April 28, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second time this weekend, the University of Notre Dame put crooked numbers on the scoreboard with 12 runs and 15 hits on its way to a 12-5 rout over Connecticut Sunday at Frank Eck Stadium that secured a critical three-game series sweep. The Fighting Irish have now won seven of their last eight games and improve to 26-16 overall and 7-8 in the BIG EAST, while the Huskies drop to 25-19 and 8-10.
Junior 1B and All-American candidate Trey Mancini continued his recent tear at the plate. He went 3-for-5 on Sunday and has collected 15 hits in his last 18 at-bats. Sophomore LF Ryan Bull (2-for-4) and freshman SS Lane Richards (3-for-5) also registered multi-hit games while senior 2B and co-captain Frank Desico recorded four RBI.
Nine different Notre Dame batters recorded hits and 11 of the 14 Irish players to make plate appearances reached base.
Meanwhile, the Irish bullpen held the Huskies in check after junior starting RHP Sean Fitzgerald could not escape the second inning. Four Notre Dame hurlers combined to allow just two runs in 7.1 innings of work. Junior RHP Donnie Hissa (1-0) allowed one run in 2.0 innings of work for his first win of the season.
The Connecticut bullpen was not as successful after starting LHP Brian Ward allowed four runs in 1.2 innings. Senior RHP Pat Butler (3-1) could not escape the fifth and was saddled with the loss.
After the Huskies took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, the Irish responded with a crooked number to put the game out of reach. Mancini and Bull reached with back-to-back singles before Butler walked sophomore PH Conor Biggio to load the bases. Richards then reached on an infield single to score Mancini and leave the bases loaded.
With one out and the game tied 5-5, Aoki’s decision to pinch hit sophomore Blaise Lezynski for junior C Forrest Johnson paid dividends. He bounced a two-run double over the head of the first baseman and down the right field line. DeSico subsequently extended the lead to 8-5 with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Both teams got on the scoreboard early as neither starter lasted beyond 1.2 innings.
Like Saturday’s game, the Huskies jumped to a 2-0 first inning lead. UConn 2B LJ Mazzilli lined an RBI double into the right-center field gap. He then scored on Vinny Siena’s single. However, Fitzgerald avoided further damage as he induced an inning-ending double play from Eric Yavarone.
DeSico, batting leadoff, quickly answered with his second home run of the season down the left field line. It was DeSico’s first career home run to lead off a game.
In the second inning, Billy Ferriter stretched the Huskies’ lead to 3-1 on a two-out, run-scoring double. Then, Mazzilli was intentionally walked to load the bases before freshman RHP David Hearne relieved Fitzgerald. However, cleanup hitter Vinny Siena popped out on the first pitch to end the threat.
The Irish responded by knocking Ward out of the game with a three-run second frame. Richards led off with a single before freshman RF James Nevant walked.
With one out, DeSico reached on an error by Mazzilli and Richards scored. The miscue was the first of four Connecticut errors on the day. Then, Markson laid down a safety squeeze bunt to tie the game and score Richards. Jagielo rocketed a hanging 2-0 pitch to the wall in right-center to score DeSico and give the Irish a 4-3 lead.
The Huskies tied the game at 4-4 in the third as Max McDowell struck out but reached first on a wild pitch, allowing Stanley Paul to score from third.
In the fifth, they took a short-lived 5-4 lead. With runners on first and third, McDowell laid down a run-scoring swinging bunt.
Leading 8-5 entering the seventh, the Irish continued their scoring onslaught with two runs in the seventh and eighth.
In the seventh, freshman C Ricky Sanchez doubled to deep left-center to score sophomore RF Mac Hudgins. Then, with two out, Jagielo snuck an RBI double down the first base line to increase the lead to 10-5.
In the eighth, Richards rolled a run-scoring single into left. DeSico then sent a sacrifice fly to right for his fourth RBI of the game to close the scoring at 12-5.
Notre Dame travels to Central Michigan for non-conference game at 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday.