March 27, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Pablo Vinent struck out freshman CF Eric Jagielo to end the game and give Georgetown a 4-3 victory and salvage the final game of the BIG EAST series Sunday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish captured each of the first two games of the series by a single run, but the Hoyas returned the favor this afternoon.
Notre Dame dropped to 9-11-1 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST, while the Hoyas improved to 16-9 and 1-2.
Vinent picked up the victory in relief for Georgetown and improved to 3-1 on the year. The right-handed hurler allowed six hits in 3.2 innings of work, but limited the Irish to just one run. Vinent struck out three and walked one.
Notre Dame senior RHP Todd Miller was charged with the loss and dropped to 2-2 on the season. The starter was charged with four runs, all earned, on five hits in 6.1 innings. Miller fanned three and walked one.
The Irish did not go quietly in their half of the ninth inning. Sophomore P/DH Adam Norton singled back up the middle with one out. Senior 3B Greg Sherry followed with a sinking line drive to centerfield. Norton went more than half way toward the second base bag, but had to hold up to see if the ball was caught. Georgetown's centerfielder Justin Leeson did not come up with the catch, but the ball caromed off his glove and a mere couple feet in front of the charging outfielder. Leeson gathered the ball and fired a high throw to second base, but Hoyas second basemen Andy Lentz lunged off the bag to catch the throw and landed on the bag just in time to force Norton.
Now two outs and Sherry on first, sophomore 2B Frank DeSico followed with an infield single to move the tying run into scoring position. Vinent than helped the Irish cause with a wild pitch to advance both runners in scoring position.
With the tying run only 90 feet away and the winning run at second, senior SS Mick Doyle drew a walk to load the bases for Jagielo, who had doubled in each of his last plate appearances.
Jagielo fouled off Vinent's first offering before taking a pitch outside to even the count 1-1. Jagielo fouled off another pitch from Vinent to fall behind in the count 1-2, but again took a ball to event the count at 2-2. Vinent then got Jagielo to swing and miss at a changeup down and inside to end the game.
Miller pitched as well as the righty possibly could following a painful first inning, literally. Miller surrendered a leadoff double to Leeson and Georgetown SS Mike Garza followed with a missile back up the box that drilled Miller on the pitching hand. He managed to rebound and still record the out, but the ball left a serious welt on Miller's right hand.
Leeson did advance to third on the liner and scored on Rand Ravnaas' ensuing sacrifice fly to give the Hoyas an early 1-0 lead. Georgetown C Erick Fernandez followed with a single and Dan Capeless lined another ball off Miller, this time off the leg, but Miller again was able to record the out.
If either line drive hindered Miller, nobody could have noticed. He proceeded to retire the next 14 consecutive Georgetown batters before a meaningless one-out walk in the top of the sixth inning.
Notre Dame was not able to mount much of anything against Hoyas starting pitcher Alex Baker. He kept the Irish off the scoreboard until the sixth inning.
Jagielo ripped a one-out double down the right field line and fellow rookie 1B Trey Mancini absolutely hammered a 3-2 offering from Baker over the left field wall for a two-run home run to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
Miller got Fernandez to ground out to open the Georgetown seventh inning before running into trouble. Capeless singled and Lamont doubled, both on Miller's first offering of the at bat, to quickly tie the game, 2-2. Steve Anderson followed with a seeing-eye single to right field to put runners on the corners with one out.
Miller's day was done following Anderson's base hit. Lentz laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position for Bello. Norton worked ahead of the Hoyas' nine-hole hitter and pushed the count to 1-2, but Bello somehow dropped a looping liner just past the diving reach of Doyle in short centerfield for a two-run single, which gave Georgetown a 4-2 advantage.
Norton retired the next seven Hoyas and the Irish drew within a run, 4-3, in the bottom of the eighth inning on senior LF Matt Grosso's RBI double.
Norton yielded just one hit in 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
DeSico, Jagielo, Grosso and Norton all had two hits for the Irish. DeSico went 2-for-5, Jagielo went 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, Grosso went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and Norton went 2-for-3.
Notre Dame totaled 11 on the day, which is tied for the second-most in any game this season for Notre Dame.
The Irish, who stranded 13 in Saturday's 1-0 victory, left nine on the base paths in Sunday's one-run defeat. Notre Dame has already played in nine games this season decided by a run or less. The Irish are now 4-5 in those contests.
Notre Dame returns to the diamond against UIC at 5:35 p.m. ET on Monday at Frank Eck Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for Wed., March 23, but was rained out. The game can be heard on WHME Harvest 103.1 FM and UND.com. Freshman LHP Anthony McIver will take the mound for the Irish.