Notre Dame started the season on a strong note

Irish Sweep Past Florida Gulf Coast, Ohio State

Feb. 16, 2013

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SARASOTA, Fla. – University of Notre Dame senior co-captain Frank Desico went hitless in his first four plate appearances of the 2013 season, but followed with a walk-off RBI single to lead the Irish past Florida Gulf Coast, 6-5, in 10 innings. He then doubled, homered and singled twice in his first four times to the plate against Ohio State as Notre Dame routed the Buckeyes, 13-3. The Irish will face Mercer at 11 a.m. Sunday for the Snowbird Baseball Classic title.

Despite arriving to the team hotel at 3 a.m. Saturday morning, Notre Dame picked up its first opening day doubleheader sweep since Feb. 28, 1992 when the Irish upended Army and Navy.

DeSico’s four hits spearheaded a Notre Dame offense that totaled 16 against Ohio State. He drove in two and scored four runs. Junior All-American candidate Eric Jagielo went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBI, including a three-run home run. Sophomore Ryan Bull also chipped in with three hits (3-for-5).

Senior Adam Norton picked up the victory with 7.0 solid innings. He limited the Buckeyes to three earned runs on 10 hits. Norton fanned four and did not issue a walk.

Bull, Jagielo and DeSico combined in the twin bill for eight runs scored, double, three home runs and 10 RBI. The trio batted .571 (16-for-28) in the victories over Ohio State and Florida Gulf Coast.

Notre Dame opened the day with a thrilling come from behind, walk-off win over Florida Gulf Coast, 6-5, in 10 innings. DeSico laced a two strike, two out RBI single to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Irish their 22nd one-run victory under third-year Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki.

The Irish not only trailed 4-0 in the early innings, but they also found themselves down 5-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning. Senior co-captain Charlie Markson lined a one-out single to center field to bring the tying run to the plate in Jagielo. The Golden Spkies candidate rose to the occasion and absolutely crushed a two-run home run that caromed halfway up the batter’s eye in straightaway centerfield – 400-feet from home plate.

The game remained tied, 5-5, until the Irish half of the 10th. After freshman James Nevant led off the frame with a walk, freshman Lane Richards perfectly executed a sacrifice bunt that advanced freshman pinch runner Kyle Richardson into scoring position. After a Notre Dame strikeout, DeSico delivered his first career walk-off single with a base hit to right field that plated Richardson.

DeSico made a winner of freshman Nick McCarty, who entered in the top of the sixth inning and tossed 5.0 shutout innings of relief in his first career appearance in an Irish uniform. The right-handed hurler (1-0) limited the Eagles to four hits, all singles, and struck out four. McCarty did not issue a walk.

Eight of the nine players in Aoki’s lineup collected hits in the opener. Bull and Richards paced the 13-hit attack for Notre Dame with three a piece. Bull went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Richards went 3-for-3 with a run scored, RBI and sacrifice bunt. Jagielo went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. The round tripper was the 17th of his career. Junior Trey Mancini added a long ball of his own – a solo bomb that started the Irish comeback in the bottom of the fourth. It was Mancini’s 22nd career homer.

Junior Sean Fitzgerald started the game, but did not factor in the decision. The righty allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings of work. He struck out one and walked one.

Sophomore Phil Mosey drilled a solo home run in the rout of the Buckeyes.