Senior Ross Brezovsky.

Irish Drop BIG EAST Tournament Opener, 9-3, To USF

May 21, 2008

Final Stats

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Joey Angelberger and Addison Maruszak each registered three hits, while Junior Carlin added two to lead sixth-seeded USF past third-seeded Notre Dame, 9-3, in opening day action from the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament Tuesday night. The Irish have now dropped seven straight games overall and four consecutive to the Bulls in less than a week. USF improves to 30-25, while the Irish drop to 33-20-1.

Matt Stull picked up the victory for USF. He improved to 5-2 on the year with 4.0 effective innings of relief. Stull allowed just one earned run on two hits. He fanned a pair and walked three.

Sophomore Eric Maust (6-3) would not make it through the fifth inning. The right-handed hurler was roughed up for eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits in 4.1 innings. Maust struck out three and walked three. Prior to his start against Michigan on May 13, Maust had gone at least 7.0 innings in each of his last five starts (5-0 with a 2.82 ERA over stretch), but the sophomore is now 0-2 with a 14.54 ERA in his last two outings against the Wolverines and Bulls.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead. Senior Brett Lilley led off the game with his 108th career HBP and moved into scoring position on sophomore David Mills’ 19th sacrifice bunt of the season. After sophomore A.J. Pollock grounded out to first base, Lilley scampered to third base before racing home on a passed ball. Junior Evan Sharpley followed with an infield single, advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and came around to score on senior Ross Brezovsky’s RBI double.

USF quickly answered with a six-run explosion in the top of the second inning. Maust retired the first Bull of the inning, but then seven consecutive USF batters reached, including six singles to give the Bulls a 6-2 advantage. The key base hits came from Charles Cleveland (two-run single), Carlin (RBI single) and Angelberger (two-run single).

Carlin and Angelberger continued to be a thorn in the Irish side. The hit for Carlin, who had just four all season entering the last weekend’s series between the teams, was his sixth in nine at bats against Notre Dame, including a pair of game winning RBI singles last weekend. Angelberger earned league player of the week after his effort last weekend (batting .400 with three home runs and six RBI).

USF took advantage of an Irish error to push its lead to 7-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Angelberger reached on an infield single and moved into scoring position on Lilley’s errant throw that sailed into the dugout. Maruszak promptly singled into centerfield to plate Angelberger.

The Bulls manufactured single tallies in the fifth and sixth inning to push their lead to 9-2. Angelberger singled and came around to score in the fifth on Maruscak’s RBI single, while Mike Consolamagno laid down a safety squeeze bunt for another run in the sixth.

Notre Dame did add a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 9-3, but far from enough to overcome Carlin, Angelberger and the Bulls.

Freshman Evan Danieli pitched solidly out of the Irish bullpen. The righty surrendered only one earned run on four hits in 3.1 innings. Danieli did walk four, but also fanned two.

Freshman Brian Dupra struck out three in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Brezovsky was the lone Irish player to register a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

The Irish return to action Wednesday afternoon in the loser’s bracket of the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament. Notre Dame will face seventh-seeded West Virginia, who lost to second-seeded Cincinnati in its opener. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The Irish took two of three from the Mountaineers in Morgantown back in mid-April. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and

— ND —