The University of Cincinnati baseball team beat Tulane University on Sunday March 31, 2019 to avoid getting swept up into the three series of games.
The University of Cincinnati (UC) baseball team split a series of four games against the Seahawks from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) last weekend, pushing the Bearcats record to 3-7.
The first game of the set went to the Seahawks, who rode their lineup to a 14:10 win. UNCW took an 8-0 lead against UC’s Drake Batcho, who made his first start to the season. The Seahawks wasted no time getting on the board, overtaking their first run two batters after a colorful single from lead-off batsman Brooks Baldwin, who came by with a double from Jac Croom, the second baseman.
UNCW overshot three runs in the third, followed by two more in the fourth to expand the lead to eight. At the top of the fifth, the Bearcat bats woke up and broke seven times to reduce the deficit to one.
After second baseman Jace Mercer started the rally with a single in the middle, catcher Joe Powell hit a split home run over the fence of midfield. After two consecutive goals from Eric Santiago and Cole Harting, shortstop Joey Bellini scored a single goal for both runners. Two doubles and a walk later, the Bearcats were just one run behind.
The Seahawks reacted quickly in the lower half of the inning, posting three insurance runs to increase the lead to 11-7 and never looking back.
UC bounced back with a 7-4 win on Friday night. The game got off to a tough start for the Bearcats when UNCW jumped starter Evan Shawver in the first inning with four runs behind a leadoff home run from Baldwin and two RBI singles.
UC lost the 4-0 deficit with an RBI single from Mercer in the second inning before finally taking the lead in the third. Harting started with a home run to midfield and shortened the deficit to 4-2. After one and two walks had loaded the base for Wyatt Stapp, the designated batsman crushed a field with double to left center, cleared the bases and pressed UC to the Top.
After the first inning hiccup, in which he gave up his first runs of the season, the Shawver kept the Seahawks goalless in the sixth inning before passing the torch on to the second Zach Segal. Picking up where Shawver left off, Segal threw three innings to record his first save of the season.
UC added insurance runs in fifth and eighth on solo home runs from Ryan Nicholson and Mercer.
In the third game in the series, UC overcame a four-run deficit for the second time in a row, beating UNCW 5-4. After falling 4-0 in the fourth inning, the Bearcats were brought to life in the sixth.
UC took advantage of a mistake from Seahawks’ shortstop that allowed Joey Bellini to start the inning first. Stapp and Mercer then picked up singles to load the bases. Catcher Tanner Holen followed with a double, scoring Bellini and Mercer. Two batters later, Harting roped a single-to-center field with two outs and tied the game.
With the score still tied at four in the ninth inning, left fielder Jake Murray hit a home run down the midfield wall, giving the Bearcats the first lead of the game. The lead would prove sufficient as Beau Keathley shut down UNCW at the bottom of the frame and cemented a second straight win for UC.
The Bearcats looked ready for their first series of the year after building an 8-0 lead behind the home runs of Santiago, Powell and Harting along with four RBIs from Stapp. However, the Seahawks scored nine unanswered runs to claim a dramatic victory that culminated in a home game by left fielder Trevor Marsh in the ninth inning.
Garrett Schoenle got the nod for the Bearcats and got his best start to the season, scooping only one run in five innings while hitting 11. After Schoenle was pulled out of the game, UNCW jumped on the Bearcat bullpen and scored eight runs in the last three frames.
The Bearcats will make their home debut this weekend for a three-game series against Western Michigan University (0-3). Tickets are available for every home game as 1,000 spectators are allowed in the UC Baseball Stadium.