HOUSTON - The University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped an 8-3 decision to Houston in the second game of a three-game American Athletic Conference series, Friday at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
With the loss, Cincinnati falls to 28-27 on the season and 10-13 in The American while Houston improves to 35-19 and 14-9. The Cougars are part of a four-way tie atop the conference standings.
Houston scored four in the bottom of the seventh to turn a one-run game into a 7-2 advantage. The Bearcats led early, going up 1-0 in the first inning, but UH tied it right back up at 1-1 in the bottom of the frame and pulled ahead with a pair of runs in the sixth before scoring five in the seventh and eighth to make the final margin 8-3.
R.J. Thompson (Mason, Ohio/Mason) and A.J. Bumpass each tagged three hits apiece. Thompson had a pair of doubles and scored twice. Ryan Noda (Volo, Ill./Grant) drove in two runs and Kyle Mottice (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Jackson) batted in one. It was Noda’s eighth multi-RBI game of the season.
Houston got a strong pitching performance from Trey Cumbie, who went the distance for his ninth win of the season.
· Redshirt junior Connor McVey (Mason, Ohio/Mason) singled in the sixth inning to move his on-base streak to 21 consecutive games. He also stole his 13th base of the season.
· Thompson doubled to lead off the game, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Since April 19, Thompson has recorded multiple hits in 11 games, including three-hit performances in three of the last four games.
· Redshirt freshman Jordan Ramey (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) made his first-career start, hitting in the nine-hole and playing as the designated hitter.
· A week after setting a career high with 8.2 innings pitched in the start against UCF, sophomore A.J. Kullman (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) lasted 7.0 innings against the Cougars.
// KEY INNINGS
Top of the First
The Bearcats needed just two batters to take a 1-0 lead over Houston. Thompson led off the game with a double to right-centerfield and then advanced to third after the ball trickled past the outfielders to the wall. Noda then grounded out to the second baseman, allowing Thompson to score for a quick Cincinnati advantage.
Bottom of the First
Just as quickly, the Cougars tied the score in similar fashion. A fielding error put the leadoff runner on second base and a single by Grayson Padgett brought him home to even the score at 1-1.
Bottom of the Sixth
Connor Wong led off the inning with a single up the middle, the Cougars’ first hit since the second inning. Two batters later, Jake Scheiner launched a 2-run home run
Top of the Seventh
Cincinnati got a run back in the seventh after freshman Eric Santiago (Bethlehem, Pa./Notre Dame Green Pond) reached on an error and moved to second on a single by Bumpass. Junior Joey Thomas (Mason, Ohio/Mason) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners and a groundout by
Bottom of the Seventh
Two singles and a double steal put two Houston runners in scoring position with two outs and the Bearcats elected to intentionally walk Wong to load the bases. The first pitch to Padgett was lined into the outfield to clear the bases and increase the UH lead to 6-2. The Cougars added another run before a popout ended the damage with a 7-2 Houston advantage.
// UP NEXT
The Bearcats will wrap up the 2017 regular season with the rubber game against the Cougars on Saturday, May 20. The game will be played at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT from UH’s Schroeder Park.
// TOURNAMENT IMPLICATIONS
With the loss today coupled with Tulane beating Memphis, UC is locked into the No. 6 seed for next week’s American Athletic Conference Championship at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. The Bearcats will play the No. 3 seed at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The American Digital Network will provide a live video feed online. UC’s opponent is unknown as there is currently a four-way tie atop the league standings.
// HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live video and audio coverage of all three games in the Houston series 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.