March 14, 2008
SETTING THE SCENE: The Bearcats look to turn their recent history around, with a four-game series, beginning on Friday afternoon against Niagara. Having scratched into the scoring column first in each game earlier this week, the Bearcats need to sustain their offense in four games against the offensive-minded Purple Eagles. Left-hander Dan Osterbrock leads the way for Cincinnati on Friday. UC's No. 1 hurler, Osterbrock is 1-1 on the season with 14 strikeouts and one walk allowed in 13 innings.
SCOUTING THE PURPLE EAGLES: Niagara travels to the Cincinnati, for the second time in three years, for a four-game series at Marge Schott Stadium. The Purple Eagles are 5-4 after two weekends of play in 2008. They started the season 5-1 after winning three of four games at Davidson and sweeping a twin bill at Coppin State. Last weekend they dropped three out of four at Wofford. Senior outfielder Tim Alberts balances power and speed to lead Niagara with a .567 batting average, and a .900 slugging percentage that includes four doubles and two home runs. Alberts is also 4-of-4 in stolen base attempts. Keyed by their offensive numbers, the Purple Eagles are hitting a robust .361, with 30 extra-base hits, including eight homers.
NOTING THE BEARCATS: Cincinnati are looking to find the win column after dropping back-to-back decisions to Youngstown State and Bowling Green earlier in the week. The Bearcats started each game in identical fashion, with leadoff man Tony Campana manufacturing a run in the bottom of the first, before they stumbled in the top of the second. Once again this season, the key to the Bearcats' offensive success has been the stolen base. UC has tallied 30 thefts on 37 stolen base attempts. The 2007 NCAA stolen base champion Tony Campana has boosted his batting average to a team-high .317. Small in stature, the 5-3 Jamel Scott has reached safely in 14-of-14 stolen base attempts.