The Cincinnati Bearcats baseball team falls into an AAC tournament

The University of Cincinnati first baseman Eric Santiago, 10, hit a homer in two runs on Wednesday, but UC was eliminated from the 2018 American Athletic Conference tournament

Overall, it was the University of Cincinnati’s best baseball season in seven years.

UC ended its 2018 season on Wednesday, losing a double header at the American Athletic Conference postseason tournament in Clearwater, Florida. The number 6 Bearcats dropped their opener 6-2 against Connecticut with the number 3 and then lost in an elimination game with 9: 4 against South Florida with the number 2. The tournament is a double elimination format.

UC ended the 2018 season at 28:28, the best record since a season between 30 and 27 in 2011. The 2018 season was the first of the Bearcats under head coach Scott Googins, who was hired after 12 years with rival Xavier in Crosstown.

In Wednesday’s first game, Eric Santiago (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), the UC’s first sophomore baseman, hit a homer in two runs, and junior left-hander Cam Alldred (Cincinnati Country Day) threw 6 ⅓ innings with seven strokes.

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In the second game, Senior Kyle Mottice (Canal Fulton, Ohio) had three of the Bearcats’ 10 hits with a homer, double, and two RBI. Junior outfielder AJ Bumpass (Rougemont, North Carolina) had the team’s other extra base hit, a homer. Senior left-hander JT Perez (Orrville, Ohio) scored 5 ⅔ innings with three earned runs on six hits and six strikeouts.

For the year, Mottice led UC with a batting average of 0.335 and had three homers, 29 RBI and a team high of 20 steals. Next up was senior shortstop Manny Rodriguez (Brooklyn, New York) with an average of 0.292 and team highs of 12 homers and 38 RBI, and senior third baseman Connor McVey (Mason High School) with an average of 0.278, six homers, 36 RBI and 16 steals.

The pitching team was led by Perez (6-4 record, 2.81 ERA) and Alldred (5-3, 3.95).

ALL-AAC: The AAC named its regular season All-Star teams this week, and UC’s Perez and Rodriguez formed the first team. Alldred was called up to the second team.

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