April 11, 2013
CINCINNATI at RUTGERS
Bainton Field (1,500) - Piscataway, N.J.
Friday, April 12 - 3 p.m. ET | Watch | GameTracker
Saturday, April 13 - 1 p.m. ET | Listen | GameTracker
Sunday, April 14 - 1 p.m. ET | Watch | Listen | GameTracker
Live Stats: GoBEARCATS.com
Series Record: Rutgers leads 14-5
First Meeting: 4/13/2006 @ UC (W, 6-5)
Last Meeting: 4/29/2012 @ UC (L, 5-2)
SETTING THE SCENE
The University of Cincinnati baseball team resumes BIG EAST Conference play Friday through Sunday when it travels to the Garden State to visit Rutgers for a three-game set at Bainton Field.
Cincinnati is coming off a second-place finish at the Joe Nuxhall Classic in which it defeated crosstown rival Xavier 7-6 Tuesday and fell to Wright State 19-16 in a barn burner Wednesday.
UC will use the same weekend rotation for the second straight BIG EAST series: R-Fr. RHP Connor Walsh will climb the hill on Friday; Fr. RHP Mitch Patishall takes the ball on Saturday; and R-Jr. RHP Christian McElroy will toe the rubber on Sunday.
A live video stream of Friday and Sunday's game will be available at ScarletKnights.cstv.com/allaccess.
Live statistics for all three games will be available at GoBEARCATS.com.
Follow the Bearcats baseball program on Twitter @UCincyBaseball and @CoachClearyUC.
NOW PITCHING FOR UC ...
Game 1 of the Rutgers series will feature redshirt freshman RHP Connor Walsh, who made his collegiate debut on Feb. 17 at Florida Atlantic after sitting out the entire 2012 season due to arm surgery. Walsh allowed three earned runs on four hits with one strikeout and three walks in 3 2-3 innings at FAU.
On March 16 vs. Western Michigan, Walsh got his first career win, going 7 1-3 innings, allowing five hits, just one earned and a career-high seven strikeouts.
In his most recent start on April 5 vs. No. 9 Louisville, Walsh allowed five earned runs on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts in five innings pitched.
On the season, Walsh owns a 4.89 ERA in 38.2 innings with 21 walks and 25 strikeouts.
Cincinnati's starter in Game 2 of the series will be freshman right-hander Mitch Patishall, who will be making his sixth start of the season.
Patishall, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 36th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, owns a 5.32 ERA in seven games this season while striking out 13 batters in 23 2-3 innings.
UC will send redshirt junior right-hander Christian McElroy to the mound in the series finale Sunday.
McElroy was selected in the 32nd round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, but opted to remain at UC.
Last season, McElroy appeared in 13 ballgames with nine starts, posted a 4.41 ERA with four wins and 46 strikeouts in 63.1 innings pitched. He finished sixth in the BIG EAST Conference in fewest hits allowed (59) and 12th in opponent batting average (.252), and did not allow a triple the entire season. In three of 13 appearances, he did not allow an earned run.
In his previous start on April 7 vs. No. 9 Louisville, McElroy tied his career high of seven innings pitched, allowing just three runs while striking out three.
Rutgers finished 2012 with an even 31-25 overall record, including 16-11 in the BIG EAST, which was good for a sixth-place seed in the league's postseason tournament.
The Scarlet Knights were tabbed to finish eighth in the 2013 BIG EAST preseason coaches' poll.
Sr. catcher Jeff Melillo was named to a preseason all-BIG EAST selection after hitting .311 with four home runs and 30 RBIs in 2012.
Rutgers went 3-2 last week with wins over Columbia and Iona. The Scarlet Knights went 1-2 against Seton Hall in Piscataway. Melillo tallied eight runs scored, seven RBI and three home runs for the week.
Rutgers Sunday starter Charlie Law was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on March 25 and its Saturday starter Tyler Gebler earned the same accolade on April 1.
THE SERIES VERSUS RUTGERS
Rutgers owns a 14-5 lead in its all-time series versus Cincinnati.
UC and RU first met in the 2006 season, with the Scarlet Knights claiming three of four games.
The Bearcats were swept by Rutgers in a three-game series at Marge Schott Stadium last season.
UC ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP ENHANCEMENTS
The March 19 announcement by Bearcats AD Whit Babcock that the UC will reinstate and increase funding to its Olympic sports scholarship programs is monumental news, not just for the programs which previously lost scholarship funding, but it's additionally momentous to the UC baseball program.
"This is quite possibly the most significant development affecting the UC baseball program during my time at UC. This plan removes the largest obstacle we have faced and will allow us to pursue players in the same fashion as those schools with which we compete," said Brian Cleary, UC baseball head coach.
Beginning in the fall of 2013-14, UC will implement an aggressive plan to ultimately offer the full NCAA complement of grant-in-aid scholarships to student-athletes in each of its 19 programs.
"This clearly demonstrates that the University and its leadership are committed to excellence in all of our sports and that we intend to compete on the national stage," Cleary added. "There is no question that our baseball program will benefit from this plan."
Due to fiscal constraints in 2009, the department previously reduced scholarship funding for a number of sports and eliminated all scholarships for three sports which included men's cross country, men's track and field, and men's swimming and diving.
GLASS RAKING AWAY
Junior outfielder Justin Glass saw a 13-game hit streak come to end April 7 vs. No. 9 Louisville. He hit .414 during the streak with 10 runs scored and 8 RBIs.
Glass was named to the BIG EAST Conference weekly honor roll on March 25 for his performance in four games.
Glass batted an impressive .444 (8 for 18) with two runs scored and five RBIs while slugging .444 and reaching base at a .474 clip in four contests versus Northern Kentucky and South Florida.
For the year, Glass is second in the BIG EAST in hits with 46 and seventh in batting average (.348).
Glass is the second Bearcat to receive this honor in 2013 after freshman infielder Forrest Perron received the award March 4.
Freshman infielder Ian Happ posted a 21-game reached base safely streak from Feb. 24 through April 3. During the streak, Happ produced at least one hit in 18 of those games and batted .324 with 18 runs scored, one home run and 12 RBIs and reached base at a .486 rate.
Happ leads the BIG EAST Conference in walks (30) and is sixth in the league lead in doubles (11).
Happ also ranks third in the league in on-base percentage (.458) and tied for fifth in the conference in stolen bases with 14.