CLEARWATER, Fla. – It was a big game in the University of Cincinnati baseball team’s American Athletic Conference Tournament opening on Tuesday, and the No. 4 Bearcats saw their comeback bid fall just short in a 14-10 loss to No. 5 UCF at BayCare Ballpark.
Cincinnati (29-25) got a couple of home runs from Paul Komistek and the Bearcats scored double-digit runs and belt with double-digit hits for the fifth straight game, but the Knights (29-28) ran nine runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to complete a four-run comeback and advance to the winning bracket.
Komistek had the first home run game of his career and finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
On the way into the eighth round, UC led 8-4 after Komistek’s first home run of the day on the seventh. In the middle of the frame, UCF led 13-8 after marking the Bearcats in nine races by three different pitchers, including a three-run shot from Jordan Rathbone. On the day, UCF got seven hits and seven runs scored from the top three players in the lineup.
Komistek hit their second homer in the game, a two-run shot to the deepest part of the stadium to pull things back to 13-10.
UC loaded the bases on the ninth, but failed to push anyone over and ended up stranding a total of 13 runners on the day.
Appetizer Garrett schoenle went five innings for the Bearcats, threw 98 spots and knocked out seven. He gave up four runs on five hits in the no-decision. Beau Keathley was first out of the pen and sat down six knights in a row before he got into trouble in the eighth. Dean McCarthy took the loss and fell to 4-4 on the season. Zack Bennett (2-2) got the victory for UCF.
The Bearcats fought from behind in the beginning, scoring two in the first on an RBI boundary from Eric Santiago who scored Cole harting and an RBI single from Komistek that allowed Bellini to return home.
Schoenle ran into some trouble with two outs in the second, putting two on, giving up an RBI single to Andrew Brait and a base clearing double to Gephry Pena who made the score 4-2 in favor of the Knights.
UC added five in the fourth, and jumped out to a 7-4 lead. Wyatt step RBI single with two on the score Ryan Nicholson and Joe Powell followed with a walk in front of another RBI single by Harting who scored Griffin Merritt and loaded the bases. Stapp was thrown out at home after a fieldman chose Jace mercer. Bellini, Santiago and Komistek drew three-straight to score Powell, Harting and Mercer to cut the big game.
The Bearcats will play an elimination game at 3pm ET at BayCare Ballpark on Thursday against the loser of the game between No. 1 East Carolina and No. 8 Memphis. The game is broadcast on ESPN + with live statistics available on BearcatStats.com.
Wednesday 26 May • 15.00 ET (BayCare Ballpark)
Nr. 4 Cincinnati vs. TBA
Visit AAC’s Championship Center for complete tournament information.
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