After previewing the UC position players in Part I of our “Boys of Summer” series, today we look at the 2013 Bearcat pitching staff. And we start with Coach Cleary projected weekend pitching rotation.
“At least at the start, the weekend will probably be (Christian) McElroy and (Andrew) Strenge,” said UC’s head coach. “We’re still trying to figure out Sunday. It could be Conner Walsh or Matt Lathuras.”
#1 Starter- Christian McElroy RHP
The junior from Monroe High School made nine starts in thirteen appearances last season posting a 4-6 record with a 4.41 ERA. McElroy showed promise as a freshman at UC, but an injury in his first collegiate appearance ended his season. He then transferred to Sinclair Community College where he posted a 4-2 record holding opposing hitters to a .212 batting average before returning to Cincinnati last season.
#2 Starter- Andrew Strenge RHP
Strenge is one of only three seniors on the squad and is hoping to recapture his earlier success at UC. As a frosh, the 6-foot-1 righthander was named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger after posting a 1.93 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. The following season saw his ERA go to 4.54 in posting a 4-5 season record, and last year, Strenge’s ERA ballooned to 7.12 in thirteen games (8 as a starter). Strenge has 131 career strikeouts in 156 innings pitched.
#3 Starter- Conner Walsh RHP or Matt Lathuras RHP
Walsh returns to action after medically redshirting last season, but as a senior at Radnor High School in Pennsylvania, the righthander had 156 career K’s in only 81 innings. He also batted .400 in his final high school season.
“He had Tommy John surgery a week or two into his time here,” said Coach Cleary. “He has a great arm, and he has a chance to be really, really good, but he’s still making his way back from that, and he needs to throw more strikes.”
Lathuras saw limited action last season as a relief pitcher. The sophomore appeared in eight games and had a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings.
Others of Note
Thomas Gentile LHP
Gentile is the clear veteran of the Bearcat pitching staff with 44 career appearances but only five starts. Last season, the St. Frances DeSales grad had a staff high 60 strikeouts and finished 11th in the Big East in ERA (3.22) and opponents’ batting average (.245).
“Gentile is a bright spot from a year ago,” said Cleary. “He did a really good job in the bullpen.”
Art Warren RHP
The 6-foot-3, 210 pounder got his feet wet last season by making 16 appearances including a couple of starts. Despite a 7.57 ERA, the righty showed his potential during one stretch where he surrendered no earned runs in six appearances.
“Art Warren is a kid that’s come on and could be good,” stated Coach Cleary.
Mitch Patishall RHP
Mitch Patishall from Indiana is a true freshman that was drafted by the Chicago White Sox (36th round) last year but chose to attend UC rather than sign professionally.
“We’ll treat him like Osterbrock. We started him in the pullpen, and about halfway through the year, he started pitching more,” said Cleary. “We just need to get these guys out there to see what they can do.”
Mike Conrad LHP
The Lakota East product was named The Cincinnati Enquirer Division I “Athlete of the Year” after leading the Thunderhawks to the state championship. He struck out 100 or more hitters in both his junior and senior seasons.
“I think Mike Conrad is going to be pretty good. He’ll pitch for us,” said Cleary.
Matt Ring RHP
The sophomore saw action in 18 games as a true freshman (3.72 ERA) and made four starts in six appearances last season (9.47 ERA).
Grant Walker RHP
After graduating from Clayton Northmont, Walker appeared in 14 games making six starts (5.55 ERA) last season.
Evan Hills RHP
The Lakota East grad pitched in ten games last season for the Bearcats posting a 6.39 ERA.
Ryan Atkinson RHP
Atkinson appeared in eight games making two starts with a combined 5.23 ERA after coming to UC from Colerain High School.
Bryan Chenoweth RHP
The right-hander appeared in five games making one start last year as a freshman.
Alex Lilley RHP
The redshirt sophomore came out of the bullpen to throw five innings in 2011.
Colton Cleary LHP, Mark Downs LHP and Austin Pritchard RHP
All three are true freshmen looking to contribute in 2013. Cleary (no relation to Coach Cleary) and Downs are two of the four lefties on the squad while Pritchard showed promise after a 1.63 ERA as a senior in high school.
*In the third and final story of this series, Coach Cleary will discuss a number of items including recruiting, walk-ons, scholarship money, the schedule and the 2013 Bearcat baseball team.