Despite college basketball, and Mick Cronin news, taking ahold of the Cincinnati fandom, there is more going on with Cincinnati athletics, including Cincinnati Bearcats baseball. So, I wanted to take a quick look at this Cincinnati Bearcats baseball club and when you get down to it, you just have to be lost when looking at the results thus far. Cincinnati is sitting with a 9-11 record, heading into a three-game series with Xavier starting Thursday through Saturday.
If you look at this schedule as an outsider, you would think it has been a battle throughout the season when in reality, this team started 1-11. Cincinnati has been horrible in neutral site and away homes losing all but one game. As soon as the team got back to Marge Schott Stadium though, things began to click and the Bearcats haven't lost. This team has swept Canisius, Northwestern and a one game stand against Miami (OH). This has kept this team upbeat and allowed pitching to gain some much needed confidence heading into the rest of the non-conference schedule before beginning the daunting AAC schedule.
Cincinnati pitching and hitting have almost done a complete 180. In the first 11 games, UC gave up no less than three runs per game, making it hard for the offense to have any room for error. In the last eight games, pitching only gave up more than three runs three times. It can be very hard sometimes when you do not have a defense to count on. As a hitter, momentum and confidence play just as big of a role as pitch recognition. When there is pressure on you constantly, as an offense, production is almost certainly hindered. With everything being considered, this team is only six wins away from matching last year's win total.
We can only hope the team can keep doing what they are doing. With that being said, let's take a look at some of the young seasons stat lines.
Team leader is in bold followed by their stat line
Home runs: 14
Team leader: Woody Wallace (3)
Batting Average: (.244)
Team leader: Cam Alldred (.423 / over 10 AB)
Slugging percentage: (.385)
Team leader: Cam Alldred (.500 / over 10 AB)
Team leader: Andrew Zellner (2.51)
Team leader: Andrew Zellner, David Orndorff, A.J Kullman (2)
Innings Pitched: 176
Team leader: Andrew Zellner (32.1)
Giving up .250 batting average and a team ERA of 4.45 to other teams is not going to get it done in the AAC. If Cincinnati is to have any chance in contending for a conference title, pitching will need to improve. Hitting has not been too much of an issue, but always playing from behind will put this team in a tough spot throughout this season.
If this team can consistently improve, it provides UC the opportunity to gain much needed confidence to finish out the non-conference schedule and begin the daunting in-league play. Their AAC opener will be a three-game home series at Marge Schott Stadium against the University of Connecticut on April 8th.
You can find the full 2016 UC baseball schedule here.