Marge Schott Stadium at the University of Cincinnati.
The University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped all three matchups in their season opening streak against the Clemson University Tigers, starting their 2021 season 3-0.
In their first game in 345 days, the Bearcats failed to start a run. Clemson starter Davis Sharpe and Reliever Mat Clark held the Bearcats for a shutout with a final score of 0: 5. Sharpe, a preseason first-team All-American, held UC to one hit while scoring nine strikeouts over five shutout innings.
In order not to be outdone, Clark kept the shutout intact and scored a hit in the last four frames of the competition. The pair did not allow a single bearcat to reach the second base.
The Bearcats planned junior ace Evan Shawver to show the rubber across from Sharpe. In four starts before the COVID-19 halted the 2020 season, Shawver hit a earned run average of 1.59 while hitting 35 batters in 22.2 innings.
Shawver was recently named one of the 50 best candidates for the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft by D1 Baseball and went head to toe with Sharpe in the first four innings without scoring a run.
After finishing the fourth inning with a 76 pitch, he was raised in favor of graduate student Nathan Moore to begin the fifth.
Clemson struck quickly as midfielder Bryce Teodosio Moore welcomed with a lead on left field and promptly stole second base. After a sack fly from third baseman Blake Wright, Teodosio was brought home by right fielder Dylan Brewer on a single that crept through the diving efforts of second baseman Jace Mercer.
In the seventh, the Tigers added insurance. After a walk and a hit through bad luck, catcher Jonathan French smashed a triple home run over the fence of midfield to extend the Clemson lead to four. Later in the frame, Clemson added another double run from first baseman Caden Grice.
On Saturday, the Bearcats dropped the second game in the series 5-2. Dean McCarthy of Elon University started for UC, his first appearance as Bearcat, with 4.1 innings and four runs.
Clemson took the first run of the game home at the end of the first inning after Wright ran away with a double and was brought down to second base on a groundout two batters later.
The Tigers added three insurance runs in the fifth on three singles, two walks, and a prey fly, driving McCarthy out of the game.
The Bearcats couldn’t line up an offense until the sixth inning when right fielder Paul Komistek interrupted a solo home run and put UC on the board for the first time this season. The Bearcats were able to cross another run in seventh place with a double from left fielder Griffin Merritt, but it wasn’t enough to end the comeback.
The Bearcats had finally played some offensive games in the third game, scoring seven runs with 10 hits. It wasn’t enough, however, as they were defeated 8-7 in additional innings.
Clemson rushed early and stroked two home runs with two runs in the first inning to give four batters a 4-0 lead.
UC cut the deficit in half in the upper part of the second after Merritt and Mercer started the frame. The earlier hit on a base hit Murray in the middle.
Clemson scored a couple of runs in the lower part of the frame to get the 7-5 result, but the Bearcat bullpen would keep them scoreless until the end of the 10th inning.
UC finished eighth after loading the bases with an out on a pair of singles from Mercer and Senior Wyatt Stapp as well as a walk from Powell. Komistek made an outfield player choice and scored Mercer. Then Santiago roped a single to central field, scored stapp and knotted the score at seven.
After the Bearcats retired in tenth place in the order above, Clemson picked up two consecutive singles to start the bottom half of the inning against reliever Nathan Moore. Moore was lifted in favor of sophomore Zach Segal, who uncorked a wild field and allowed runners to advance to second and third without outs. Shortstop James Parker then prevailed 3-1 against a single field in the center left and secured the sweep for the Tigers.
UC will be looking to bounce back in a three-game series against Western Kentucky University this weekend starting February 26th at 3pm in Bowling Green, Kentucky.