May 27, 2011
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The UConn baseball team defeated Notre Dame 9-3 on Friday evening in the 2011 BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. With the win, the Huskies eliminate Notre Dame from tournament play and will now face Seton Hall on Saturday, May 28 in the tournament semifinals. First pitch for that ballgame is tentatively scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Billy Ferriter led the Huskies on the night as he went 2-for-4 with three RBI. With four hits, Mike Nemeth registered his 23rd multiple-hit game this season as finished the night with a double, a triple and an RBI.
Brian Ward (5-1) earned the win for his fifth of the season as he struck out six in his ninth start of the year. David Fischer threw the final 3.1 innings as he registered his second career save and his second straight.
UConn (41-16-1) took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as sophomore LJ Mazzilli registered his third home run of the year with a leadoff homer over the left-field wall on the second pitch of the ballgame. It was the second time this season that Mazzilli led off a game with a home run as he did so previously at Rutgers on April 30.
In the third inning, the Huskies tallied two more runs to extend its lead to 3-0. Billy Ferriter hit a two-run single up the middle to score both Nick Ahmed and Doug Elliot as it was his 19th and 20th RBIs of the year.
A walk and a base hit put runners on first and second for the Irish before both advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Frank Desico singled up the middle before the Irish (23-29-1) tied the ballgame at three on a two-run single by Eric Jagielo.
Three straight doubles to open the sixth inning broke open a tied ballgame as Mike Nemeth led off the frame with his 13th double of the season and his third double in as many games. Ryan Fuller followed with a double down the left field line to put runners in scoring position with no outs for Nick Ahmed, who hit a two-run double to left to give UConn a 5-3 lead. After Ahmed moved to third on a Doug Elliot groundout, freshman Tom Verdi singled through the left side of the infield to score Ahmed to extend UConn's lead to three.
Brian Ward left the game in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and a runner on second base. The freshman gave up five hits and three earned runs in 5.2 innings of work. David Fischer came out of the bullpen for the Huskies and struck out Joe Hudson on three pitches to end the frame.
UConn tallied another run in the eighth to extend its advantage to 7-3 as Ferriter singled to left to score Ahmed from second. For the redshirt sophomore it was his third RBI of the contest. The Huskies added two runs in the ninth as Nemeth lined a ball to first for an infield hit, which scored John Andreoli from second for UConn's eighth run of the night. George Springer also scored on a sacrifice fly by Elliot as the Huskies took a 9-3 lead.
Fischer did not allow a hit in 3.1 scoreless innings as he walked one batter and struck out four.
Notre Dame's Adam Norton took the loss, going 4.2 innings, while allowing five hits and three runs. He also struck out seven Huskies.