Bearcats Sweep Cleveland State

The Bearcats once again blew out the Cleveland State Vikings on Sunday by a 9-3 score and swept the series. The three wins put the squad over the .500 mark for the first time this season with an 8-7 record. Bearcat Insider has the highlights and comments from Coach Cleary.

Just like last season, the Cleveland State Vikings were swept at Marge Schott Stadium. Sunday's game saw both teams go deep into their bullpens using a half dozen pitchers each. Here are some of Sunday's highlights and comments from Coach Cleary.

-It's tough picking the "Offensive Star of the Game" although three Bearcats had two hits (Josh Harrison, Neall French, and Brian Szarmach). The Bearcats had a number of chances to turn the game into an early route but were unable to get the big inning. Ultimately, Neall French had the best day at the plate going 2 for 3 with a couple doubles, two RBI and a base on balls.

-The "Defensive Play of the Game" came in the top of the 8th inning as the Vikings had the bases loaded. Robb Thompson of Elder was the Bearcat pitcher trying to protect a 6 run lead when Tony Campana ran down a long drive in the left centerfield alley preventing an extra base hit that would plated three runs and left the Cleveland State hitter in scoring position. Coach Cleary commented on the defensive gem. "People don't realize what a big play that was. I didn't think Campana was going to get there. He had to go a long way. That's something that looks like only an out in the box score, but it was indeed a game changing play. As long as we play here, we're going to have to have a guy like that out there. Most of the time that would go for a double, but it's not against us with him (Campana) out there. Guys like him are hard to find, and we're always going to need one."

-Adam Calez (P/OF) continued to pile up the strikeouts today. The Bearcat lefthander came into the game with 6 strikeouts in 3 innings of work. Calez entered Sunday's game in the 3rd inning and recorded another 4 strikeouts in his 3 innings of relief work giving him 10 strikeouts in 6 innings for the season. Coach Cleary talked about his strikeout specialist. "I think he's been very, very effective here lately. I've long felt he's got an electric arm and some movement. The ball jumps out of his hand, and he's got a breaking ball that's very good. He's just now trying to harness all that. He's gaining confidence. If he can keep moving forward, certainly he's a guy we can run in and get a few lefties out, but he's been effective even against the righties."

-Cincinnati again played a strong defensive game with only one error. That miscue was a routine ball in the 7th inning to shortstop Adam Yeager that resulted in a Cleveland State run. Coach Cleary spoke about the mistake. "We're always shooting for zero errors, but errors will happen. We have not played as well defensively this year as has been our history. But in Yeager's case that error was unacceptable because it was a lack of focus. He made some difficult plays look a little bit routine, but even at the end of the game, not coming to get the ball was just a lack of focus. That error forces Buscemi to stay out there longer, and gives them a runner they didn't earn, and they get a run out of it. We need to make routine plays."

-Bearcat transfer, John Baird, was the starting pitcher but left the game after throwing two innings of no hit baseball. Coach Cleary explained why Baird left the game so early. "We looked more at the number of pitches he threw. He had tweaked his elbow going back to last fall. Because of how talented he is, we've been really cautious. He threw last weekend and again this weekend. He didn't have a breaking ball that was good today so realistically I'm not sure how much longer he could have lasted with just a fast ball. We had committed to 40 pitches today, and I think he had 36 or 38 so it made sense to stop after the 2nd inning."

-It will not show up in the box score, but Josh Harrison's speed played a major role in the Bearcats getting 3 runs in the 4th inning. Harrison hit a slow roller that squeezed past the pitcher. The Viking 2nd baseman had to hurry his throw and sent it into the Cleveland State dugout. The result of the error was a run scoring for the Bearcats while putting Harrison and a teammate in scoring position. Both scored later in the inning to give UC a 5-0 lead.

-Cameron Satterwhite went 1 for 3 in the game and 6 for 11 for the series. Satterwhite raised his average 63 points from .239 to .302 over the weekend.

-The Bearcats have no mid-week games this week due to having final exams, but the Bearcats will play a three game series against Chicago State next weekend in Marge Schott Stadium. Coach Cleary talked about the schedule and their next opponent. "We don't schedule games during exam week. This is a good two day break for our players, and Brad and I get a chance to go out and recruit." As far as Chicago State goes, "I don't know if they've won yet, but they've played a good schedule. We've never played them before, but they called us and asked for the games. I think we'll be more talented than they are, but I don't know if a baseball team has ever gone 0-56 so they're going to beat somebody. We just have to make sure it's not us."

-Cleveland State was very charitable Sunday giving the Bearcats 8 bases on balls, 3 errors, and 3 hits batsmen. Also, Tony Campana picked up his 20th steal of the season. The next closest Bearcat is John Harrison with 9 swipes.

-Sunday's game drew 408 fans.

-The starting pitchers in order for next weekend's games are Steve Blevins, Dan Osterbrock and East Carolina transfer Michael Hill. Later in the week, Bearcat Insider will have a story on Cincinnati's ace pitcher Steve Blevins.

For more Bearcat baseball coverage, visit where Shawn Sell has all the facts and statistics you could possibly want along with an inning-by-inning account of Sunday's game, comments from Coach Cleary and the box score.

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