Brian Dupra (File Photo)

Irish Baseball Drops Series Opener To Seton Hall, 2-1

April 29, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame wasted another stellar pitching performance from senior RHP Brian Dupra. The Irish stranded 10, including seven in scoring position and four at third base, as Seton Hall took the BIG EAST series opener, 2-1, Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Notre Dame dropped to 14-21-1 overall and 5-10 in the league, while the Pirates improved to 20-19 and 7-9.

On a night where the Irish missed out on a handful of scoring chances, Notre Dame’s final attempt to tie the game was erased following a rarely-seen runner’s interference in the bottom of the ninth inning.

With the Irish trailing, 2-1,senior David Casey led off the inning with a single to right field. Sophomore DH Adam Norton then laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt. Seton Hall closer Ryan Harvey stumbled as he attempted to field the ball and appeared to throw wide of the first base bag as the ball caromed off Norton’s back, but the Irish sophomore was ruled out of the baseline. Sophomore Charlie Markson, who pinch ran for Casey, and raced all the way to third base, was ordered to return to first.

Harvey proceeded to punch out the next two Notre Dame batters to end the game and register his fourth save of the year. He tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief and yielded just one hit. Harvey struck out five and walked one.

Senior Joe DiRocco, one of only two BIG EAST weekend starters without a loss, improved to 6-0 on the year. He scattered nine hits in 6.1 innings of work. DiRocco fanned four and walked two, but danced out of trouble all game long.

Despite Notre Dame going 4-for-18 with runners on base and just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, Dupra did everything that could have been asked to keep the Irish in the game.

The right-handed hurler tossed Notre Dame’s first complete game of the season. He limited the Pirates to a pair of earned runs on seven hits and punched out 10. Dupra retired 11 of the last 12 Seton Hall hitters, including the final nine of the contest, but was charged with the loss.

Dupra dropped to 2-5 on the year despite a 2.42 ERA. The complete game was the third of his career and first since April 18, 2009, against West Virginia. Dupra also recorded his third game of the season with 10 or more strikeouts.

Fifth-year senior RF Herman Petzold paced the Irish 10-hit attack. He went 3-for-4. Sophomore 2B Frank DeSico and freshman LF Eric Jagielo each went 2-for-4. Jagielo scored Notre Dame’s only run. Junior CF Alex Robinson went 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

Seton Hall grabbed the lead in the top of the third inning. Frank Esposito opened the frame with a sharp single and moved into scoring position following Will Walsh’s successful sacrifice bunt. The Irish left fielder Jagielo played extremely shallow for the light hitting Granite, but the Pirates rookie slapped a liner just over the out-stretched arm of Jagielo for an RBI triple.

Dupra evaded any further damage and stranded Grante at third base following back-to-back groundouts to keep the Notre Dame deficit, 1-0.

The Irish managed to advance a runner into scoring position with less than two outs in the second and fourth inning, but was unable to score on either occasion.

With Petzold at second following an infield single and error, Robinson grounded out and Doyle struck out looking to end the second. Jagielo singled and stole second in the fourth, but was thrown out trying to advance to third base on freshman 1B Trey Mancini’s routine grounder to shortstop. Petzold followed with a sharp single to put runners on first and second. Robinson then tried to bunt for a base hit, but was thrown out by DiRocco.

The Pirates pushed their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Walsh that barely stayed fair inside the right field foul pole.

Notre Dame again put together a rally in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore C Joe Hudson drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on Norton’s single. DiRocco then helped out the Irish with a balk to put runners on second and third with one out, but Notre Dame returned the favor when Norton was picked off at second. DeSico ultimately drew a two-out walk, but DiRocco got Sherry swinging to end the inning.

Dupra struck out the side in the top of the sixth and the Irish rode that momentum in the home half of the inning. Jagielo led off the inning with a single. After Mancini struck out looking, Petzold followed with his third base hit of the game. Robinson then delivered an RBI single to centerfield to bring the Irish within a run, 2-1. Petzold and Robinson scampered to second and third base on a wild pitch with two down, but Hudson flew out to end the inning.

The Irish missed out on another opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. DeSico laced a one-out single to end the evening for DiRocco. Harvey came on and promptly walked Sherry, but the Seton Hall closer got Jagielo on a called third strike and Mancini to pop out to end the threat.

Notre Dame honored former baseball monogram winner Chuck Lennon prior to and throughout Friday’s game. A member of the Notre Dame community for 51 years, Lennon has served as the executive director of the University’s Alumni Association since 1981. He will retire on June 30, 2011, after 30 years of service to the more than 128,000 members of the Notre Dame global alumni community.

Notre Dame and Seton Hall return to action at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The game can be heard in South Bend on WHME / Harvest 103.1 FM and watched live at

As always, please visit regularly for full coverage of all Notre Dame athletics news and events.

— ND —