Fischer Wouldn't Let Huskies Lose

STORRS, Conn. – For the first time since April 6, the Connecticut baseball team got a win from a starting pitcher as senior David Fischer threw eight innings, allowing only three hits, and striking out a career-high 10 batters as the Huskies defeated Notre Dame 2-1 Thursday at J.O. Christian Field.

"I felt good today," Fischer said. "I was confident out there and I went into today saying, ‘You know what? You are going to win today.' "

The win snapped a 22-game streak without a UConn starter recording a victory. It's safe to say all the Huskies – not just Fischer - were aware of that streak.

"I knew it was there and I wanted it so bad," Fischer (4-6) said."I just really, really wanted it."

UConn coach Jim Penders noticed Fischer's determination from the first pitch. And Penders was encouraged that things might be breaking UConn's way with the Big East tournament starting next Wednesday.

"He was great," Penders said. "He rose to the occasion. He just told me, ‘Coach, there is no way we are losing this game today.' He had the mentality that we were just going to come out and win today."

Connecticut (28-24-1, 15-10 Big East) scored its only two runs in the bottom of the fourth as the third and fourth batters in the lineup, LJ Mazzilli and Ryan Fuller, once again demonstrated they are two of the most productive players on the team.

Mazzilli started the rally by hitting a hard line drive single to left field. He followed that up by stealing second base and, with one out, Fuller laced a clutch single to left that drove in Mazzilli. Later in the inning shortstop Tom Verdi scored from third base on a passed ball, giving the Huskies a much needed insurance run.

"When you are hitting three and four you're expected to drive in runs," Fuller said. "Me and LJ, that's what were expected to do, so hopefully we can drive them in. It is definitely important to get momentum going into the Big East this weekend, so hopefully we can keep playing well."

The Huskies also received another strong relief appearance from closer Scott Oberg, who picked up the save (7). While he allowed only one hit and was backed up by two nice defensive plays, it was an overthrown pitchout that started to give Penders a bit of indigestion.

"That pitchout makes you crazy," Penders said. "There are TUMS in the dugout now. I have been coaching since 1997 and I have never seen TUMS in the dugout. I didn't bring them in but I may be using them now."

The Huskies had been struggling lately, getting swept last weekend in Tampa by South Florida and settling for a 2-2 tie Tuesday against Rhode Island in a game that was called because of inclement weather.

The victory was much needed for Connecticut as the Huskies inch closer to the Big East tournament in Clearwater, Fla. Two more home games remain against Notre Dame (28-24, 13-12), starting Friday at 6 p.m. at New Britain Stadium. The two teams return to Storrs Saturday at 11 a.m. to end the regular season.

"It was definitely one of those games that gets us feeling good about ourselves," Oberg said. "It was one of those games that could [help out] getting us hot. And this is the time to do it, right before the [Big East] tournament." Managing Editor and Beat Writer Ken Davis contributed to this story.

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