Thursday, April 11, 2002

UC bats bash Xavier 12-1


Bearcats romp behind record nine doubles

By Shannon Russell srussell@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        What started as the Crosstown Slugout ended as a Crosstown Blowout when Cincinnati spoiled Xavier's homecoming in a 12-1 win at Hayden Field Wednesday afternoon.

        The Bearcats hit a school-record nine doubles by eight different players, finishing the day with 20 hits for their fifth win in the last six games against Xavier. Cincinnati leads the series 55-33-1.

        Cincinnati junior pitcher Rob Reel earned his first career victory. Reel entered the game 0-2 with an 8.28 ERA but pitched eight innings, allowing one earned run while striking out four.

        “It was nice to get it out of the way, especially playing against Xavier,” Reel said. “I didn't concentrate on us playing them, I just pitched the way I normally do. It got easier in the sixth inning when we were up 7-0.”

        The Bearcats broke open a 2-0 game with a five-run sixth inning. A Jameson Parker double sent Justin Neifer home. Parker then advanced home on a walk with the bases loaded.

        The biggest surprise of the day came when Bearcats senior Joe List stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and belted a double to right-center field for three RBI.

        The game was List's first college start as a designated hitter. Normally a left-handed pitcher, an injury to his left shoulder had kept him off the mound for nearly a year. He pinch hit twice in recent weeks but had batted only three times this season.

        “Pitching is mental, but hitting is fun. Today I just wanted to hit the ball hard,” said List, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI.

        Cincinnati coach Brian Cleary was pleasantly surprised by the barrage of hits, especially in light of recent offensive troubles. The Bearcats (13-18-1), who dropped 12 of their last 15 games before beating Xavier (16-15), were apprehensive about Xavier's 12 wins in its last 16 games.

        “We've struggled a little bit to score, but I feel like we've shown that we have the ability to hit the ball. Everyone contributed today,” Cleary said.

        Xavier coach John Morrey had planned on a three-pitcher rotation for the game, but defensive breakdowns forced him to use six. None pitched for more than two innings.

        Coming off a 10-inning, 6-5 Tuesday loss to Ball State, Morrey wanted to give several pitchers work before heading into this weekend's doubleheader with Atlantic-10 opponent LaSalle.

        “We were awfully uptight and didn't play well. Why, I wish I knew,” Morrey said. “We were trying to keep the game close, because it was obvious they were going to start scoring early.”

        Xavier junior Jarret Sues was the offensive bright spot, hitting a home run in the seventh inning.

        Chris Hamblen homered for Cincinnati.

        Cincinnati ....... 011 005 113—12 20 1

        Xavier ....... 000 000 100—1 8 1

        WP-Reel (1-2, 8 IP, 4K). LP-Crowley (1-4, 2 IP). Hitting leaders: UC-Parker 2-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI; Schutz 2B; Smith 2-5, 2B; List 3-4, 2B, 4 RBI; Brown 1-2, 2B, RBI; Fish 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Neifer 4-5, 2B; Hamblen 3-3, HR, RBI. XU-Sues HR, R B I. Records: Cincinnati 13-18-1, Xavier 16-15.

       



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