April 28, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Connecticut baseball team suffered a 12-5 loss to No. 28 Notre Dame on the road, Sunday afternoon. The Huskies are now 25-19 overall and 8-10 in the BIG EAST, while the Fighting Irish are 26-16, 7-8.
UConn has been swept in each of its last two BIG EAST series to fall in six consecutive league games for the first time since 2003.
For the third straight game of the weekend, the Huskies jumped out to a first-inning lead. Connecticut got two in the first on a RBI double to right center by senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) and a base hit to left by freshman DH Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.).
Notre Dame cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on a lead-off homer by senior second baseman Frank DeSico.
In the second, the Huskies added to their lead with a double to right center by redshirt-senior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.), but the Irish rallied for three runs on two hits and an error in the bottom half.
Runs were scored in each of the first five half innings as UConn tied the game in the top of the third. Senior right fielder Stanley Paul (Stamford, Conn.) hit a two-out single through the right side, stole second base, move up on a balk and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, 4-4.
After a scoreless fourth, Connecticut took the lead back in the fourth on a RBI groundout by freshman catcher Max McDowell (North Huntington, Pa.) to score sophomore left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.), who walked with one out.
The UConn lead was brief as Notre Dame loaded the bases with no outs in the home half of the fifth on two singles and a walk. ND tied the game on an infield single to third by freshman shortstop Lane Richards to score junior first baseman Trey Mancini, who led off with a single through the right side.
Senior RHP Dan Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) became the second Husky reliever of the day and got a strikeout for the first out of the inning. He then got the groundball he was looking for, but it was a high chopper over first that went for a double by pinch-hitter Blaise Lezynski to score two runs. The Irish tacked on one more in the inning on a sacrifice-fly to go up, 8-5.
Trailing by three, Connecticut threatened in both the sixth and seventh inning. In the sixth, junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) and Ferriter set the table with base hits, but were left stranded as Notre Dame escaped the inning unscathed. In the seventh, Paul and McDowell each reached with one out on hit by pitches, but freshman third baseman Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) hit into UConn’s second double play of the game. Verdi went 3-for-5 on the day.
The Huskies’ failure to score proved costly as Notre Dame was able to pull away with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Senior righty Pat Butler (Chatham, N.J.) was pegged for his first loss of the season, dropping to 3-1. In relief he failed to record an out in his third inning of work as he allowed four runs on three hits. For the game, Butler went 2.1 innings. Junior lefty Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) surrendered four runs, two earned, on four this and two walks in just 1.2 innings in the start.
Junior RHP Sean Fitzgerald was chased after 1.2 innings in the start for the Irish. He gave up six hits, walked two and allowed three runs. Out of the bullpen, junior RHP Donnie Hissa (1-0) got the win in two innings.
The Huskies return home for a pair of mid-week games against Sacred Heart on Tuesday at 3:30 pm and Wednesday against Holy Cross at 3:00 pm.