Bearcats Prepare For Undefeated Wildcats

The Bearcat baseball team travels to Lexington, Kentucky this Wednesday to take on the undefeated Wildcats with a 4 o'clock first pitch.

The Cincinnati Bearcat baseball team returns to the site of one of its best victories last season when they travel to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the #18 ranked Kentucky Wildcats at Cliff Hagan Stadium. A little more than a year ago, the Bearcats (4-5) upset the Wildcats (6-1) on their home field. The Wildcats lost only three other regular season games at home in 2006 on their way to winning an SEC title (44-17) and making an NCAA regional tournament appearance.

On March 1, 2006, the Bearcats jumped out to a big lead and hung on for the 10-9 victory. Cincinnati was lead by Josh Harrison (4-5), LaFringe Hayes (3-4), Jack Nelson (3-5), Mark Muscenti (2-4) and Jon DeLuca (2-5). Only Harrison returns this season for UC. The Bearcats will hope for a better pitching performance than last year when they sent 7 pitchers to the mound. All but Steve Blevins gave up at least a run, and Blevins pitched only .1 of an inning giving up a hit and a walk.

The Wildcats are a perfect 12-0 this year and have won 21 straight regular season games at Cliff Hagan Stadium dating back to last season. This season the composite record of Kentucky's opponents is 16-40, and only the Furman series was played on the road. Still, the Wildcats boast a potent offense with a .333 team batting average to go with solid defense and strong pitching. The Wildcats have committed 15 errors in 12 games and have given up only 24 bases on balls. Conversely, the Bearcats have had 18 miscues in 11 games to go with 53 free passes. The Bearcats' team batting average is 76 points lower than UK at .257, but the new Cincinnati running game might be able to cause the Wildcats some problems. The Bearcats have stolen 35 of 40 bases this season with Tony Campana leading the way with 18 swipes. Kentucky has not thrown out a runner this year although only 8 have dared to run since Kentucky has had big leads in most of its games.

Most of the major college baseball polls will be released later tonight, but Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has the Wildcats ranked #18 in the country so the Bearcats should have their hands full.

Bearcat Insider hopes to speak with Tony Campana after the game and have a story about the outstanding transfer in the next couple days.


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