March 27, 2012
CHICAGO – UIC used the long ball early and small ball late to rally past Notre Dame, 8-5, in non-conference baseball action from Les Miller Field Tuesday night. The Irish drop to 15-8 overall,while the Flames improve to 10-12.
Collin Weyer picked up the victory in relief for UIC. He allowed one earned run on one hit in 1.2 innings of work. Weyer struck out one and walked one.
Senior LHP Ryan Richter (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) was charged with the loss and dropped to 0-2 on the year. The southpaw was charged with three runs, only one earned, on twohits in 1.2 innings. Richter fanned two and did not issue a walk.
After Notre Dame fought back from a 4-0 deficit to grab a 5-4 lead on sophomore 1B Trey Mancini’s (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) solo home run in the seventh, the Flames rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning due in large part to the bunt and the inability of the Irish to field them.
Alex Jurich doubled to open the Flames’ seventh inning. Ryan Shober followed with a bunt and Richter fielded the ball cleanly, but threw wildly down the right field line for an error, which allowed Jurich to score and tie the game, 5-5. Nick Addison, who homered and doubled earlier in the contest, followed with a perfect bunt single.
After Richter fanned Cody Dykema, sophomore RHP Donnie Hissa (Iron River, Wisc./Maple Northwestern H.S) came on to face Ryan Boss, who also homered in his first at bat, but Hissa hung a breaking ball and Boss pulled a go-ahead RBI single to left field to give the Flames a 6-5 advantage.
Senior LHP Joe Spano (Verona,N.J./Seton Hall Prep H.S.) replaced Hissa and got a fielder’s choice ground out. Notre Dame tried to turn an inning-ending double play, but the ball was hit to slowly. Jake Ryan then dropped in a bloop single just inside the left fieldline to push the UIC lead to 7-5. Two of the three runs in the Flames’ seventh were unearned.
Spano stayed on in the eighth and was victimized by another error and some misfortune. Junior 2B Frank DeSico(Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius H.S.) was unable to make a clean throw on a routine ground ball to open the frame. Alex Grunenwald then attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but popped it up. Spano made a leaping effort to catch the poor bunt, but it ricocheted off his glove and into foul territory for a base hit.
After an executed sacrifice bunt, UIC made it 8-5 on a failed safety squeeze attempt. With the runner from third base on the move, Shober missed the Spano breaking ball completely, but it bounced away from junior C Joe Hudson (Odessa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit H.S.) for a wild pitch – allowing the runner to score.
The three run cushion was enough as Brian Evak came into the game and recorded the save.
Mancini went 3-for-4 with a single, double, three runs scored and fourth round tripper of the season. Sophomore Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.) went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored. Hudson went 1-for-2 with an RBI triple and sacrifice fly.
UIC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to some suspect Irish defense. Junior RHP Patrick Veerkamp got Addison to hit a routine pop fly to short left field, but Notre Dame SS Jason McMurray (West Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling Catholic H.S.) and CF Charlie Markson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay H.S.) miscommunicated and the ball dropped between the two. McMurray was camped underneath the pop fly, but appeared to defer to Markson.
Dykema followed the miscue with an RBI double and Boss made it 3-0 with a wind-aided, two-run home run over the left field wall.
After the Flames pushed theirlead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Notre Dame got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Hudson hammered an RBI triple to center field to plate Mancini, who ripped a one-out double into the left centerfield gap.
Tim Tarter limited the Irish damage to just one run after he got senior DH Tommy Chase (Cohasset, Mass./Boston College H.S.) to strikeout and freshman RF Ryan Bull (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie H.S.) to ground out weakly, stranding Hudson at third base.
Markson rebounded from his earlier defensive mishap with a spectacular catch to rob Addison of his second round tripper of the game to end the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Irish had another scoringchance in the top of the fifth inning. McMurray and freshman LF Conor Biggio (Houston, Texas/St. Thomas H.S.) drew back-to-back walks with one out. DeSico then ripped Tarter’s offering, but unfortunately for Notre Dame’s sake directly into the glove of Flames’ 3B Joe Betcher, who tagged up McMurray at second base to end the inning.
After Veerkamp struggled over his 2.0 innings of work, four earned runs on four hits and two home runs, senior LHP Steve Sabatino (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township H.S.), freshman RHP Matt Ternowchek (Glenmoore, Pa./Downington East H.S.) and Richter combined for 3.0 consecutive scoreless innings of work.
Notre Dame drew closer in itshalf of the sixth inning. Jagielo ripped a leadoff double, Mancini followedwith a single and Hudson brought the Irish within two runs, 4-2, with a sacrifice fly. Tarter then walked Chase and UIC went to the bullpen.
Weyer plunked Bull on his first offering to load the bases with one out for Markson, who grounded into a possible inning-ending double play, but Shober never had a clean grip of the ball atshortstop and threw wildly when trying to start the twin killing. The ball rolled into short right field, allowing two runs to score and tie the game,4-4.
After Richter cruised through the bottom of the sixth inning, retiring the Flames in order, Mancini belted a two-out, solo home run to give the Irish a 5-4 lead. The round tripper was the 13th of Mancini’s career.
Sabatino tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Ternowcheck did not allow a run in 1.2 innings of work with a pair of strikeouts.
Notre Dame returns to action at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday in Tampa, Fla., when it squares off against the USF Bulls. In-game updates will be available on Twitter at @NDBaseball and Facebook at NDBaseball, and fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the Internet at UND.com.