May 3, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -
A pinch hit single by Brayden Ashdown in the bottom of the ninth scored the game-winning run for the Fighting Irish as Notre Dame slipped past the University of Connecticut baseball team 5-4 in BIG EAST Conference action on Sunday afternoon.
UConn, despite the loss in today's contest, took the first two games of the weekend series from the Fighting Irish as the Huskies' record falls to 27-21 overall on the year and 10-11 in the BIG EAST.
Junior Peter Fatse recorded his 15th double of the season to get on base for the Huskies in the second inning before moving to third on a Matt Burnett groundout to second. Sophomore Joe Pavone followed with his 28th hit of the year to right field to score Fatse and put the Huskies up 1-0 early in the ballgame.
In the bottom of the third inning, a two-out double to left center by Golden Tate looked to give the Irish some momentum but UConn starting pitcher, Matt McDonald, was able to strikeout Jeremy Barnes to end the inning and to take away Notre Dame's scoring chances.
Notre Dame was able to tie the game at one in the fourth inning as Mick Doyle smacked a double down the right field line to score David Mills, who earned his way on with a base hit.
In the following inning, the Irish used two doubles to score two more runs as AJ Pollack led off the inning with a double to left center then scored on a Tate RBI single before David Casey's double knocked in Tate from first to put his team up 3-1.
The Huskies were able to get one run back to cut the lead back at one as an infield single by Pavone scored freshman George Springer, who walked to lead off the inning.
Notre Dame answered with another run in the seventh inning as Casey's sacrifice fly to right field scored Tate to put the Irish up 4-2.
McDonald came out of the game after five innings of work as he allowed three runs off of nine hits, while striking out six batters. Dan Mahoney
took the hill for 1.1 innings as he allowed one run and two hits. Senior Dennis Accomando
came into the game for Mahoney in the seventh as Notre Dame added their fourth run of the contest as Accomando was able to get out of the inning with no further trouble.
Freshman Scott Oberg replaced Accomando on the mound in the eighth after he pitched to just one batter in the inning. Oberg continued to perform well for the Huskies as he forced a pop up and a groundout to end the inning.
UConn rallied in the top of the ninth as a lead off walk by sophomore Elliot Glynn followed by a double down the right field line by Pierre LePage put runners in scoring position for the Huskies with no outs. Freshman Nick Ahmed grounded out to Notre Dame's Barnes at short to score pinch runner Tim Martin to cut the Irish lead to one.
Joe Spano came into the game for the Irish with one out in the ninth but was quickly relieved as UConn hits leader Mike Nemeth recorded his team-leading 60th hit and 19th double of the year to score LePage from third and tie the game at four.
After intentionally walking Springer to create a force situation, Fatse grounded into a double play to end the inning but not before the Huskies tied the contest heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
UConn brought in Dusty Odenbach in the bottom of the ninth as he retired the first two batters that he faced before Barnes was able to reach base on a single to left field. David Casey also was able to get on base as he was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Brayden Ashdown came to the plate for the first time in the ballgame and recorded a pinch hit single to right field to score Barnes from second to win the game by a score of 5-4.
Eric Maust threw eight innings for Notre Dame and earned the win as he allowed two runs on nine hits along with two walks and two strikeouts. Odenbach took the loss as he could not close out the ninth before the Irish scored.
UConn will take four days off for final exams at the University of Connecticut before returning to action against Pittsburgh on Friday, May 8. The Huskies will host the Panthers in a three-game BIG EAST Conference series with the first game being played at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
The Saturday, May 9 ballgame against Pittsburgh will be played at 3:00 p.m. at J.O. Christian Field before the Huskies' Senior Day game on Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. match-up.