The University of Cincinnati’s (UC) baseball team split a four-game series against their crosstown rival Xavier University this past weekend, moving their record to 8-9 on the season.
The first matchup of the crosstown series was a pitcher’s duel with the visiting Musketeers coming out ahead 2-1. Xavier struck for the first and only time in the second inning on a solo home run by center fielder Alex Helmin and an RBI single by shortstop Kody Darcy.
The UC bats were held in check by Xavier starting pitcher Trevor Olson, who allowed one earned run and three hits in seven strong innings.
The lone Bearcats run came on a seventh-inning home run by third baseman Eric Santiago. Evan Shawver picked up the hard-luck loss, yielded one earned run in five innings of work.
A stark contrast to Friday’s contest, the UC bats caught fire on Saturday, scoring 22 runs to beat Xavier 22-7.
The offense was led by center fielder Cole Harting, who went 6-6, tying a school record for hits in a single game. The freshman crushed two home runs along with a double while driving in five runs.
Right behind Harting in the Bearcat charge was junior Paul Komistek, who went a perfect 4-4 while driving in seven. UC pounded 22 hits, five home runs and drew 11 walks in their offensive stampede.
In Sunday’s matchup, the roles were reversed as this time it was the Musketeers that stole the show. Xavier plated 16 runs, including eleven in the last three frames to double up UC 16-8.
After trailing 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning, the Bearcats batted around, scoring six runs to take the lead. After a leadoff walk by Harting, Second baseman Jace Mercer launched a home run to center field.
Shortstop Joey Bellini and third baseman Wyatt Stapp followed hits back-to-back hits. Griffin Merritt then doubled home Bellini and one batter later, Stapp came around on a fielding error by the Xavier second baseman. The final run of the frame came on a bases-loaded walk by Mercer.
After cutting the deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth, it was the Musketeers’ turn to bat around and take the lead in the sixth. Xavier took advantage of three walks, three wild pitches and an error to score six runs, all with two outs.
Xavier padded the lead with five runs in the seventh, punctuated by a grand slam by catcher Natale Monastra.
In the final game of the series, UC bounced back with a 7-2 victory.
UC struck in the bottom of the first inning on a sac fly by Stapp, scoring Jace Mercer, who reached on a walk earlier.
After the Musketeers evened the score on a squeeze bunt in the top of the second, the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. Griffin Merritt crushed a one-out triple to right-center field and then came around score on an error by the Xavier shortstop to give the Bearcats the lead. UC went on to add three more runs on an RBI double by shortstop Jake Hansen and a run-scoring single by Harting.
The Bearcat pitching staff held Xavier to just four hits, highlighted by Zach Segal, who pitched five innings while yielding one run.
The Bearcats have stayed in the Queen City to host the University of Saint Louis. The series began with an 8-4 victory by the Bearcats on Friday to improve their record to 9-9.