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Warm and muggy at Frank Eck Stadium today. Morning thunderstorms gave way in plenty of time for the Irish to get started with the series finale at 1:05.
Freshman Pat Connaughton got the start again. He struck out one batter to end the top of the first after working into a little bit of a jam with runners of first and second.
Rough inning for Irish shortstop Phil Mosey in the second. He lost a can-of-corn fly ball in the sun and was charged with an error in the top of the inning. Then he struck out with the bases loaded to finish the bottom half.
Notre Dame loaded the bases with a walk, a base hit from right fielder Charlie Markson and a hit by pitch.
Still no score, and Connaughton's pitch count is up above 45 now in the top of the third.
Connaughton starting to find a groove in what is now the longest outing of his Irish career. He struck out another batter to end the third and is getting good movement on his pitches.
Notre Dame's leadoff hitter, Frank DeSico, hit a single to left to start the bottom of the third, but the 2-3-4 hitters were unable to push him around to score. Still scoreless after three.
Cinci gets on the board first. Mosey fumbled a ground ball, Connaughton walked the next batter and then left fielder Ethan McAlpine drove a single to center to score the run.
Connaughton rebounded to strike out the final batter of the inning (his fourth K of the game). He's thrown about 80 pitches so far and is probably done for the day.
Freshman Mac Hudgins hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to tie the score in the bottom of the fourth. Notre Dame loaded the bases later in the inning, but left them loaded.
Ryan Richter, a lefty from South Bend, will take over for Connaughton on the mound with a tie score. The freshman will get a no decision.
Cincinatti strung together 5 hits in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Notre Dame used three different pitchers in the inning.
The BearCats continue to build on their lead in the top of the sixth inning. Designated hitter T.J. Jones (not to be confused with TJ Jones) hit a two-run homer to left centerfield.
Cinci still leads 6-1 after 7 innings. Notre Dame put their first two batters on base in the seventh, but BearCats starting pitcher Christian McElroy worked himself out of another jam and got the 3-4-5 Irish hitters out in order.
McElroy is up around 120 pitches. He certainly hasn't looked dominant, but the stat sheet disagrees. One run and three hits through seven full innings of work.
Irish closer Dan Slania gives up a leadoff double in the ninth, but leaves him on base. Headed into the bottom on ninth and Notre Dame trails 6-1.
Alex Robinson, Saturday's hero, flies to center to finish the game. Joe Hudson picked up an RBI single, but Cinci takes a 6-2 victory. Notre Dame drops to 19-16 and 6-6 in Big East.
Richter takes the loss for ND despite throwing only two pitches.
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