March 23, 2013

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South Bend, Ind. – University of Notre Dame junior RHP Dan Slania collected his second multi-inning save in as many games as the 15th-ranked Irish swept a doubleheader from Seton Hall Saturday at Coveleski Stadium. Notre Dame took both ends of the twin bill by identical scores, 3-2.

The Irish (14-6, 2-1 BIG EAST) broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the seventh and held on to earn the series victory against the Pirates (8-12, 1-2). All three games of the series were decided by a single run and 11 of the last 13 meetings between Seton Hall and Notre Dame have been decided by the slimmest of margins. In fact, eight of the last 10 games the Irish have played have been decided by one run, including each of the last five contests. Notre Dame is 9-4 this season in games decided by a single run.

Freshman RHP Nick McCarty (3-3) earned the win. He allowed one run and struck out two in 3.0 innings of relief. Meanwhile, Pirates’ starting pitcher Greg Terhune (1-2) took the defeat despite allowing just two runs in 6.0 innings. However, he was unable to escape the seventh inning, which proved to be Seton Hall’s undoing.

With the game deadlocked, 1-1, the Irish plated two in the bottom of the seventh without the ball leaving the infield. They loaded the bases with one out via two walks and a hit batter. But, after junior 3B Eric Jagielo was intentionally walked, junior 1B Trey Mancini struck out, and the Irish appeared in danger of squandering another scoring opportunity after runners reached base in each of the previous six innings.

Then, with two out and a full count, sophomore RF Ryan Bull grounded an RBI infield single off the glove of Seton Hall reliever Jose Lopez that caromed away from the shortstop. Then, Pirates 3B Chris Selden threw a routine ground ball from freshman PH Zak Kutsulis wide of first to that allowed senior CF Charlie Markson to score and increased the Irish lead to 3-1.

In the eighth, however, McCarty ran into trouble after allowing a leadoff double and walking a batter. Despite tossing 1.1 innings in the first game of the doubleheader, Slania entered the game in pursuit of a six-out save. After the tying run in Zack Granite advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Scott Kalamar delivered a RBI groundout to cut the Irish lead to 3-2. However, Slania induced a fly out from clean-up hitter Giuseppe Papaccio to end the threat.

In the ninth, the Pirates were unable to capitalize on a one-out single. Alex Falconi grounded out to short to end the game and give Slania his seventh save of the season.

Similar to the first game of the doubleheader, the Irish opened the scoring with a run in the first but squandered a chance to add more runs. Senior 2B Frank Desico and Markson led off the game with back-to-back singles before advancing to second and third on a wild pitch. Mancini then lined an RBI single off the outstretched glove of the shortstop. However, freshman RF Ryan Bull and sophomore LF Phil Mosey failed to bring home another run from third as they both struck out.

Freshman starting pitcher David Hearne struggled with command in his 4.0 innings of work, walking three and working deep into counts. After working out of a bases-loaded jam in the second, Hearne could not escape trouble in the fourth as the Pirates tied the game.

Kyle Grimm, who had two of the Pirates’ four hits, laced an RBI triple into the left-center field gap to even the score at one. Then, with one out, Grimm broke for home on a suicide squeeze attempt. However, Mike Genovese missed the ball, and Irish junior C Forrest Johnson tagged Grimm out.

After a shaky first inning, Terhune scattered five hits over the next five innings and worked around a freshman LF Ricky Sanchez triple in the second. The Irish out-hit the Pirates by a 10-4 margin and left 11 runners on base.

Notre Dame opens a two-game non-conference series with 2012 College World Series participant Kent State at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Coveleski Stadium.