-4 victory. In Sunday's sixth inning, he singled and quickly stole second base. After a ground out, Scott made the steal of home. Successful on 8-of-8 stolen base attempts this season, he swiped three bases on Friday and repeated the feat on Sunday against Chicago State. The Bearcats' leading hitter, Scott boasts a .364 batting average and leads the team with his .462 on-base percentage.
SCOUTING THE HERD:Marshall comes to the Queen City for the second time in as many years for a single game at Marge Schott Stadium. The Thundering Herd is 2-5 on the young 2008 campaign and has dropped three straight after a 2-2 start. Marshall's Tommy Johnson is on the 2008 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award watch list delivered by AT&T and Papa John's Pizza. The senior is one of 36 catchers nominated for the award. Seven games into the season, Johnson has registered a .308 batting average, a pair of home runs, seven RBIs, and a .416 slugging percentage.
NOTING THE BEARCATS: Cincinnati won three out of four games against Chicago State at Marge Schott Stadium over the weekend to improve to 3-4 on the season. One of the BIG EAST Conference's top pitchers a year ago, junior Dan Osterbrock continues to shine for the Bearcats with his 1.38 earned run average. Osterbrock gave up four hits over seven innings of work in his last time out, an 11-3 win against Chicago State. The 2007 NCAA stolen base champion Tony Campana boosted his batting average to .310 over the weekend. Small in stature, the 5-3 Jamel Scott is leading UC with his .364 batting average. Scott is also perfect in stolen base attempts, at 8-8.
CONTINUING WIN STREAK IN HOME OPENERS:Cincinnati started the home slate on a positive note with three wins in four games against Chicago State, including an 11-3 triumph in last Friday's home opener. Undefeated in its last four home openers, the Bearcats and head coach Brian Cleary are perfect in home lid lifters, dating back to 2005. A year ago, Cincinnati topped Dartmouth, 9-1, in the first home lid lifter. The previous season, UC used a 7-1 win over Niagara to start the home slate. The current streak began with a 9-0 victory against Cleveland State on March 4, 2005.
RASH OF ROUND-TRIPPERS:Not known for their power numbers, the Bearcats accomplished a rare feat in Sunday's 7-4 victory over Chicago State by hitting three-consecutive home runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. UC's Kevin Johnson, Ryan Baker and Tyler Goodro blasted back-to-back-to-back solo homers against Cougars hurler Colin Marshall. The last time the Bearcats hit three-straight home runs came on April 21, 1999 in the ninth inning of a come from behind win against Ohio.
Kevin Johnson COMING OF AGE:First baseman Kevin Johnson responded from an 0-for-10 start in three games at Miami (FL), by hitting 8-for-16 in the next four games against Chicago State. A starter every game this season, Johnson hit safely in all four match ups against the Cougars and hit .500 at the plate, including an .813 slugging percentage in the series. In Sunday's series finale, Johnson was 4-for-5 with a solo home run.
BIG EAST EXPECTATIONS:Picked to finish ninth in the BIG EAST in a preseason poll of the league's coaches, Baseball America picked the Bearcats to finish fifth. The Bearcats are led by a trio of returning all-BIG EAST performers pitcher Dan Osterbrock, infielder Josh Harrison and outfielder Tony Campana.