March 10, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - Senior RHP Will Hudgins struck out a career-best 11 in 8.0 shutout innings and sophomore 1B Trey Mancini provided the only offense with a seventh-inning two-run homer to give Notre Dame a 2-0 victory over Michigan Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium. The Irish improved to 6-4 on the season, while the Wolverines dropped to 6-8.
Hudgins improved to 2-1 on the season with the best outing of his career. The first-year starter kept the Wolverines off balance all afternoon with a top-notch splitter. Hudgins fanned at least two Wolverines in each of the first three innings and then struck out the side in the fifth. He did yield eight hits, but three were of the infield variety and Hudgins was at his best with runners on base. Michigan went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and the Wolverines stranded eight.
Hudgins, who spent his first three years in an Irish uniform as a middle-to-late-inning reliever, did not issue a walk. He worked into a three-ball count only twice all afternoon and it came in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively. Hudgins threw 110 pitches, including an astounding 86 strikes (nearly 78 percent).
Brosnahan matched Hudgins pitch-for-pitch for most of the game. The Wolverine southpaw retired 14 of the first 16 Irish batters of the contest, including eight straight (seven via the ground out) before senior CF Alex Robinson's leadoff single in the sixth inning.
Brosnahan worked around the leadoff single, but was not able to do so against Mancini and the Irish in the seventh.
After sophomore RF Eric Jagielo reached on an error to open the seventh inning, Mancini ripped a 2-iron just over the left field wall on Brosnahan's first offering on the at bat. The home run was his second of the season and 11th of his career. Mancini has now driven in 14 this season.
The two runs also snapped Notre Dame's scoreless streak at 36.1 innings.
The two-run cushion would be enough, but not without some stress in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Sophomore closer Dan Slania retired the first Wolverine, but John Lorenz singled and John DiLaura followed with a bloop single to put the tying run on base. Slania got out of the jam after Eric Jacobson grounded into a game-ending 5-3 double play.
Slania picked up his fourth save of the campaign.
Robinson was the only Irish player with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Brosnahan dropped to 2-2 on the season. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in his first complete game of the season. Brosnahan fanned four and did not issue a walk. He also induced a remarkable 17 ground outs.
Notre Dame returns to action with a split doubleheader against Michigan and LSU on Sun., Mar. 11 at 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT, respectively. The Irish close the weekend against the Tigers on Mon., Mar. 12 at 6:30 p.m. CT. In-game updates will be available on twitter at @NDBaseball and facebook at NDBaseball while fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the internet at UND.com.