May 2, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - George Springer recorded his team-leading 14th homerun of the year giving him the UConn record for most homeruns by a freshman in a single season as the University of Connecticut baseball team downed Notre Dame 8-3 in BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday afternoon.
Springer put the Huskies up early with a three-run shot over the right field wall, marking his 14th homerun and 50th RBI of the year.
The Huskies, now 27-20 on the year, even their record to 10-10 in conference play as Notre Dame's record drops to 26-19 overall and 10-10 in the BIG EAST.
UConn took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning as sophomore Pierre LePage led off the game with a single before freshman Nick Ahmed followed with a base hit of his own. Springer used the two on and no out scenario to his advantage as he took a 3-0 pitch and blasted it over the right field fence to give UConn an early lead.
Junior Peter Fatse gave the Huskies a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning with a solo homerun over the right field wall, his eighth of the year.
The Huskies pushed their lead to 6-0 in the top of the fifth as Ahmed put runners on first and third with a single up the middle. Mike Nemeth used his team-leading 59th hit of the year to score LePage from third before Springer recorded his fourth RBI of the game with a base hit to left field to score Ahmed.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Notre Dame put two runs on the board as UConn starter Elliot Glynn gave up a lead off single to AJ Pollack before walking two straight batters to load the bases. Freshman Scott Oberg replaced Glynn after the sophomore hurler allowed five hits and four walks in four innings of work. Oberg forced two quick outs from the Notre Dame batters before an Evan Sharpley single to left field scored two runners for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame added another run in the sixth inning as Golden Tate's hit up the middle scored Pollack to cut the UConn lead to 6-3.
The Huskies capped off the ballgame with two runs in the top of the eighth as Doug Elliot led off the inning with a single before sophomore Joe Pavone came in as a pinch runner. Pavone advanced to second on a Dale Brannon sacrifice bunt and was followed by a walk to freshman John Andreoli.
LePage then found an opening in center field to score Pavone on the play. A fielder's choice by Ahmed scored Andreoli from third to give UConn the 8-3 advantage.
UConn brought in Dennis Accomando, Dusty Odenbach and Dan Mahoney in today's ballgame as the three relievers retired the last 10 straight Notre Dame batters to end the game. They also combined for five strikeouts in the three innings thrown. Oberg earned the win as he allowed three hits and one run in his two innings of work to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Notre Dame's Brian Dupra took the loss, falling to 5-5 on the year, as UConn picked up its fifth straight victory in six days.
UConn will finish out its BIG EAST road series against Notre Dame on Sunday, May 3 in a 1:00 p.m. match-up at Frank Eck Stadium.