If you only watched one game from the Cincinnati Bearcats this past weekend, there is a one in three chance you watched the Bearcats dominate. However, there is also a two in three chance you saw them get absolutely crushed by the Tulane Green Wave. In all it was a mostly disappointing weekend series, the second on the American Athletic Conference schedule for UC, which is now 15-16 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Game One - Tulane 16, Cincinnati 8
Something might be wrong with Andrew Zellner. After struggling against Memphis a week prior, the right-hander only got one out before being yanked this past Friday. He allowed five earned runs on four hits and exited quickly before Jarod Yoakam came in to let up another three before the top of the first inning came to a close. Zellner’s ERA ballooned to 5.49 following the disastrous outing, while Yoakam’s effectiveness this year means his ERA was still at a strong 2.84 (now 2.73 following the series). Reese Robinson pitched two scoreless innings of relief, and the Bearcats were down 8-3, but Tristan Hammans then came in and was left out there to just mp things up, as he allowed eight runs in the final six frames.
The disaster on the mound wasn’t matched by struggles from the offense. The Bearcats had 15 hits in 39 at-bats and finished with as many runs (eight) as strikeouts (eight). However, they left 11 runners on base. Now, LOBs are going to happen every game and even if they took advantage of half of those chances, they still would have lost, but it was still a striking statistic, especially when Tulane only had five.
Ryan Noda went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI to lead the offense from the cleanup spot and Connor McVey, Manny Rodriguez and Treg Haberkorn each had two hits as well.
Game 2 - Tulane 6, Cincinnati 2
This was more of a standard baseball score rather than the football game that broke out on Friday. Tulane’s J.P. France handcuffed the Bearcats’ lineup and J.T. Perez had some issues, especially in the second inning when he gave up three of his five earned runs. The lefty only went 4 1⁄3 innings before being pulled for A.J. Kullman, who was solid in relief. Meanwhile, France allowed just one run over seven innings.
Noda had another two-hit game at first base, with one of those hits landing over the fence for his fifth home run of the campaign. Haberkorn also had two hits and homered in the losing effort.
Game 3 - Cincinnati 11, Tulane 1
The script flipped on Sunday and the Bearcats turned Tulane into mush. David Orndorff returned to the rotation and did exceptionally well, tossing six innings of one-run ball to earn his second win of the season and keep his ERA below 3.00. A.J. Bumpass was the offensive star of the blowout, going 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Jace Mercer and Rodriguez each drove in two runs. What’s even more stunning is that Cincinnati left 11 runners on base in the 10-run victory.
Series MVP - Ryan Noda
Although Noda didn’t get a hit in the blowout, he still walked twice on Sunday afternoon and scored twice. That was after he was easily the hottest bat in the lineup in the first two games of the series. Noda is now slashing a solid .284/.447/.557 for the season and has a team-high five home runs, not to mention nine doubles, 21 walks and four stolen bases while playing a perfect first base.
An in-state matchup is on the horizon tomorrow evening, as the Bearcats will do the tango with Ohio State in Columbus before a road series against USF.