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UC Baseball on a Roll

3:30 PM, March 31, 2016
Aritcle by Jacob Geiser

Remember last year when I told you that Bearcat baseball was one the rise?  Well, that rise may be coming quicker than I even thought. The Bearcats started off the year 1-11, playing tough SEC teams such as LSU, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Ole Miss. Well, they have won 11 of their last 12 games. Now they sit at 12-12 (.500) heading into American Conference play.

This is the first time since 2010 that the baseball team has gone into conference play at, or above a .500 winning percentage. Head Coach Ty Neal is in his 3rd season at the helm and is seeing some results from overhauling the program. He is doing this with a very young team. Last year he had 22 freshmen on his team. This year his team is comprised of mainly freshmen and sophomores.

They open conference play with a 3 game series vs. USF. First game is Friday, 6 P.M at Marge Schott Stadium. The Bearcats are 10-0 at home this season, 2-7 on the road, and 0-5 on neutral fields.

The Bearcats have made strides defensively this year. According to an interview with Ty Neal, he told that this is his best defensive team in 3 years at UC. Most would expect a young team to struggle in certain statistical categories. However, the Bearcats are near the top in the AAC in most categories.

McVey in a game vs. LSU 
Picture via @GoBearcatsBASE 
The streak the Bearcats were on ended with a loss against Xavier on March 26th. Before that loss, the Bearcats were 10-0 and were outscoring opponents 62-26, an impressive stat for a young team. The leading hitter for the team is freshmen Connor McVey (Mason, OH). McVey, as of their last game is on a 20 game hitting streak. "Death. Taxes. and Connor McVey hits." ~ @BearcatsRuckus. McVey is batting .356 on the year heading into conference play. (add 3 HR's, 12 RBI's and 15 stolen bases) The guy is a machine on the diamond. Treg Haberkorn (So), Ryan Noda (So), and Manny Rodriguez (So) are batting above .260 through 24 games.

Picture via Twitter.
When it comes to pitching, junior Andrew Zellner has the best ERA given the amount of innings he has thrown so far. Zellner leads the team in innings pitched with a 2.06 ERA. He has a 3-1 record and has one complete game under his belt. He has 30 strikeouts , and opponents are batting .196 against him. A.J Olasz (So) has been on a roll as of late. Olasz boasts a 2.14 ERA and has 16 K's on the year.

The Bearcats will look to continue the success in the past 12 games against USF. If they play the baseball they have been playing, who knows maybe the Bearcats could make a run to the postseason. It is still very early in the year. They are in the middle of the pack in the conference which is a nice starting spot for a potential run. I don't think this is the last time the BSN staff, or myself will be talking about Bearcats baseball. Who knows, we may be witnessing the Bearcats finally turn the corner.