May 4, 2010
CINCINNATI - Coming off a BIG EAST Conference series sweep of West Virginia University, the University of Cincinnati baseball team looks to conclude its five-game homestand unblemished when it welcomes Wright State University to Marge Schott Stadium on Tuesday, May 4, for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. Tuesday's game against the Raiders will be the first of a two-day home-and-home series as UC will travel to Dayton, Ohio to meet WSU on Wednesday, May 5, at Nischwitz Stadium at 6:30 p.m.
The Bearcats and Raiders have already met once this season with UC capturing the first meeting in dramatic fashion, scoring two runs in the ninth inning to win 6-5 in the opening game of the 2010 Joe Nuxhall Classic. In that game, Cincinnati trailed, 5-4, entering the ninth inning before senior catcher Jimmy Jacquot tied the game on a solo home run to left field. Later in the inning with senior Brian Garman on third base, a wild pitch allowed Garman to score giving UC the win.
Since the teams met last, Jacquot has continued to put his power on display by belting five home runs and driving in 13 runs during that 14-game span.
The Bearcats (23-20) have won four straight games behind improved hitting at the plate and even better pitching. During the current stretch, UC is batting .295, 50 points higher than its season average, and the pitchers have a collective ERA of 2.50, 1.13 runs per game below its season average. Sophomore T.J. Jones and senior Kevin Johnson have led the offensive attack over the last four games, hitting .429 and .400, respectively.
Last weekend, the UC pitching staff was led by senior Brian Garman and junior Nick Johnson, who at one point combined to toss 15 consecutive scoreless innings. After giving up three runs in the first inning of the series-opener against West Virginia, Garman relinquished only four hits and struck out nine to earn the complete-game victory, the first complete game of his career.
Johnson followed Garman's performance by tossing 8.0 innings, striking out a career-high 11 batters, and giving up just one unearned run to pick up his first win of the season. Freshman Andrew Strenge
went under the radar throughout the week but picked up the other two victories for UC, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven in 8.1 innings of relief to improve his record to 4-1.
Just like UC, the Raiders (23-17) have put together some momentum winning 10 of their last 12 games, including a three-game sweep over Youngstown State this past weekend. Casey McGrew leads WSU with a .400 average through 40 games, while Quentin Cate leads the team with 60 RBI and Tristan Moore has posted a team-best seven round-trippers.
Earlier this season, Wright State defeated No. 1 Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., 2-1, marking the second season in a row it has taken down the No. 1 team in the country.