Here is your Big East Recap for May 14th.
Louisville 2 South Florida 1
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior lefty Justin Marks pitched finished with a career best 12 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings to lead the 23rd-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 2-1 series-opening win over No. 27 South Florida in front of 2,321 fans on Thursday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals (38-14, 17-7 BIG EAST) moved to within a 1/2 game of the first-place Bulls (32-21, 18-7) to keep their hopes alive for the program’s first ever regular-season conference championship and moved closer to the program’s first ever 40-win regular season with two games remaining. Game two between Louisville and the Bulls is set for Friday at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. Admission is free for the entire series with USF.
UConn 20 Villanova 6
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – The University of Connecticut baseball team scored eight runs in the first inning to take a commanding 20-6 victory over Villanova on Thursday afternoon in BIG EAST Conference action at Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Matt Burnett finished the afternoon with four RBI while Pierre LePage and George Springer added three hits a piece. Springer chipped in with five runs scored, improving his team-high tally to 69 on the year.
Peter Fatse also led the way with a 4-for-5 performance with three runs scored and two RBI.
Rutgers 7 Georgetown 2
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Redshirt freshman Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) pitched eight innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts and handed the ball over to closer Ryan Beard (Point Pleasant, N.J.) for a perfect ninth to lead the Rutgers baseball team to a 7-2 victory over Georgetown in the series opener Thursday afternoon at Bainton Field in Piscataway.
Sophomore D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) led the Scarlet Knights (21-20, 7-18 BIG EAST) offensively with three hits and two RBI on the afternoon. Willie Beard evened his record to 4-4, ending his first season of collegiate action with wins in his final two starts. He scattered six hits and did not allow an extra-base hit in a career-long eight innings of work, totaling 96 pitches in the contest.
After yielding a Georgetown (16-33, 7-17 BIG EAST) first-inning run, Beard settled down and retired 11 straight at one point to take the Scarlet Knights into the fifth with a 2-1 lead.
Notre Dame 9 St. John’s 1
QUEENS, N.Y. – Senior Ryan Connolly drilled two home runs, including a grand slam, and sophomore Cole Johnson allowed only two hits in seven innings of work to lead the Irish baseball team to a 9-1win over St. John’s at Jack Kaiser Stadium on Thursday evening. The win improved Notre Dame’s record to 32-20 (14-11 BIG EAST) on the season and clinched a place for the Irish in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament. The Irish have now won six of their last seven. With the loss, St. John’s falls to 28-19 (15-10 BE) on the year.
The Irish offense exploded for nine runs on 16 hits. Connolly’s two home runs gave him five RBI for the night. Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) and Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.) also went deep for Notre Dame as the Irish put together a four home run game for just the third time in the Dave Schrage era. Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.) and Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) each had three-for-five nights at the plate and A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.), Barnes and Connolly each recorded two hit nights.
Cincinnati 5 Seton Hall 4
CINCINNATI – With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, a walk-off sacrifice fly by freshman T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) scored sophomore Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) giving the University of Cincinnati baseball team a vital 5-4 come-from-behind win in the series opener of its three-game BIG EAST Conference series Thursday evening at Marge Schott Stadium. Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati (28-26; 12-13 BIG EAST) tied the game in the bottom of the eighth before registering the walk-off run in the ninth.
Senior Mike Spina (Newberry, Fla.) was one of seven Bearcats players to record hits, but led the team with two RBI on a two-run, fourth-inning home run, his 22nd of the season, giving him the UC single-season home run record. Spina set the previous single-season home run record in 2008 with 21 home runs.
Pittsburgh 9 West Virginia 1
PITTSBURGH — The University of Pittsburgh baseball team moved one step closer to punching its ticket to the 2009 Big East Conference Championship tournament with a 9-1 win today over visiting West Virginia University. The Panthers pounded out 15 hits and kept the Big East’s leading offensive lineup in check the length of the game.
Starting pitcher Nate Reed (4-5) won his second straight game in league play, working a complete-game, allowing just one run – unearned – and 10 hits while striking out seven and walking just one Mountaineer batter. Chris Tonte and Chris Sedon both jacked two home runs while John Schultz added one to give Pitt five on the day.
Kevan Smith tied the longest hitting streak by a Panther in the past decade with a leadoff double to left center. Smith finished the day 2-for-4 and has now hit in 19 straight games this season.