For the second (but not last) time this season, the Cincinnati Bearcats will play the Wright State Raiders in a game of baseball on Tuesday evening. The Bearcats will play host this time after the Raiders claimed a 14-8 victory in the first meeting of the season at Nischwitz Stadium on March 15.
Matchup: Wright State Raiders (15-19, 6-3 Horizon) at Cincinnati Bearcats (12-13, 3-3 AAC)
Location: Marge Schott Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio
Series History: With its win earlier this season, Wright State improved to 43-38-1 all-time when facing the Bearcats. However, UC did sweep the season series a year ago. These teams will meet up once more a week from today as part of the Joe Nuxhall Classic.
Game One - Tuesday April 3 6 p.m. A.J. Kullman (1-1, 4.70 ERA) vs. Jason Foster (1-1, 2.25 ERA)
Who are the Wright State Raiders?
Here’s a piece of trivia for you. The last time the Bearcats played on a weekday was against the Raiders. The two scheduled weekday games after the March 15 bout were cancelled (Miami-Ohio) and postponed (Louisville). Hopefully the Bearcats have gotten over their miscue issues from the first meeting with the Raiders when they 14 runs, of which seven were earned. Even with the poor defense, starter A.J. Kullman did himself no favors allowing eight hits and seven runs (five earned) across two innings of work. Five other pitchers got time on the mound in the loss and you can expect another bullpen game this time around.
But what about the Radiers? Just who are they? Well, they are a team that is coming off a 2-1 series win over Northern Kentucky this past weekend, but they also have lost three of their last five games. They have a couple good hitters, with first baseman Gabe Snyder (.303/.388/.596) the most dangerous thanks to his six home runs and team-high 59 total bases. He has also walked (12) more than he has struck out (11). Snyder went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the previous meeting with UC. Right fielder Peyton Burdick (.366/.465/.525) is another patient and effective hitter as is left fielder J.D. Orr (.403/.496/.525).
Wright State does not have as many elite arms, especially in its starting rotation, but Jason Foster has a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings, with one start to his name. That start came last Tuesday against Xavier and Foster was pretty good. The right-hander allowed just one run on three hits and two walks across five innings. Even if he finds such success again, expect the Raiders to “raid” the bullpen on Tuesday. Nailed it.
Kullman has a 4.70 ERA this season and, assuming he gets the start, he’ll be tasked with finding more figuring out Wright State better than he did in March. There is evidence to believe he can do that, although he will need help from his bullpen mates to get a win. If you take away Kullman’s start against Wright State, he has a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings. Ideally Kullman and the staff will be more on that track, which has been the key to a recent strong run for the Bearcats, who have a 0.50 ERA in their last four games. If they can throw strikes and avoid Snyder’s power stroke, the Bearcats should be able to claim a weekday win.
Cincinnati 6 Wright State 4