SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
University of Notre Dame spotted UC Santa Barbara a six-run lead after five innings and the Gauchos held off the No. 17 Irish, 7-2, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium Tuesday afternoon. Notre Dame dropped to 10-4 on the season, while the UCSB improved to 9-7.
Greg Mahle picked up the victory with 4.0 shutout innings of work and improved to 3-1 on the year. He allowed one hit and struck out six.
Sophomore DH Phil Mosey, who had a pinch-hit double to open the ninth-inning rally against No. 10 Oklahoma Sunday, went 3-for-4 with a run scored in his first start of the season. Junior 3B All-American candidate Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) and sophomore RF Ryan Bull (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) each added RBI singles.
Freshman LHP Zak Kutsulis (Home Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) allowed an unearned run in 3.1 innings of work. The southpaw limited the Gauchos to a base hit and retired the final five batters he faced. Kutsulis struck out one and walked one.
Irish freshman RHP Nick McCarty (Westfield, Ind./Cathedral) took the loss and dropped to 2-3 on the year. The rookie, who entered today's outing with two walks over his first 16.1 career innings of work, was uncharacteristially wild. McCarty issued three walks in the first inning alone, including a free pass with the bases loaded that gave the Gauchos a 1-0. He managed to evade further damage and escaped a bases-loaded jam thanks to a spectacular defensive effort from senior 2B Frank Desico (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius). The co-captain made a great back-handed pick of a ground ball that not only caromed off the pitcher's mound but took a wicked hop just before DeSico got a glove on the ball.
McCarty seemed to settle down in the second and third inning before running into more trouble with his command in the fourth. A leadoff walk was followed by a Parker Miles' RBI double that pushed the UCSB lead to 2-0, but McCarty picked up a strikeout. With one out, Luke Swenson singled to put runners on the corners for Brandon Trinkwon, who grounded into a fielder's choice and Miles was gunned out at home.
Junior RHP Donnie Hissa (Iron River, Wisc./Maple Northwestern) relieved McCarty and promptly served up a two-run triple on his first offering out of the bullpen to Tyler Kuresa. Robby Nesovic followed with a bad-hop single and the Gauchos led 5-0.
McCarty was roughed up for four runs, all earned, on five hits in 3.2 innings of work. He struck out one, but walked four, three of which eventually came around to score.
After UCSB pushed its lead to 6-0, Notre Dame finally showed some life. The Irish cut the deficit to 6-2 on back-to-back, one-out RBI singles from Bull and Jagielo in the top of the sixth. With Bull at third and Jagielo at first, Nesovic started and finished his motion toward home plate, not third base, before turning and throwing to first. It was clearly a balk, yet the call was not made and Jagielo was picked off.
Junior 1B All-American candidate Trey Mancini then walked, which would have loaded the bases with one out, but instead gave the Irish runners on the corners and two down for senior CF Charlie Markson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay), who struck out swinging to end the threat.
Notre Dame loaded the bases in its half of the seventh inning with one out after three straight singles from Mosey, freshman SS Lane Richards (Pendleton, Ore./Pendleton) and junior C Forrest Johnson (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson). DeSico represented the potential tying run. DeSico grounded back to the mound and Kenny Chapman quickly threw home to get the lead runner. UCSB catcher Jackson Morrow then threw to first base to try and complete the double play. The ball struck DeSico squarely in the back as he stepped on the first base bag and rolled into foul territory, which allowed an Irish run to score, but DeSico was conveniently called out for being out of the base line.
The inning ended and for all intents and purposes so did any opportunity for a Notre Dame victory.
Kuresa went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Swenson went 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI.
Notre Dame returns to action at 6 p.m. PT Thursday when it opens a three-game series at No. 22 Cal Poly.
-- ND --