April 12, 2010
Overall Record: 11-19, 2-7 BIG EAST
Oakland held a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the third, but freshman Frank Desico and senior Brayden Ashdown both homered in the inning, the first of the season for each player (and the first of Desico's career), to put the Irish up for good. DeSico collected a career-high four hits in the game, scored twice, and drove in a pair of runs.
Senior David Mills tripled twice, walked, scored a run, and drove in four with the help of two sacrifice flies, which moved him into fifth place in Notre Dame history for total sacrifices in a career with 39 (28 sacrifice flies, 11 sacrifice bunts). The Irish finished with four sac flies in the game, bringing their BIG EAST-leading total to 21 (school record is 41, in 2002).
After waiting through a lengthy delay for an illegal Rutgers substitution in the eighth inning, pinch-hitter David Casey delivered a two-out, game-tying single and freshman Adam Norton followed with an RBI triple over the head of a diving Jarred Jimenez in center field to give the Irish a 9-8, come-from-behind victory over Rutgers Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Junior Brian Dupra made the start for Notre Dame but struggled, throwing 101 pitches in 4.0+ innings. He yielded six runs (five earned) on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts, failing to extend his streak of 6.0+-inning outings to six. Mills worked a career-high 4.0 innings for the victory (1-1) in relief of Dupra, giving up two runs on a Jaren Matthews bomb. Mills also drove in a pair of runs, giving him nine RBI in his last four games.
In the second contest, Pat Biserta and Michael Lang each collected two of Rutgers' seven home runs as the Scarlet Knights took advantage of fierce winds blowing out to power past the Irish, 25-5, in baseball action from Frank Eck Stadium Saturday afternoon. Biserta upped his conference-leading home run total to 12 and drove in four, while Lang finished with seven RBI and Ryan Kapp added five RBI. The loss snapped Notre Dame's 10-game home winning streak over Rutgers.
The finale saw Rutgers tally a pair of runs in the top of the 11th inning to grab an 8-6 come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame and secure a series victory at Frank Eck Stadium Sunday afternoon. Senior right-handed pitcher Eric Maust did not factor in the decision, but he put together his best outing of the season. Maust entered the contest on the heels of his two worst starting outings in an Irish uniform. He lasted just 1.2 and 1.1 innings (the shortest two starts of his career) in his last two outings against USF and Georgetown, respectively. Maust allowed five earned runs in 8.0 innings and scattered 12 hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Senior outfielder Billy Boockford paced the Irish attack with three hits. Boockford, who was making his first start in the outfield in 2010 and first since April 22, 2009, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. DeSico, senior first baseman Casey Martin, Ashdown and junior catcher Cameron McConnell all chipped in with two hits apiece. Connolly went 1-for-3 with two walks and a three-run home run. Ashdown and McConnell each also added solo home runs.
Notre Dame hit .311 as a team last week. Leading the way at the plate was DeSico, who hit .474 (9-for-19) with three runs scored, a double, home run and five RBI. DeSico also smacked his first career home run over the centerfield wall against Oakland en route to a career-best four hits. He registered three multi-hit games last week. The right-handed hitter registered an on-base percentage of .450 and slugging percentage of .684. DeSico also played errorless free baseball. He failed to commit an error in 18 fielding chances. DeSico registered 10 assists and eight putouts. He has not committed an error over his last 34 fielding chances. Norton hit .417 in four games with a double, triple, three RBI and two runs scored.
Notre Dame will finish off its homestand at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday evening against Chicago State before hitting the road for a three-game stint against BIG EAST opponent Seton Hall at Owen T. Carroll Field in East Orange, N.J. The Cougars of Chicago State will enter the Tuesday tilt with a 1-22 record including 0-19 on the road. The Pirates currently sit at 13-15 on the season including a 3-6 mark in conference play and will play Rider and Wagner before the Irish come to town for the weekend.