April 20, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Buoyed by a four-run first inning, senior RHP Adam Norton tossed a five-hit, complete game shutout to lead the Irish to a 6-0 win and a doubleheader sweep of Quinnipiac Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium. Notre Dame (21-15) snapped a six-game losing streak at Frank Eck Stadium on Saturday, while the Bobcats dropped to 10-23.
Norton (8-1) continued an impressive campaign as he tied a career high with nine strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 1.63, placing him fourth in the BIG EAST amongst qualified pitchers. He retired 17 of the last 18 Bobcat hitters to end the game. He also pounded the strike zone throughout the contest with 83 of his 109 pitches going for strikes, and walked just one batter.
Entering Saturday, runs had been at a premium for the Irish during their six-game losing streak. Only once during the span had they scored more than three runs, and they averaged just 2.3 runs per game in that stretch. However, they scored 15 runs in the doubleheader by virtue of early leads. Junior 3B and All-American candidate Eric Jagielo led the Irish with a 3-for-4 day coupled with two RBI and a triple.
After scoring three in the first inning of game one, the Irish again struck quickly against Bobcats starter Spencer Kane (2-3). They scored four runs in the first and batted around. Senior 2B and co-captain Frank Desico stole second following a leadoff single before freshman RF Zak Kutsulis reached on an error.
Then, Jagielo lined an RBI single to center field. Junior 1B and All-American candidate Trey Mancini followed with a sacrifice fly to center for the second run. Sophomore DH Ryan Bull roped an RBI double to the right-center field gap to score Jagielo. Finally, after a single and a walk loaded the bases, freshman SS Lane Richards lofted a sacrifice fly to left to close the scoring.
Kane recovered to allow just two more runs in his 6.0 innings of work, but Norton did not require any more offensive support.
The only time Quinnipiac threatened to score occurred in the fourth. Trailing 5-0, three straight singles loaded the bases with none out. However, Norton managed to escape the jam and preserved his second complete-game shutout of the season. He struck out DH Rob Pescitelli for the first out. Then, CF Steffen Herter rolled a ground ball to DeSico who turned an inning-ending double play.
Meanwhile, the middle of the Irish order continued to dominate in the second. With two out, Jagielo narrowly missed a home run with a line drive off the wall in right-center but ended up with a triple. Mancini then pulled an RBI double inside the third base line to make the score 5-0. With two RBI on Saturday, Mancini leads the Irish with 36 on the season.
Jagielo sent a sacrifice fly to the wall in center to score DeSico and make the score 6-0 in the fourth. DeSico reached on a bloop single before swiping his second stolen base of the day and team leading 12th of the season to advance to second.
Notre Dame concludes its weekend series with Quinnipiac at Frank Eck Stadium in a 1:05 p.m. game on Sunday.