CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped a 7-1 decision at crosstown rival Xavier Tuesday, in the final midweek game for both teams as XU's Hayden Field.
Cincinnati (27-26) saw its five-game midweek win streak snapped, but the Bearcats finished 2017 with a 10-4 mark in midweek contests. Xavier (26-25) also won the three-game season series with its second win over the Bearcats this year.
The Musketeers scored four runs in the fifth to grab a lead they would not relinquish. UC had taken an early 1-0 lead in the second inning.
UC had runners on first and second with no outs after Eric Santiago (Bethlehem, Pa./Notre Dame Green Pond) drew a leadoff walk and Ryan Noda (Volo, Ill./Grant) was hit by a pitch. Joey Thomas (Mason, Ohio/Mason) hit a ground ball to the shortstop that looked to be a double-play ball, but the second baseman's relay to first was off the mark and Santiago scored on the error.
Xavier manufactured a run of its own in the bottom of the second with a pair of singles, a sacrifice bunt, a walk to load the bases and a bunt single into no man's land between the pitcher's mound and third base, which scored a run. UC starter Cam Alldred (Batavia, Ohio/Cincinnati Country Day) pitched out of the jam and stranded three XU runners.
Alldred gave up a solo home run to Joe Gellenbeck in the third and ran into trouble in the fourth. He recorded a one-out strikeout on Will LaRue, but the pitch was wild, Thomas slipped trying to corral it and the runner reached first. Conor Grammes homered to left field to put XU up 4-1. The Musketeers loaded the bases and scored on a single that was out of the reach of a diving Santiago. Reese Robinson (Dayton, Ohio/Centerville) came in from the bullpen for Alldred with the sacks full, gave up a run on a sacrifice fly, but got the final two outs of the frame and UC trailed 6-1.
Xavier added one more run in the eighth when Grammes hit a two-out single to score Ethan Schmidt who led off with a single. UC turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.
UC had some chances, but stranded seven runners and could never get the offense going, recording three hits.
Alldred took the loss, dropping to 2-1 on the season. Xavier's Trent Astle got the win, throwing 4.0 innings, giving up two hits, one run and striking out five. Four XU relievers combined to shut the Bearcats down in the final five innings.
// WHAT'S NEXT
The Bearcats travel to Houston for a Thursday-Saturday three-game, American Athletic Conference set at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park. Games on Thursday and Friday will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and Saturday's series finale goes at 2 p.m.
// HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live audio coverage of UC's series at Houston this weekend is available on GoBEARCATS.com. Matt Noonan (play-by-play) will call the action.
// FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For all the latest information on Cincinnati baseball, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up to the minute updates, follow Cincinnati baseball (@GoBearcatsBASE) and Coach Neal (@Ty_Neal_UC) on twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Facebook.