INTERVIEW WITH ROB SHEPPARD
INTERVIEW WITH RYAN HARVEY
– Leftfielder Dale Anderson drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th inning to give Seton Hall a 4-3 win against Connecticut Thursday night in the BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Bright House Field.
The win sends Seton Hall – the No. 4 seed in the tournament – to the semifinal round for the first time since 2001, when the Pirates last won the BIG EAST title. Top-seeded Connecticut, which led 2-0 in the eighth inning and 3-2 in the 12th, will face Notre Dame Friday at 6 p.m. in an elimination game. Seton Hall awaits the winner of that game Saturday at 1 p.m.
Anderson battled back from an 0-2 count and drew four straight balls to bring Zach Granite in from third base. The Pirates had tied the game earlier in the inning when Mike Genovese was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out.
Connecticut had taken a 3-2 lead with two outs in the top of the 12th after Ryan Fuller’s chopper to short went for an infield hit. Fuller stole second and took third when the throw went into center field. Pirate catcher Doug Elliot followed with a base hit up the middle to bring Fuller home.
Rightfielder Will Walsh led off the decisive bottom of the 12th with a base hit and Michael Betz and Granite both drew one-out walks to load the bases for Genovese. Will Jolin’s 3-1 pitch hit Genovese in the ankle to bring in Walsh and tie the game at 3-3. The Huskies got a force at the plate on Sean Gusrang’s grounder to first for the second out, setting the stage for Anderson’s base on balls.
The Huskies had gained the lead in the first inning when Mike Nemeth’s double to right-center scored John Andreoli. Connecticut added what looked to be an insurance run in the seventh as LJ Mazzilli drove in Doug Elliot with a base hit to center, giving the Huskies a 2-0 advantage.
The Pirates scratched two runs across in the bottom of the eighth to tie it, taking advantage of two hits and two Connecticut errors. Will Walsh led off with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error. Frank Esposito followed with a walk and Michael Betz loaded the bases when the Huskies misplayed his sacrifice bunt. Walsh was forced at the plate on Granite’s grounder back to the pitcher, but Esposito came across when Genovese legged out a potential double-play to short. Gusrang answered with a base hit to right-center, scoring Betz to tie game.
Seton Hall reliever Ryan Harvey picked up the win, improving to 5-2 after he worked 4.2 innings and allowed five hits and one run with two strikeouts. The loss went to Jolin, who fell to 2-2.
Walsh went 3-for-4 for the Pirates, while third baseman Giuseppe Papaccio was 2-for-5. Genovese drove in two of Seton Hall’s four runs.
Connecticut was led at the plate by Nemeth, who went 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles for the Huskies.