The University of Cincinnati baseball team defeated the sixth-placed (Baseball America) University of Louisville Cardinals 13:12 in 10 innings on a walk-off single from first baseman Ryan Nicholson Tuesday night.
The University of Cincinnati (UC) baseball team defeated the sixth-placed (Baseball America) University of Louisville Cardinals 13:12 in 10 innings on a walk-off single from first baseman Ryan Nicholson Tuesday night.
The Bearcats, trailing 8-2 after the fourth inning, claimed their first victory over a national team since beating Oregon State University in the 2019 NCAA tournament.
“It was a big team win for us,” said head coach Scott Googins. “[We] Get some swing into the weekend when you play against a really good Louisville team. ”
The offensive against Bearcat was led by Eric Santiago, who recorded his first two-homer game of his career and reached a career high in five runs.
UC took the lead in the first inning of a two-part home game for second base player Jace Mercer. The Cardinals responded great, jumping on the Bearcats for eight unanswered runs and chasing Cincinnati starter Jalen Wade after just three innings of work.
After the Bearcats chopped off at the top and cut the deficit to 8-6 with four runs in the fourth, Santiago smashed his first home run of the night, a two-run blast that put the score at eight in the fifth inning.
The Cardinals responded with right fielder Trey Leonard’s own two-run shot in the sixth, but it was Santiago who linked the score once more with a two-part home run an inning later.
“[Santiago] is one of the backbones of our team, ”said Googins. “He’s got a little trouble early in spring, but he’s starting to swing the racket well.”
UC took the first lead of the game a punch later when catcher Joe Powell scored two solo shots in a row for the Bearcats, making the score 11-10.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Leonard scored a double in the left center with two outs up in eighth place to take the 11-point result and send the game to additional innings.
It was the Cardinals who first struck in Extras on a sacrificial flight from shortstop Christian Knapczyk, but UC responded at the bottom of the frame.
After lead-off batsman Cole Harting flown out, Mercer, shortstop brought in Joey Bellini, who has been referred to as back-to-back singles. Batsman designate Wyatt Stapp brought Mercer home with one of his own to knot the score at 12. Left fielder Griffin Merritt followed for a walk. The state for Nicholson, a Louisville native who laced a single passable square to the right.
“Especially as a Louisville guy, that was probably the moment I was looking for,” said Nicholson. “I got in there, looked for a place and was able to get third [pitch] and really increase it and we won there. ”
With the win, the Bearcats improved their record to 11-10 and recorded their fourth win in their last five games.
Facing another tough test, UC will travel to Greenville, North Carolina to face eight-placed East Carolina University Pirates (18-5) in a four-game series.