For any person that played Little League baseball, or organized baseball of any kind, you’ve heard the phrase “A walk is as good as a hit.” The Cincinnati Bearcats took that to heart yesterday, as they breezed by the Wright State Raiders 11-1 in the first round of the Joe Nuxhall Classic.
The Bearcats (16-14) scored six runs via walks with the bases loaded, including four in the eighth inning alone. As a team, UC took 14 free passes, including two apiece for Joey Thomas, Manny Rodriguez, AJ Bumpass, Dondrae Bremner, Jace Mercer and Treg Haberkorn. Rodriguez also add two hits and Kyle Mottice, despite walking only once, drove in three runs and scored three himself. Added to the incredible number of walks they were handed, the Bearcats also scored 11 runs with only two extra-base hits, both doubles off the bat of Rodriguez.
On the pitching side, the Bearcats had some control issues of their own. The difference was they gave up very few hits and locked things up when the chips were down. Starter AJ Olasz only lasted 3 1⁄3 innings because he walked six batters and hit two more, but he gave up just one hit and zero runs. Tristan Hammans came in for the next 3 2⁄3 innings, and allowed the lone run, while striking out three and walking two. Clayton Colvin did not allow a free pass in two scoreless innings to close out the contest.
Cincinnati has now advanced to the title game of the Joe Nuxhall Classic where it will play event host Miami-Ohio, which scored five runs in the last three innings to walk it off against Xavier on Tuesday. First pitch is today at 6 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.