This was a rough script to what would have been my 3rd story on Bearcat News with Denise Thomas. Due to time restrictions, the last episode of the quarter will not be filmed. So here is the draft of what I would have said:
Thanks Denise. This is Josh Kramer coming at you with your sports, on Bearcat News with Denise Thomas. It may be bitterly cold and snowing in Cincinnati, but Bearcat baseball is back. The team headed south this past weekend for their opening sets against Florida Atlantic and in the Big East/Big 10 Challenge. The Bearcats are poised to rise back to the top of the Big East this season after a disappointing year where they finished 8th in the conference with a 500 final record.
Many regulars and familiar faces are returning including senior leader and center fielder Jamel Scott, sophomore second baseman TJ Jones, shortstop Chris Peters, catcher Jimmy Jacquot, and first baseman Kevin Johnson (KJ). The team will sorely miss the big bats of All Big East performers Mike Spina and Lance “the Bull” Durham. Lance was the man who put the ball on top of 5th 3rd against Crosstown rival Xavier last season. Both are currently playing professional ball.
The Cats are recommitted to strong pitching and solid defense. Last year the team hit well, but the pitching staff really struggled at times, costing the team a shot towards finishing near the top of the Big East. The UC pitching crew amounted an Earned Run Average of 6.73, which was dead last in the conference. So even though the Cats hit the 2nd most HRs in the Big East with 72, they finished just 29 and 29 due to the lack of consistency from the pitching staff. Only one UC starter pitched a complete game the entire season. This really led to the bullpen being overworked which showed late in the season.
Coach Cleary has always been a coach that has stressed speed and a small ball approach, and this year appears to be no different. He will be looking for consistent strong starts from returning pitchers Tyler Smith, Dan Jensen, and the rest of the Bearcat staff. As most baseball fans already know, strong pitching wins championships. Not to mention the majority of the recruits brought in this year are expected to field some of the pitching duties. So though many pitchers will be young, the Cats will not be short for arms this year.
A major storyline of this season is the hoped resurgence of Senior center fielder Jamel Scott. Though Scott may be the shortest player on the roster, standing at just 5 foot 4, he may have the biggest impact on where the Bearcats finish this year. Scott is one of the only guys on this team who has seen significant playing time for all 4 years of his career as a Bearcat. Jamel possesses a great blend of speed, skill, and experience. Last year was a very tough year though for the senior as most of it was marred by a shoulder injury. Jamel really looks to get back to playing the way he did as a sophomore, when he batted 311 with 38 RBIs, and an astounding 35 stolen bases.
Get excited for the Cats long awaited return to Marge Schott Stadium at the beginning of March. The Cats have an 11 game home stand over a 3 week period. So be sure to check out the baseball version of the Bearcats in the Big East’s best baseball facility according to voters. It should be a fun year for UC Baseball.
That’s all for sports on Bearcat News with Denise Thomas. I’m Josh Kramer. Denise, back to you.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.