I do not like literal roller coasters. But figurative roller coasters in sports are usually a whole lot of fun. If you followed the Cincinnati Bearcats yesterday in the title game against the Miami-Ohio RedHawks, you needed to strap in and keep your hands and feet inside the ride. The Bearcats rallied from a five-run deficit, but let a ninth-inning lead slip away in a 9-8 loss.
The game started with two bangs, as Kyle Mottice homered in the first at-bat of the game and Manny Rodriguez followed with a solo shot of his own. But the lead did not last very long, Miami put two across in the bottom of the first, four in the second and another run in the third to take a 7-2 lead. UC starter Jalen Wade allowed six runs (four earned) over the first two innings and then Isaac Olson came in and allowed a run, but just one hit (and three walks) over three innings. Tanner Schimmoeller and AJ Kullman both had scoreless relief appearances, which allowed UC to get on the comeback train.
It was a slow buildup for the Bearcats, who got two runs in the fifth on a RBI single from Connor McVey and an RBI by hit by pitch from Dondrae Bremner. McVey then walked in a run the following inning, before two RBI singles and a sac fly in the seventh pushed UC ahead 8-7.
After so many loops, UC was hoping to stick the landing smoothly in the ninth, but a messy outing from Jarod Yoakam didn’t allow that. The UC leader in saves walked the first batter he faced, then got a groundout before blowing the save on a RBI double. He then walked back-to-back batters which allowed Miami to win on a fielder’s choice.
The loss wasted a strong day at the plate from Mottice, who went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. UC had as many hits as walks (10) but did leave 12 runners on base. Although both Mottice and Rodriguez were the leaders at the plate, they both committed an error as well.
The Bearcats had a four-game winning streak snapped in this letdown. They will need to bounce back quickly as a three-game road series against UCF is next. The first game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.