Baseball Hosts Houston for Three AAC Games


CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team hops right back into conference play this weekend as it takes on the Houston Cougars for a three-game set at UC Baseball Stadium. The series will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, continue at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and conclude on Sunday at noon.

The games will be streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will be available at BearcatStats.com.

CINCINNATI

2022 Record: 11-16, 1-2 AAC

Head Coach: Scott Googins

Record at UC: 106-109 (5th)

Career Record: 447-466 (17th)

 

HOUSTON

2022 Record: 20-9, 2-1 AAC

Head Coach: Todd Whitting

School Record: 365-272-1(12th)

Career Record: Same

PITCHING MATCHUP

FRIDAY, APRIL 8

5 p.m. • ESPN+

LHP Conner Linn vs. RHP Jaycob Deese

SATURDAY, APRIL 9

4 p.m. • ESPN+

RHP Beau Keathley vs. RHP Nathan Medrano

SUNDAY, APRIL 10

12 p.m. • ESPN+

TBD vs. RHP Derrick Cherry

SERIES BUSINESS

UC trails in the all-time series against Houston, 14-38-1. The Bearcats have won six of the last nine matchups.

SETTING THE STAGE

  • UC is fresh off a win at home against Wright State Wednesday. The Bearcats went 1-2 last weekend against ECU.
  • Houston is having a terrific year so far and is riding a three-game win streak. The Cougars have won five of their last six games. 

ABOUT THE BEARCATS

  • The Bearcats average 7.1 runs per game, which ranks third in the American Athletic Conference and is only 0.2 off the leader USF (7.3).
  • The Bearcats have two players in the top-3 in home runs in the conference. Griffin Merritt ranks second with nine and Ryan Nicholson is on his heels with eight of his own. Paul Komistek’s 42 hits also lead the conference.
  • Cincinnati currently has four starters with five or more home runs – Merritt (9), Nicholson (8), Komistek (5) and Joe Powell (5). Those four alone have accounted for over 46% of the team’s RBIs and 66% of the home runs. 
  • Merritt (1.162), Komistek (1.098) and Powell (1.269) each have over a 1.000 OPS, and Komistek (.400) and Powell’s (.375)  batting averages rank second and fifth in the AAC, respectively. 
  • As a team, UC has hit 41 homers and 1.52 homers per game, both of which are best in the conference and in the top-34 nationally.  The team also leads the AAC in batting average (.284) and slugging percentage (.493). 

ELITE OFFENSE

  • The Bearcats rank 34th in the nation with 41 homers and 28th in homers per game (1.52), both of which are tops in the AAC. 
  • In the conference, UC leads in slugging % (.493), is third in runs scored per game (7.1), first in batting average (.284) and first in total bases (453). Its .378 on-base percentage is good for third in the AAC.
  • Joe Powell (.781) and Griffin Merritt (.750) rank first and third, respectively, in the AAC in slugging percentage. Those numbers are good for 20th and 38th in the country.

LINNSANITY

  • Sophomore pitcher Conner Linn has been great for the Bearcats this year, pitching to a 2.20 ERA through three starts.
  • Linn has put together a trio of starts that includes two quality starts against Northwestern and East Carolina. His other start was against Wofford on March 15 when he tossed four shutout innings.
  • In his latest start against the reigning regular-season AAC champion East Carolina Pirates, the left-hander went six innings and gave up only one run while striking out four.
  • His start against Northwestern on March 5 was his first-ever start, and it looks like he’ll have plenty more.

HOME COOKING

  • UC won its first home game against Ohio State, 5-4. That marks the sixth-straight year it has won its home opener.
  • Cincinnati followed that up by winning three of four against Northwestern, starting the year 4-1 at home.
  • The Bearcats have a 293-184 (.613) all-time record at UC Baseball Stadium and have only had three seasons with a .500 winning percentage or lower at home.
  • Since 2016, the team’s home record is 101-55 (.647).
  • The Bearcats are in the midst of a stretch where they play 13 of 15 games at home.

GOING, GOING, GONE

  • After the first weekend of college baseball this year, UC led the nation in home runs with nine. They now rank first in the conference and 34th in the nation with 41.
  • Harting and Sponseller have four each, Nicholson has eight, Komistek has five and Merritt has 9 long balls. 
  • Joe Powell has five homers in only 64 at-bats, averaging one every 12.8 ABs.
  • The Bearcats launched 67 homers during the 2021 season, which ranked third in the conference. They are on pace for 80 right now.

KOMISTEK RAKES

  • Through 27 games, Komistek is second in the AAC with a .400 batting average and leads the league in hits with 42. 
  • He’s second on the team in runs (25), ranks second in total bases (65), third in homers (5) and third in slugging % (.619).
  • His .479 on-base percentage is the fourth-highest in the conference. In five games last week, Komistek hit .571 (12-21), scored six times, drove in four runs and walked three times.
  • The redshirt junior outfielder from Knoxville, Tenn. was named the 2022 Preseason AAC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
  • In the conference, he ranked second in BA (.364), third in slugging percentage (.599) and second in on-base percentage (.459), which all led UC in 2021.
  • Komistek is only the second UC player to be named the AAC Preseason Player of the Year. The other was Ian Happ in 2015, who is now an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs.

AAC PLAY

  • The Bearcats went 1-2 against ECU in the opening weekend of AAC play. 
  • Coming into this weekend, head coach Scott Googins has a 44-39 (.530)  record at UC in conference play.
  • The Bearcats will follow the Houston series with three of their last five AAC series’ on the road, ending with three games against UCF on May 19-21 before the conference tournament begins on May 24.

TICKET INFORMATION
Season tickets for the 2022 season are now on sale! To purchase season tickets, visit cpaw.me/SeasonTickets or call 1-877-CATS-TIX (1-877-228-7849).
 
FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For up-to-the-minute updates, follow @GoBearcatsBASE on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

NOTE: All dates and times are subject to change due to weather. All schedule changes will be announced on Twitter at @GoBearcatsBASE.