Feb. 17, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. – One day after rallying from four runs down to upend Florida Gulf Coast, the University of Notre Dame was not as fortunate Sunday against Mercer as the Bears staved off an Irish rally for a 5-4 victory in the championship game of the 2013 Snowbird Classic at the Buck O’Neill Baseball Complex.
Junior 3B Eric Jagielo drew a two-out walk to bring junior 1B Trey Mancini to the plate as the potential winning run. Mercer closer Dimitri Kourtis left a fastball out over the middle of the plate and Mancini hammered it to left centerfield, but directly into a stiff breeze. The Bears left fielder Nate Moorhouse made the catch just shy of the warning track to end the game.
David Teasley, who was making his third appearance of the weekend, including an outing on Friday of 3.2 innings of work, picked up his second victory and improved to 2-0. He ultimately allowed two earned runs on one hit in 3.2 innings, but blanked Notre Dame over his first 3.1 innings of work. Teasley fanned five and walked two.
Irish freshman RHP David Hearne was charged with the loss, but acquitted himself quiet well in his first career outing in a Notre Dame uniform. He limited Mercer to three earned runs on four hits in 5.0 innings of work. Hearne struck out eight and walked a pair, one of which was intentional.
The Irish trailed 5-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, but finally solved Teasley. Sophomore LF Conor Biggio opened the inning with a hit by pitch and senior 2B Frank Desico followed with a bunt single. After a pop out, Jagielo stroked a double into the left centerfield gap to make the score, 5-3, and Mancini followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 5-4. After sophomore LF Ryan Bull drew a walk, freshman RF Zak Kutsulis grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Kourtis retired the Irish in order in eighth before holding on in the ninth inning.
After Hearne struck out the side in the top of the first, Notre Dame grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame. DeSico led off the game with a double and eventually came around to score on Mancini’s RBI single.
Hearne cruised through the first couple innings before running into trouble in the third. Moorhouse launched a solo homer to right to tie the game, 1-1, and Sasha Lagarde followed with a walk before Chesny Young tripled to give the Bears a 2-1 lead. Boyd pushed the Mercer lead to 3-1 a couple batters later with an RBI ground out.
Mancini cut the Notre Dame deficit to 3-2 on an RBI triple in the bottom of the third. The three-bagger was Mancini’s second of the year.
The game stayed, 3-2, until the sixth inning when Mercer plated two runs, one of which coming on a passed ball.
Mancini went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI. DeSico went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
Notre Dame returns to action next weekend with a three-game series at Tulane. First-pitch for Friday’s series opener is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT.
— ND —