The University of Cincinnati’s (UC) baseball team was swept in a four-game series this past weekend by the eighth-ranked (Baseball America) East Carolina University Pirates (ECU).
The Bearcats fell to 11-14, while the Pirates improved to 22-5.
In the series opener, ECU used a late rally to steal the first game of the weekend 5-4. After the Pirates used a pair of RBI singles to take a 2-0 first-inning lead, the Bearcats cut the lead in half in the second on a single by first baseman Ryan Nicholson.
Two innings later, a run-scoring ground out by third baseman Eric Santiago brought home designated hitter Joey Bellini to deadlock the score at two.
Catcher Joe Powell led off the Bearcat fifth with a single to left-center field and was doubled home by center fielder Cole Harting, giving UC their first lead of the contest. Two batters later, left fielder Wyatt Stapp laced a single through the right side, scoring Harting to push the lead to two.
After his first-inning hiccup, UC starter Zach Segal held the Pirates off the board through six innings, striking out six along the way.
Conner Linn relieved Segal to start the seventh, a move welcomed by the Pirates. After a ground out to start the inning, a walk and a wild pitch put a runner on second, catcher Seth Caddell doubled down the left-field line, cutting the lead in half.
Two batters later, a two-run home run by freshman Alec Malarewicz gave the Pirates a lead they would not relinquish.
In the second game of the weekend, the Pirate pitching reigned supreme, shutting out UC to claim a 7-0 victory. ECU starter Gavin Williams tossed 6.2 shutout innings, limiting the Bearcats to four hits while striking out 13. Carter Spivey followed in relief, retiring the final seven batters of the game to seal the win.
The Pirates pushed across the first runs of the game in the second, scoring two runs on two singles, a double and a squeeze bunt.
ECU added five more insurance runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
The Pirates secured a series victory with a 13-3 dismantling of the Bearcats in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader.
The Bearcats struck first on a two-run single by Powell and an RBI single by second baseman Jace Mercer in the second inning, giving them a 3-0 lead.
After ECU responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, they brought four runs home in the fourth, seven in the fifth and never looked back.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Pirates broke out the brooms with a 2-0 victory behind another dominant pitching performance.
Tyler Smith, Cam Colmore and C.J. Mayhue teamed up for the shutout, allowing just six hits while striking out eleven.
The Pirates scored the game’s only runs in the fifth on run-scoring singles by second baseman Connor Norby and Caddell.
The Bearcats will return home to host the University of Central Florida (12-16) for a four-game series this weekend.