UC baseball upsets No. 1-ranked Louisville – Cincinnati Enquirer – Cincinnati.com
The University of Cincinnati baseball team upset No. 1-ranked Louisville 6-3 on Tuesday night at UC’s Marge Schott Stadium, before one of the biggest crowds in stadium history.
Freshman Nathan Kroger (Loveland, Ohio/Milford) made his first career start for the Bearcats to pick up the win, and junior David Orndorff (Pasadena, California/Pasadena Polytechnic) earned his third consecutive save for UC.
The win is considered the biggest in program history and is the first time the Bearcats have ever beaten the No. 1-ranked team. Louisville (19-1) had been the last undefeated team in the NCAA. It was the first time UC has beaten a top-10 team since April 2015, when the Bearcats beat No. 6 UCF twice in a three-game series at UC.
“It’s awesome,” UC coach Ty Neal said Wednesday. “It does everything for our program. Most importantly, it puts a little belief in what we’re doing, the strides we’re making program-wise and the talented players we’re bringing in.”
The Bearcats earned the win before a crowd of 1,709, the seventh-largest crowd to ever see a game at Marge Schott Stadium.
The Bearcats never trailed after opening the scoring in the first inning and adding a four-run second inning. Junior Kyle Mottice (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Jackson) led the offense with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Junior Joey Thomas (Mason, Ohio/Mason) and freshman Eric Santiago (Bethlehem, Pa./Notre Dame Green Pond) also added two hits.
Cincinnati improved to 10-9 on the season.
U of L starting pitcher Michael McAvene (1-1) took the loss.
Senior R.J. Thompson (Mason, Ohio/Mason) tied a career high with three walks in the game, and added a hit and a run scored.
Redshirt junior Connor McVey (Mason, Ohio/Mason) scored a game-high two runs with a hit and an RBI.
Regular weekend starting pitchers Andrew Zellner (Farmersville, Ohio/Valley View), J.T. Perez (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) and Orndorff all pitched an inning of relief from the bullpen to lock down the victory for the Bearcats.
“It’s a nice program win for us,” Neal said. “It just supports that we’re doing things the right way, in our endeavors to build this program.”
UC went 26-30-1 last season under Neal, who is in his fourth year as head coach.
It was UC’s first game vs. the top-ranked team in since the opening weekend of the 2006 season, when it lost three games at No. 1 Florida. It was also the first UC win over Louisville for the Bearcats since a 5-2 decision on April 10, 2011 at UC.After going 18-7 at home last season, the Bearcats have opened play at Marge Schott Stadium with a 6-1 record and wins over Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Northeastern (twice).