March 11, 2010
The University of Cincinnati baseball team (6-4) continues its 11-game homestand when it welcomes Niagara University to Marge Schott Stadium for a four-game series beginning on Friday, March 12, at 4 p.m. The Bearcats and Purple Eagles will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 13, beginning at 1 p.m., and the series will conclude on Sunday, March 14, at 1 p.m. Cincinnati has won five of its last six games and three of its last four home games entering the weekend, including a 13-6 win over LeMoyne on Wednesday.
HOME SWEET HOME
· Cincinnati is in the midst of an 11-game home stand that featured a three-game series against Youngstown State last weekend, a mid-week contest vs. LeMoyne this past Wednesday, and upcoming weekend series’ against Niagara and Toledo.
· The Bearcats started the home stand with a series win over Youngstown State after taking the series finale, 7-6.
· UC came back on Wednesday, March 10, with a 13-6 win over LeMoyne.
· Cincinnati is 3-1 on the season at home and the Bearcats are hitting .302 as a team in four home contests, while averaging 9.50 runs per game.
· The .302 average is 42 points higher than its season average of .260 and its 9.50 runs per game is 2.90 runs per game more than its season average.
· Junior Mikel Huston, sophomore T.J. Jones, and senior Jimmy Jacquot have been UC’s most productive hitters at home this far as all three are hitting above .400 and have collectively driven in 16 runs.
· Huston leads UC in batting average in home games with a .563 average (9-of-16).
GARMAN, SAND PROVIDING RELIEF
· Senior Brian Garman and junior Brian Sand have been spectacular out of the bullpen for Cincinnati this season.
· Garman has posted a 1.80 ERA in three appearances out of the bullpen and struck out a team-high 14 batters, while walking five in 10 innings.
· Sand owns an ERA of 2.61 and has struck out five without giving up a walk in 10.1 innings of work.
· In Garman’s last two outings against Penn State and Youngstown State, he has pitched six innings of relief, given up nine hits, two earned runs, and struck out 13 men while relinquishing one walk.
· In relief, Sand shut down Ohio State on Feb. 28 and did not surrender a hit in 5.0 innings of work to pick up his first win of the season.
ANOTHER DAY AT THE BEACH
· Twice within an eight-day span, senior Beach Brooks delivered two walk-off RBI for Cincinnati.
· Trailing 6-0 heading into the ninth inning against Purdue on Feb. 27, the Bearcats scored seven runs in the final inning, which included a walk-off, pinch-hit single by Brooks, to win, 7-6.
· Eight-days later, senior Jimmy Jacquot hit a one-out triple to put the game-winning run on third base in the series finale against Youngstown State, and Brooks was the hero again with a pinch-hit walk-off sacrifice fly to give UC a 7-6 win.
· In just six at-bats this season, Brooks has three hits and has driven in four runs.
HUSTON EARNS WEEKLY HONOR
· Junior Mikel Huston was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll following his play during UC’s series against Youngstown State last weekend.
· In Game 1 of the series vs. the Penguins, Huston went 3-for-4, had three RBI, and scored two runs as UC downed YSU, 15-5.
· Huston then went 1-for-3 in Game 2, before going a perfect 4-for-4, UC’s first four-hit game by a player this season, with a run scored, a RBI, and two stolen bases in the series finale.
· For the week, Huston hit .727, scored four runs, knocked in four runs, and stole two bases.
SCOTT LOOKING TO RETURN TO OLD FORM
· After battling injuries through most of the 2009 season, senior Jamel Scott is looking to return to his old form in his final season in the Red and Black.
· As a sophomore in 2008, Scott hit .311 with eight doubles, one home run, and 38 RBI.
· Scott also finished second on the team with 35 stolen bases on 44 attempts.
· This season, Scott is hitting just .220, but has been a terror on the base paths.
· Scott has stolen nine bases in 10 attempts this season, which ranks him among the BIG EAST leaders in both stolen bases and stolen base attempts.
· Against, Ohio State, Scott put his speed on display in the fourth inning after reaching base on a single through the left side. During the next at-bat, Scott proceeded to second base and third base to move into scoring position and then scored on a single.
· Scott has 63 career stolen bases, tying him for second on UC’s all-time stolen bases chart.
· Last season, Scott hit .262 and was 12-for-15 in stolen bases.
NEW YEAR, NEW RESULTS
· The Cincinnati pitching staff has 10 returners from last year’s staff, giving the Bearcats an experienced group of hurlers.
· Last season, the UC pitching staff struggled with an ERA of 6.56, which ranked last in the BIG EAST.
· In the first 10 games of the 2009 season, the Cincinnati’s ERA was at 6.47.
· Through 10 games this season, the Bearcats pitching staff has been much improved as Cincinnati has an ERA of 4.67.
· Two of UC’s starters, senior Tyler Smith and junior Dan Jensen have ERA’s of 3.57 and 4.85, respectively.
· Senior Brian Garman and junior Brian Sand have both pitched 10-plus innings in relief this season and own ERA’s of 1.80 and 2.61, respectively.
FEB. 26-28 BIG TEN/BIG EAST BASEBALL CHALLENGE
· In the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge in 2009, Cincinnati went 0-3, which included an 11-10 loss to Purdue and a 6-5 loss to Ohio State.
