Notre Dame holds off Cincinnati for a 10-9 win

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The men’s Irish baseball team defeated Cincinnati after nearly giving up a 7 run lead. Notre Dame moves to 5-5 in the Big East,  while the Bearcats are now 1-9 in conference play.

March 25, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; A detail of a glove and baseballs during a spring training game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Sean Fitzgerald (3-3) got the win with 2.1 innings in relief for senior starter Will Hudgins. The Bearcats starter, Anthony Strenge (1-2), was given the loss after allowing 7 runs in 2.0 innings.

Here’s a quick recap from und.com-

“The Irish, losers of eight of 10 entering the night, looked to remedy their losing streak by taking an early lead. With two outs in the first, junior C Joe Hudson laced an RBI double into the left-center field gap to score freshman DH Ryan Bull. Senior CF Alex Robinson followed his at-bat with an RBI single to left, plating sophomore 1B Trey Mancini. Hudson tried to score from second on the play but was gunned down at the plate.

In the second, the Irish added four runs, including three on a blast by sophomore 3B Eric Jagieloover the left-center field wall. The home run was Jagielo’s team-leading seventh on the season and increased the Irish lead to 6-0.

Then, after the Bearcats added a run in the third, Hudson delivered the knockout blow to Strenge. He turned on a hanging breaking ball and sent it over the left field wall for a solo home run, his fifth of the season. Junior RF Charlie Marksonthen scored on a wild pitch to increase the Irish lead to 8-1.

However, Hudgins, who led the BIG EAST with a 1.33 ERA entering the game, was not his usual self and let the Bearcats back in the game.

After cruising through the first two innings, Hudgins ran into trouble with two out in the third. Jake Proctor drilled a double into the left-center field gap to score the Bearcats’ first run. Ryan Quinn then lined a rocket up the middle, but junior 2B Frank DeSicosnared it with a diving catch.

Hudgins, with an 8-1 lead in the fourth, was again hit hard and allowed four runs. The Bearcats batted around and scored three times with two outs on three consecutive singles by Matt Williams, Nic Spence and Jake Proctor. The inning could have been worse, but Robinson dove and caught a line drive to center by Braden Kline with the bases loaded.

The Bearcats finally chased Hudgins from the game in the fifth. DH T.J. Jones golfed a two-run home run to left to close the deficit to 8-7 and chase Hudgins from the game. Entering the night, Hudgins had surrendered just eight earned runs in 54.1 innings, but the co-captain yielded seven in just four innings.

Notre Dame responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Three straight singles by senior 3B Tommy Chase, Hudson and Robinson loaded the bases with nobody out. After Markson popped out to second, freshman LF Mac Hudginsdribbled a two-run single to right to make the score, 10-7.

Fitzgerald, who replaced Hudgins, allowed two runs in the sixth on a Joey Bielek two-run single, but the Bearcats could not get any closer.

The Irish bullpen combined to pitch 4.2 innings, allowing just two runs on three hits. In the final three innings, five Irish relievers combined to hold the Bearcats hitless. Slania struck out two in the ninth and worked around a throwing error by freshman SS Jason McMurray to close the game.”

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