Baseball Drops Opener To #22/23 Notre Dame, 9-4
March 1, 2013
CARY, N.C. - The UMass baseball team held a 1-0 lead early and also erased a three-run deficit to pull even with #22/23 Notre Dame in the fourth, but a three-run homer by Trey Mancini helped propel the Fighting Irish past the Minutemen, 9-4, on Friday afternoon at the Irish Baseball Classic. Following the setback, UMass starts the season at 0-1, while Notre Dame improves to 6-1.
After both teams stranded runners in the first, the Minutemen pushed across one in the top of the second to climb on top, 1-0. Freshman Brandon Walsh led off with a single through the left side, moved to second on a sacrifice by classmate John Jennings, went to third on an error before scoring on a fielder's choice ground ball by senior Rich Graef.
The Fighting Irish responded, though, with four runs on two hits in the bottom half of the frame. With one away in the inning, Forrest Johnson sent a bases clearing double down the left field line and later came in on a sacrifice fly to give Notre Dame a 4-1 advantage.
UMass fought back to tie the score in the top of the fourth. After the first two Minutemen were retired to start off the inning, five straight singles by Graef, redshirt junior Ryan Cusick, senior Anthony Serino, juniors Rob McLam and Nik Campero leveled the score at 4-4.
However, Notre Dame responded in its next turn at bat to retake the lead. Following a single by Ryan Bull and an error that allowed Eric Jagielo to reach, Mancini hit a three-run homer over the fence in left.
The Fighting Irish went on to add two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh with Frank DeSico driving in Mac Hudgins with an RBI single and later crossing the plate on an error to bring the final score to 9-4.
Junior DJ Jauss made his UMass debut and took the loss (0-1) on the mound after going 4.0 innings in his start with seven runs, four earned, on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Matt Ternowcheck tossed five shutout innings of relief to earn the win (1-0) for Notre Dame. He surrendered one hit and struck out eight, while walking none.
Six players combined for UMass' nine hits, led by Walsh's 2-for-4 afternoon with a triple and a run scored. Serino and Campero both hit 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Serino scored once, as well. Graef went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Bull paced the Fighting Irish with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Mancini and Johnson drove in three apiece.
The Minutemen will be back in action tomorrow, Mar. 2, with a game against Tennessee at 3:00 p.m. in Cary, N.C.