· The Bearcats responded in the 2010 edition of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge with a 2-1 record.
· Cincinnati lost a heartbreaker in its first game of the challenge to Penn State when the Nittany Lions rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie the game, before winning in the 12th inning.
· In game two, UC trailed 6-0 to Purdue heading into the ninth inning, before the Bearcats rallied for seven runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Boilermakers, 7-6.
· In the finale of the event, Cincinnati jumped in front early and never looked back as it defeated No. 13 Ohio State, 12-4.
· The win over the Buckeyes was the highest-ranked opponent the Bearcats have beaten since beating No. 11 Tulane, 12-4, on April 4, 2004.
SAND, JONES NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
· For the second year in a row, Cincinnati had two players named to the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge All-Tournament team.
· In 2009, senior Jamel Scott and junior Justin Riddell were the two Bearcats selected to the all-tournament team.
· This season, UC junior Brian Sand and T.J. Jones were named to the all-tournament team with Sand earning first-team honors and Jones getting the second-team nod.
· In relief, Sand shut down Ohio State and did not surrender a hit in 5.0 innings of work.
· He inherited runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth inning after Ohio State scored two quick runs in the inning to make the score 8-4. Sand was helped out by junior Mikel Huston, who made a leaping catch at the wall to save a three-run home run, before inducing a 4-6-3 double play to end the scoring threat in the fifth.
· From that point on, Sand was untouchable and he picked up his first win of the season. The Cincinnati native forced the Buckeyes into three double plays.
· Jones led the Bearcats offensively for the weekend hitting .462 (6-of-13), with five RBI.
· Jones started the weekend off with a three-hit performance against Penn State, before going 1-for-4 with two RBI in a comeback win over Purdue.
· In the weekend finale against Ohio State, Jones went 2-for-3, scored two runs, and drove in three in the win over the Buckeyes, while defensively he helped turn four of UC’s five double plays.
· The five doubles tied a single-game school record.
SMITH NAMED CAPTAIN
· Head coach Brian Cleary announced that senior pitcher Tyler Smith will serve as captain for the 2010 season.
· Smith is the third straight pitcher to be tabbed captain for the Bearcats following in the footsteps of Jake Geglein (2009) and A.J. Upton (2008).
· “Tyler’s work ethic and commitment to our team have been tremendous since his arrival at UC,” Cleary said. “Because of this, his teammates have indicated great support for him to serve as our captain. The coaching staff also feels strongly about his ability to serve in this role for this coming season.”
· Last season, Smith posted a 3-4 record and recorded 40 strikeouts in 51.1 innings of work.
· Smith made 19 appearances and five starts in 2009, with his best performance coming against Western Michigan where he threw five innings of scoreless relief, which included a career-high nine strikeouts.
UC PICKED SEVENTH IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
· In the 2010 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Bearcats were picked to finish in seventh.
· Louisville has been chosen as the favorite to take the 2010 title in the BIG EAST preseason baseball coaches’ poll.
· The coaches also selected West Virginia shortstop Jedd Gyorko as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year and tabbed USF righthanded pitcher Randy Fontanez the BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
· Louisville earned nine of a possible 11 first-place votes to edge second-place USF as the 2010 favorite. The Cardinals had 119 points in the poll, while the Bulls were second with 113 points and three first-place votes.
· Connecticut was picked third in the preseason poll following the Huskies’ run to the title game of last year’s BIG EAST Championship.
· St. John’s was tabbed for fourth in the preseason poll. The Red Storm went 30-22 overall and 16-11 in BIG EAST play to finish fourth in the 2009 standings.
· Notre Dame was fifth in the preseason poll on the heels of a 36-23 season in 2009 that saw the Fighting Irish narrowly miss an appearance in the NCAA Championship.
· West Virginia was projected to finish sixth by the BIG EAST coaches after the Mountaineers went 37-18 overall and 17-10 in the BIG EAST last year under head coach Greg Van Zant.
· Cincinnati and Rutgers were picked seventh and eighth, respectively, in the preseason poll. Pittsburgh was ninth, Seton Hall was 10th, Villanova was 11th, and Georgetown was 12th.
· The 2010 BIG EAST Baseball Championship will return to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., May 26-30, with the championship game to be televised on ESPNU.
2009 SEASON RECAP
· Cincinnati finished the season with a 29-29 record, falling one win shy of back-to-back 30-win seasons.
· The Bearcats made the BIG EAST Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06.
· Senior Mike Spina, who was drafted in the 11th round by Oakland A’s, broke his own single-season home run record with 23 home runs and added 69 RBI to lead the squad.
· Junior Lance Durham, who was drafted in the 14th round by Toronto Blue Jays, set a new UC single-season batting average record by hitting .427. Durham also broke Kevin Youkilis’ single-season hits record with 99 hits.
· Senior Jake Geglein broke UC’s career saves record with 20 and finished the 2009 season with a 6-1 record and nine saves.
· Cincinnati will be without the services of two of its freshmen for the Youngstown State series.
· Freshman pitcher Chris McElroy will be out for the remainder of the 2010 season with an elbow injury.
· Fellow freshman Jake Proctor was hit by a pitch on the hand on Saturday, Feb. 27, and has a broken hand. His timetable for return is 2-4 weeks.