April 3, 2013
CINCINNATI -- Freshman infielder Ian Happ clubbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the University of Cincinnati baseball team to a 9-7 win over Toledo Wednesday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
Led by Happ's 2-for-4, career-high four-RBI effort, Cincinnati (11-15, 1-5 BIG EAST) twice overcame four-run deficits, including a 7-3 shortfall in the eighth inning.
Happ led off the eighth inning with a walk. Freshman Woody Wallace pinch hit for junior designated hitter Brendon Neel and walked after Happ advanced to second and third on balks. After a pitching change, junior Matt Williams hit an RBI single up the middle to score Happ while Wallace advanced to third. Junior second baseman Ryan Quinn hit into a fielder's choice, allowing Wallace to plate. Three batters later, redshirt sophomore Ethan McAlpine singled to the shortstop, which allowed Quinn to score. UC tied the ballgame at 7-7 after Jackson and McAlpine executed a double steal with McAlpine getting in a run down at second base while Jackson crossed the dish.
UC sophomore right-hander Grant Walker picked up the win after pitching a scoreless ninth inning, which set up the walk-off win in the bottom half of the frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel led off and grounded out to third base before junior outfielder Justin Glass hit a line drive off of the Toledo pitcher for a single. Up next came Happ, who launched a breaking ball from Andrew Marra over the right-center field fence for his second longball of the season.
Cincinnati knocked 12 hits on the night, led by Happ and Glass, who went 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI. McAlpine also produced a multi-hit day after going 2 for 5 with one run and one RBI from the leadoff spot.
UC freshman left-hander Mike Conrad made his first collegiate start and allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Toledo opened the scoring with one run in the top of the first inning. Rockets left fielder Tyler Grogg led off with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on a sac bunt. First baseman Matt Delewski drove in Grogg with a sac fly to center field for a 1-0 UT lead.
The Rockets upped their lead to two runs in the top of the third inning. UT catcher Lucas Sokol led off with a bunt single to third base and moved to second on a sac bunt. Grogg lined a single to left field to allow Sokol to cross home plate.
UC fell behind four runs after Toledo added two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Rockets DH Ryan Callahan led off by singling up the middle and advanced to second on RF Jacob North's sac bunt. After a fly out, Conrad was relieved by R-So. RHP Matt Ring with runners on first and second and no outs. After North and Callahan each advanced with a double steal, a throwing error by Ring allowed both runners to score and gave UT a 4-0 advantage.
Cincinnati shaved the lead down to one run after scoring three in the bottom of the sixth inning. McAlpine hit a one-out double down the left field line and scored on Wenzel's RBI single up the middle. After Glass doubled to left field to put Bearcats on second and third base, Happ crushed a double that hit off the center-field batters' eye and made the score 4-3.
Toledo responded to Cincinnati's three-run sixth by producing a three-run seventh; extending its lead to 7-3.
The Bearcats had a major opportunity to score in the bottom half of the seventh after loading the bases with no outs. However, UT reliever Kyle Slack buckled down and retired the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
Cincinnati will resume BIG EAST Conference action Friday when the Bearcats welcome No. 9 Louisville to Marge Schott Stadium for a 6:30 p.m. ballgame. Redshirt freshman RHP Connor Walsh (1-0, 4.28 ERA) will take the mound for UC and square off against UofL RHP Chad Green (4-2, 2.59 ERA).