The Bearcats owned a 19-2 series record against Cleveland State going into Friday's opener of the three game weekend series, and when the dust settled early Friday evening, the Bearcats had upped there victory total to an even 20 wins after the 8-0 shutout of the Vikings. Shawn Sell and goBearcats.com do a great job of providing game coverage so Bearcat Insider will focus on some of the highlights.
-The Bearcat hitting star was Cameron Satterwhite. The
-After a couple of three run home runs Wednesday night at Kentucky, Neall French kept the hot bat working in the home half of the first inning as he doubled home Josh Harrison, who also doubled, with a line shot off the right center field fence. It was too much of a line drive to get over the fence.
-The "Defensive Play of the Game" for the Bearcats came in the top of the
4th inning on a slow roller on the left side of the infield.
-Michael Earley was the victim of the "Bad Break of the Game" for UC. The Bearcat third baseman hit an absolute rocket up the middle that caromed off the pitcher's leg or foot right to the Viking third baseman, who tagged out Cameron Satterwhite as he tried to advance. Earley was 1 for 3 at the plate and could have used that extra hit.
-We've heard it said many times, "Walks haunt." It was true once again last night as Vikings ace Stephen Procner started the bottom of the 6th inning by walking Michael Earley. Procner followed that mistake with a throwing error that should have been a double play. Five runs later, Procner was gone, and the Bearcats had taken a commanding 6-0 lead.
-Viking relief pitcher Jason Bratnicki did his best imitation of
ex-Pittsburgh Pirate and
-Tony Campana picked up his 19th stolen base and was doubled up at home trying to tag up from second base to score. Coach Cleary was waving the Springboro speedster to the plate and discussed the move afterward. "I sent him, and he did a great job of going hard from the bag. In retrospect, I don't know how smart of a play it was although we forced them to catch it and throw it twice which they did. Not crazy about giving them two outs in one play. If it works, it's a great move. If it doesn't work, it's not a great move."
-Bearcat pitcher Sean Munninghoff from
-Bearcat ace pitcher, Steve Blevins, pitched a masterful game going 8 innings giving up only 4 hits and no runs. Blevins threw 104 pitches, but Coach Cleary said Steve wasn't on a pitch count. "No. We're at the point now in the season where he could have continued to go. Once we got the lead, I thought it made sense to get him out of there and give somebody else an inning. He could have finished the game."
Coach Cleary's overall impressions of the opener: "I thought we did a really good job of playing from the start of the game. That pitcher (Procher 2.95 ERA), if you look at his numbers, has not given up much offense. We had some chances. Earley hit the ball up the middle and it turned into an out. We had some opportunities to score but couldn't quite break it open. I thought we did a good job of sticking with it, having good at bats and found a way to get him out of the game and broke the game open."
Coach Cleary's comments about Steve Blevins pitching 8 strong innings for the Bearcats and setting up the staff for the remainder of the series. "There are so many dynamics that go into a three game series. When you can get Blevins to go out and do what he did today, it certainly makes things a lot easier."