The first weekend is complete, and the Bearcats have some work to do. Their first series of the year was at Florida Atlantic, a team who finished last year with a 43-19-1 record while making the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats were no match for the Owls, getting swept in the three-game series. Cinci was able to score only 10 runs the whole weekend, while giving up 22 total runs.
Game 1: FAU wins 9-0
The Bearcats’ offense had nothing going in game 1, managing only six baserunners and only getting two runners in scoring position. It was just one of those nights where the Owls’ starters had it going. Blake Sanderson threw six innings and gave up four hits with five punch-outs to go along with one walk. While A.J. Kullman started his season off on a bad foot, going only 2.2 innings and giving up eight runs. Kullman put the Bearcats down big and early. The Owls just dominated this one from the beginning.
Game 2: FAU wins 8-7 in 11 innings
Game 2 was a much better game than the first one. The Bearcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the third on a 2-run single by Wyatt Stapp. They eventually stretched that lead to 6-2 in the top of the sixth before giving up five runs and the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Joey Weimer came up to the plate in the top of the eighth with a runner on second and one out. He singled to right center and Mercer scored to tie the game. Neither team scored again until the bottom of the 11th, when Owls’ right-fielder Bobby Morgensen doubled to right field, scoring Wilfredo Alvarez from second and giving the Owls the win. Both starters didn’t make it more than five innings but still gave good efforts. Bearcats starter, Nathan Kroger, went 4.2 innings with 2 strikeouts and only allowed two runs. Owls’ starter, Ryan Sandberg, battled with Kroger as he went 4.1 innings with three Ks and surrendered three runs. The Owls took this game and won the series with the win.
Game 3: FAU wins 5-3
Much like game two, the Bearcats jumped out to an early lead. They led 3-0 after the top of the fifth, scoring on a solo homer by Jeremy Johnson and a two-run homer by Jace Mercer. The lead disappeared, however, in the bottom half of the fifth when the Owls scored four runs. They would add a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth. The Bearcats threatened in the top of the ninth with two guys on and a chance to take the lead, but Mitch Holding couldn’t come through, and the Owls took the sweep.
Player of the Series:
Johnson slashed .364/.500/.636 through the three games and smashed the first Bearcats’ dinger of the season. Jeremy also swiped two bags on two attempts while committing no errors and even picking up an assist from Center.
Up Next for the Bearcats:
Cincinnati travels to Houston, Texas, to take on Houston Baptist University. The Huskies come into this week 2-2 on the year. This is a prime opportunity for the Bearcats to get a groove and maybe even get back to .500 on the year. Cincinnati is going with the same rotation as last week, with Kullman starting Friday, Kroger on Saturday, and Schoenle on Sunday. This tough stretch of 10 road games to start the season is going to really test this team, but in the end, it could make them a much better team.