A.J. Bumpass went 1-for-2 with a home run and three RBI and the rest of the lineup also produced plenty of runs, as the Cincinnati Bearcats secured a place in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship with a 10-6 victory over the UCF Knights.
Bumpass’ two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning put the Bearcats (29-29) ahead 6-5, helping them overcome a 5-2 deficit. After scoring two runs in the top of the second, the Bearcats fell behind by three runs after starter Evan Shawver surrendered four runs and reliever A.J. Kullman let up one of his own in the fourth. Wyatt Stapp started the rally with a two-run home run in the fifth and the Bearcats tacked on six more runs from there, which was more than enough to hold off the Knights.
UC went 14-for-38 as a team with five walks and four extra-base hits. Five different players had multi-hit games, including Joey Bellini (2-for-5), Stapp (2-for-4), Joey Wiemer (2-for-4), Cole Murphy (2-for-5) and Jeremy Johnson (3-for-4).
On the pitching side, after a rough beginning to his outing, Kullman was very effective, finishing with four strikeouts and just one run allowed in 2 2⁄3 innings. Nick Murray nearly closed the game from there, but after 2 2⁄3 innings of solid work, he gave up a run in the ninth and Korren Thompson was brought in to get the final out of the game.
The second-seeded Bearcats will now advance to Sunday’s championship round against the No. 4 seed UConn Huskies.