March 29, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame plated all three of its runs in the sixth inning on four straight hits and the Irish bullpen did the rest en route to a nip-and-tuck, 3-2, victory over Central Michigan on Tuesday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Notre Dame improved to 10-12-1 overall, while the Chippewas dropped to 9-16.
Sophomore RHP Adam Norton evened his record at 2-2 on the season with 7.0 strong innings of work. He limited Central Michigan to just a pair of earned runs, a two-run home run in the top of the seventh, on nine hits. Norton struck out a career-high seven and did not issue a walk.
Bryce Morrow was charged with the loss for the Chippewas. The right-handed hurler dropped to 0-3 on the campaign. Morrow allowed three earned runs, all in the Irish sixth inning, on six hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Freshman RHP Dan Slania definitely earned his third save of the season.
The Irish took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning. Sam Russell tripled down the right field line to open the frame and put the game tying run just 90 feet from home with no outs. Slania then walked Jordan Dean to put the go-ahead runner on base, but shut the door the rest of the way.
Slania struck out both Tom Howard and Nate Theunissen, who stroked a two-run home run earlier in the game. Dean moved into scoring position on Theunissen's punch out when the ball bounced away from sophomore C Joe Hudson, but Slania eventually got Eric Wrozek to ground out to end the game.
Fifth-year senior RF Herman Petzold collected three of Notre Dame's seven hits in the game. Petzold went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and walk. Freshman 1B Trey Mancini went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI single. Freshman CF Eric Jagielo and senior LF Matt Grosso each went 1-for-3. Jagielo had a double and run scored, while Grosso had a run scored and RBI single.
Norton baffled Central Michigan over the first 6.2 innings before running into a little trouble in the seventh. With two outs, Norton allowed a single and Theunissen followed with a towering two-run home run to cut the Irish lead to 3-2. Norton ultimately worked into the seventh inning for the second straight start.
Junior RHP Will Hudgins relieved Norton following Central Michigan's leadoff single in the eighth inning and retired the next three batters to keep the Notre Dame lead a single run.
Slania's walk in the ninth is his only free pass of the season in 14.2 innings of work.
Notre Dame will return to action this weekend with a three-game BIG EAST series against Pittsburgh at the brand-new Charles L. Cost Field. Game times are 3:00 p.m. on Friday, 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and Noon on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on WHME Harvest 103.1 FM and will be available on-line at UND.com. Live stats will be available on GameTracker.
As always, please visit UND.com regularly for full coverage of all Notre Dame athletics news and events.