Mar 23, 2012, 10:45 PM EDT
What a game.
After a two-hour and one-minute rain delay at Frank Eck Stadium, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh took to the diamond for the BIG EAST opener, and it’s safe to say, for a few dozen faithful fans, this one was worth sticking around for.
Irish starter Will Hudgins notched a career-high 12 strikeouts over 7.1 innings pitched, but it was rightfielder Ryan Bull who brought the late-inning drama. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, the freshman sent a Tanner Wilt pitch sailing over the right field fence to lift the Irish to a 6-5 victory over the Panthers.
It’s baseball season, but basketball is still on the brain. Fortunately for us in the press box, we were able to catch some of tonight’s hoops action, thanks to ‘March Madness Live.’
Of course, we didn’t know the Irish could provide an even more thrilling finish than the close one between Ohio and North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen.
This game was awfully reminiscent of a trip my family and I made to Fenway Park this past summer. Red Sox nation sat through a two-hour rain delay, but at the end of the night, not a single Sox fan left unhappy, as centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury won the game on a walk-off single.
What Frank Eck Stadium lacked in the attendance and national attention of The Fens, it equaled in excitement.
The highlights won’t be on television, but Notre Dame’s rain delay did cause a bit of a stir locally, keeping the start of the basketball game between Indiana and Kentucky off-the-air for much of the first half in the Michiana area.
In fact, radio announcer Chuck Freeby came into the press box before the Irish half of the ninth inning and said something along the lines of, “There won’t be a postgame show, even when Bull hits a walk-off here.”
Fortunately for IU fans (and the devoted Irish fans who stuck around), Freeby was dead-on about how the game would end. Bull came through, and crushed Wilt’s second pitch of the inning over the “330” sign in right field.
In my time covering football, whether at Notre Dame or elsewhere, the media is often reminded, ‘No cheering in the press box.’
Well if that etiquette exists in college baseball, it went out the window tonight. Take a look below.
With the constant threat of lightning, UND.com was unable to stream the game, and unfortunately, that flip cam shot may be the only video highlight we have from tonight.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh return to the diamond tomorrow at 2:05 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm. As always, listen live, and weather permitting, watch the broadcast right here on UND.com.
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