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Bearcats Begin Quest for AAC Title

2:15 PM, May 23, 2016
Article by Jacob Geiser

We checked in on the Bearcats and Bobcats baseball teams last week. The Bobcats didn't make the cut for the MAC Baseball tournament which is shocking. I didn't know you had to have a certain record for the MAC tourney. All that means is I'll spend more time on the Bearcats.

Cincinnati wrapped up its season series finale vs. Memphis winning the series 2-1. They won the first game 4-2 in extra innings, lost the second one 3-5, and won the rubber match 4-3 in 10 innings. The Bearcats had another weekend of solid weekend on the diamond. For the first time since 2011, the Bearcats finished conference play above .500 (13-10-1). The Bearcats got the #4 seed in the AAC Baseball tournament after being picked to finish dead last. The baseball program; no matter the outcome can chalk the season up as a big step forward. Last year the highlight was Ian Happ, this season is the resiliency of a young team. They started the year 1-11, rattled off 10 straight wins to get to .500 and they didn't look back. Kudos to Ty Neal and his boys.

Now onto the tournament. The Bearcats draw is okay. If they got the #3 seed they would've faced off with Memphis which would've been a more favorable draw compared to getting Houston. The Cougars finished 11-12 in AAC play, and 36-22 overall. The Bearcats were 13-10-1 in the American, while finishing 26-28-1. The Bearcats side of the bracket features #1 seed Tulane who is 37-17 (15-7) and ranked #14 overall in the nation. 

The other side has #2 seed East Carolina squaring off with #7 USF. The Huskies will take on #6 seeded Memphis. I expect East Carolina to come out of the bottom portion of the bracket. They won the season series vs. UConn going 5-1 in games against the Huskies. 

As for our beloved Bearcats, they have a decent shot of making a little run. The whole tournament is double elimination. In this ThingLink I break down each game more in depth. BSN is all about Thing Link. We will break down the second round once we get some results. As for the first game, I would expect either Andrew Zellner or J.T Perez to throw in that game. Zellner has been the Cats Ace all year, but Perez pitched a shutout in the only win the Bearcats have against Houston this season. You can't go wrong throwing those two or even David Orndorff. I like Andrew Zellner on the mound in game one vs. Houston. If the Bearcats lose they aren't eliminated from winning the tournament. It is a double elimination tournament so the Bearcats can make some noise even with a loss in the first round game. But, we still would prefer a first round victory over the Cougars. 

In the top portion of the bracket the favorite to come out has to be Tulane. Tulane has only had trouble with one team in that side of the bracket. The Bearcats. Tulane has won the season series' vs. Houston and UCF but not the Cats. I can't wait to see how the tournament plays out for the Bearcats. All games will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Stay tuned for game previews for the Bearcats throughout the tournament.
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