05/26/2021 | 3 pm
CLEARWATER, Florida – It was a big inning game in the University of Cincinnati baseball team’s American Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday, and the No. 4 Bearcats narrowly saw their comeback bid with a 14-10 loss to No. 5 UCF at BayCare Ballpark.
Cincinnati (29-25) got two home runs from Paul Komistek and the Bearcats got double-digit runs and double-digit hits for the fifth game in a row, but the Knights (29-28) got nine runs in game eight and two in ninth to make a comeback to be completed in four runs and to be promoted to the winners’ class.
Komistek had the first multiple home run game of his career, finishing 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
Before the eighth inning, UC led 8-4 after Komistek’s first homer of the day in the seventh. In the middle of the frame, UCF led 13-8 after marking the Bearcats for nine runs from three different pitchers, including a three-run shot by Jordan Rathbone. That day, UCF received seven hits and seven runs from the top three players on the line-up.
Komistek hit his second homer of the game, a two-run shot into the deepest part of the stadium to set things back to 13-10.
UC loaded the bases in the ninth round, but could not push anyone over and ran aground that day with a total of 13 runners.
Starter Garrett Schoenle went five innings for the Bearcats, threw 98 pitches and hit seven. He gave up four runs on five hits in the no-decision. Beau Keathley was the first out of the corral, sitting down six knights in a row before getting into trouble on the eighth. Dean McCarthy accepted the defeat and dropped to 4-4 that season. Zack Bennett (2-2) took the win for UCF.
The Bearcats fought from behind at the start, scoring two points in the first on an RBI groundout from Eric Santiago that scored Cole Harting and an RBI single from Komistek that allowed Bellini to come home.
Schoenle got into trouble with two outs in the second, put on two, handed an RBI single to Andrew Brait and a base clearing double to Gephry Pena, which brought the result 4-2 in favor of the Knights.
UC added five in the fourth and took the lead 7-4. Wyatt Stapps RBI single with two points Ryan Nicholson and Joe Powell followed with a walk in front of another RBI single from Harting, which Griffin Merritt scored and loaded the bases. Stapp was kicked out at home by Jace Mercer after the choice of an outfield player. Bellini, Santiago and Komistek drew three straight steps to score Powell, Harting and Mercer to crown the big inning.
The Bearcats will play an elimination game at BayCare Ballpark on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET against No. 1 seeded East Carolina, who beat No. 1 in seven innings in the second game of the tournament. 8 Memphis, 11-1, has lost. Wednesday’s game will air on ESPN + with live stats on BearcatStats.com.
Wednesday, May 26 • 3:00 p.m. ET (BayCare Ballpark)
No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 East Carolina
ESPN + | Live statistics
Visit the AAC’s Championship Central for complete tournament information.
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