Feb. 26, 2012
CARY, N.C. – The offense carried Notre Dame over its first five games of 2012, but on Sunday the Irish got great starting pitching from senior RHP Will Hudgins to hold off Hofstra, 5-4, to secure a three-game sweep from the USA Baseball Training Complex. Notre Dame improved to 5-1 – the program’s best start through six games since 2004 when the Irish opened 6-0.
Hudgins, making just his second career starter after working exclusively out of the bullpen over his first three years at Notre Dame, tossed a career-best 7.2 innings and limited the Pride to an earned run on five hits. Hudgins struck out six and walked four. He improved to 1-0 on the year.
Sophomore RHP Dan Slania picked up his third save of the year and third in as many games. He registered saves in each of the first two games of the series.
Hofstra plated a run off Hudgins in the top of the first inning, but the righty blanked the Pride the rest of the way. He retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced before, including a punch out with two outs in the eighth.
With Notre Dame leading 5-1, senior LHP Steve Sabatino got a strikeout to end the eighth inning and opened the ninth with a punch out and ground out, but ran into control issues. With two outs, Sabatino plunked Matt Reistetter on a 1-0 offering and proceeded to walk the next two batters on eight pitches.
After Sabatino fell behind Danny Poma, 3-0, Slania entered and quickly worked the count full, but his 3-2 pitched missed the strike zone and the walk brought Hofstra within three runs, 5-2. Matt Ford followed with a two-run single to make it 5-4, but Slania got Jared Hammer to ground out to end the game.
Sophomore 1B Trey Mancini provided most of the offense. He went 3-for-3 with an RBI single in the first and RBI double in the third. Mancini added another single and also scored a run.
Notre Dame built upon its 2-1 lead with three runs, two of which were unearned, in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore OF Eric Jagielo and Mancini each singled with one out and junior C Joe Hudson followed with another infield single to load the bases.
The Irish called on freshman PH Blaise Lezynski and he delivered with an RBI ground out to push the Irish lead to 3-1. Junior PH Adam Norton followed with a blooper in short right field that Pride second baseman Ford dropped for an error that allowed two more runs to score.
The four-run lead, 5-1, proved to be too much for Hofstra.
Hudson collected his fourth multi-hit game of the season. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Freshman OF Mac Hudgins went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Notre Dame failed to reach double digits in the hit column for the first time in 2012.
Sabatino was charged with three runs, all earned, without benefit of a hit, but three walks. He also registered two strikeouts.
Notre Dame returns to action when it opens a three-game series at 6:30 p.m. CT on Fri., Mar. 2 at Texas State.
— ND —