Junior 3B Eric Jagielo.

No. 17 Irish Hold Off No. 20 Cal Poly, 6-5

March 16, 2013

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 17 University of Notre Dame baseball team raced out to a 5-0 lead and held off a late charge from No. 20 Cal Poly for a 6-5 victory Saturday afternoon from Baggett Stadium. The Irish took two of three from the Mustangs and improved to 12-5 on the year, while Cal Poly dropped to 15-4.

Sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek (Glenmoore, Pa./Downington East) picked up the victory in relief and improved to 2-0 on the season. He tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Ternowchek allowed a pair of hits and struck out one. He threw a combined 6.0 scoreless innings of relief in the series with Cal Poly and has yet to allow a run in 12.0 innings this year.

Dan Slania (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe) picked up his second save in as many days and fifth of the year. He has now collected 22 over his brilliant Notre Dame career, which ranks second on the all-time Irish career saves list. Slania is now just four saves away from the school record of 25 held by Kyle Weiland (2006-08).

Slania was asked to get the final six outs of the game with the Irish clinging to a one-run lead, 6-5, and the junior All-American closer candidate delivered. Slania did surrender a leadoff single to open the bottom of the eighth inning, but retired the final six Mustangs of the game to seal the victory.

Slania also remains perfect on the season. He is 2-0 with five saves in eight relief appearances. Slania has yet to allow a run in 16.1 innings. He has struck out 14, walked two and allowed only seven hits. Slania has limited the opposition to a .132 batting average in 2013.

Senior 2B Frank Desico (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) went 3-for-5 with a double and run scored. Junior All-American 3B candidate Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored. He leads the Irish in hitting (.393), home runs (six) and RBI (20). Jagielo owns a nine-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games.

Freshman SS Lane Richards (Pendleton, Ore./Pendleton) went 2-for-5 with a two-run single.

Freshman RHP David Hearne (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) started, but did not make it out of the third inning. He allowed a run on four hits in 2.2 innings of work. Hearne struck out three.

Freshman RHP Nick McCarty (Westfield, Ind./Cathedral) was knocked around for three runs, two earned, on six hits in 2.1 innings. Junior RHP Donnie Hissa (Iron River, Wisc./Maple Northwestern) allowed a run on a hit in 0.1 innings of work.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a solo blast off the bat of Jagielo. He hammered a 2-0 offering from Cal Poly starting pitcher Bryan Granger over the right field wall.

The Irish pushed their advantage to 5-0 with a four-run third inning. Junior All-American 1B candidate Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) recorded a sacrifice fly and sophomore DH Phil Mosey (Fishers, Ind./Cathedral) added an RBI single. Richards closed the scoring with a two-run RBI single.

The Mustangs added solo runs in the bottom of the third and fifth innings, then scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to climb within a run, 6-5, but Ternowchek and Slania did the rest.

Granger took the defeat and dropped to 3-2 on the campaign. He was roughed up for five runs, all earned, on six hits in 2.2 innings of work. Michael Holback fanned six in 4.2 innings of relief. He scattered six hits and allowed one run. Reed Reilly tossed a scoreless 1.2 innings of relief.

Nick Torres and Brian Mundell each had three hits.

With the victory, Notre Dame improved to 7-3 on the season in one-run contests. The Irish have played an astounding 47 games decided by a single run under third-year head coach Mik Aoki. Notre Dame is 27-20 in those outings.

The victory is Notre Dame’s fourth over a ranked opponent already this season, including triumphs over No. 25 Virginia Tech, No. 10 Oklahoma and two over No. 20 Cal Poly. The Irish could claim a fifth victory over a top-25 foe (Florida Gulf Coast), but the Eagles were unranked at the time of the meeting and have since moved into the top 25.

Notre Dame opens BIG EAST action next weekend with Seton Hall. The Irish and Pirates will open their series at 5:35 p.m. Friday at either Frank Eck Stadium or Coveleski Stadium.

— ND —