Bearcats Win Chicago State Opener

The Bearcats made it look tougher than expected, but UC managed to win its opening game with Chicago State. Bearcat Insider has the highlights and comments from Coach Cleary.

The Bearcat baseball team extended its win streak to four games after Friday night's victory over winless Chicago State (0-16), but it wasn't as easy as expected.  Bearcat Insider has the latest with comments form Coach Cleary.


-The "new" student section debuted, but there were only four Cincinnati students that braved the weather, and they managed to stay for only part of the game.  In all fairness to them, it was a very cool afternoon.


-Although people have reported that Marge Schott Stadium is now selling beer, that is not the case.  When workers at the concession stand were asked about beer sales, they replied that the "higher ups" had not yet given the okay to sell beer.


-The "Defensive Player of the Game" was Bearcat shortstop Adam Yeager.  He was absolutely outstanding making two spectacular plays on shots hit up the middle to rob Chicago State players of base hits.


-Chicago State didn't have a base hit off Steve Blevins until the 4th inning.


-Milford High School's Kyle Rapp was Friday's designated hitter and responded with a double and RBI.  Kyle also scored a run.


-The "Offensive Play of the Game" came in the bottom of the 4th inning and was a direct result of speed.  Adam Yeager drove in UC's 3rd run when he legged out a base hit on a ball hit in the hole at shortstop.  The Chicago State infielder managed to field the ball but was unable to get speedy Yeager at 1st base. 


-Freshman Michael Earley had a couple of big plays.  In the top of the 5th inning, Michael barehanded a slow roller to nail the Chicago State leadoff hitter at first base.  Later Earley hit his second home run of the year, a run that proved to be the winning run.  This kid has a chance to be an outstanding player at Cincinnati.  Coach Cleary spoke about his true freshman infielder.  "The unfortunate part about him is he missed some time with that hand injury, but he's back and healthy and gaining experience.  I think he has a chance to be a very good player.  He's a tough kid and a competitor.  The home run turned out to be a very big play and the difference for us."


-Steve Blevins threw 113 total pitches and 77 for strikes in seven innings of work.  Billy Welsh came on in relief to get his 3rd save.  The Bearcat pitchers did not walk a batter in the game.  Coach Cleary talked about the defense.  "I thought we played good defense with an exception of the one ball that kind of snuck through (Neall) French.  Yeager probably saved us some runs with the way he played short today.  He really played it well.  The defense was good."  Coach Cleary also talked about his pitchers throwing in cold weather.  "Of all the guys out there, the easiest to keep warm is the pitcher.  I don't think we'd keep someone out there for 135 pitches, but if you look at how we take care of our starters, we are sensible and cautious.  We don't bring them back in the middle of the week and try to sneak an inning of relief out of them.  For a guy throwing once a week, it doesn't concern me.  I get more concerned for a guy throwing 40 pitches one day and trying to bring him back for 20 the next."  Billy Welsh, who got his 3rd save Fridat night, could return in the weekend series.  "We probably wouldn't use him all three days and probably wouldn't use him tomorrow unless we had to.  When we get to the park tomorrow, I'll ask the guys that are questionable."


-Josh Harrison also had a nice defensive play.  In the 9th inning, Harrison went into the hole between first and second to smother a ball and get the second out of the final inning.


-Bearcat Insider also spoke to Coach Cleary about recruiting and will have a story later in the week.  We also spoke to Josh Harrison and will have a feature about Josh later this weekend.


The Bearcats will play the 2nd game of the three game series at 4 o'clock tomorrow (Saturday) at Marge Schott Stadium.


-Attendance was only 131 and didn't seem even that strong.     

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