Feb 19, 2013, 2:09 PM EDT
Less than 12 hours after arriving at their hotel in Sarasota, Fla., the Irish took the diamond for their season opener in the Snowbird Classic against Florida Gulf Coast this past Saturday. Another six hours later, the Irish had completed a thrilling comeback and earned a blowout victory on their way to their first Opening Day doubleheader sweep since 1992.
The Irish trailed for essentially the entire game against Florida Gulf Coast, losing 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. After senior co-captain Charlie Markson reached base on a one-out single, junior 3B and All-American candidate Eric Jagielo bombed a 400-foot home run to deep centerfield to tie the game, 5-5.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, the other senior co-captain Frank DeSico broke out of a 0-4 hole in the game with a walk-off, two-out RBI single. The unsung hero of the game was freshman pitcher Nick McCarty who pitched 5.0 shutout innings in relief in his first collegiate appearance to keep the Irish in the game.
“Going into the ninth inning, it was really nice to see the team at no point thinking we were going to lose, even though we had been down the whole game,” said Markson about the team’s resolve. “I think that’s an attitude that hasn’t existed on any team that I’ve played for at Notre Dame in my four years here.”
DeSico and Jagielo carried over the magic of the comeback into the nightcap against Ohio State, powering the Irish to a 13-3 win over the Buckeyes. DeSico went 4-4 in his first four plate appearances against the Buckeyes, including a two-run homer. Jagielo finished the game with 5 RBI and 3 more hits, including a three-run home run. Senior pitcher Adam Norton earned the W for the Irish with 7.0 excellent innings, four strikeouts, and only three earned runs allowed.
“It was really nice to see freshmen like Zak Kutsulis and Nick McCarty go out there and work flawlessly in our staff,” Markson said of the team’s pitching. “Adam Norton went out there and did what he always does – just grinded for us, ate up innings, and threw strikes.”
Unfortunately, the luck of the Irish ran out in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Mercer in the title game of the Snowbird Classic. With Jagielo on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, junior 1B Trey Mancini represented the winning run. Mancini’s deep fly ball was knocked down before the warning track and caught for the final out. Freshman hurler David Hearne pitched well in his first career start, giving up three earned runs and striking out eight over 5.0 innings.
“Obviously, coming out of this weekend with a 2-1 record is a positive, but at the same time we wanted to be 3-0, and we think that we could have been 3-0. It does give us confidence going into New Orleans next weekend when we play Tulane,” said Markson.
The Irish open up a three-game road series at Tulane this Friday at 6:30 ET.
“There are definitely a lot of positives. Obviously, there are also a lot of things we can work on – no team is perfect – but we are confident going into next weekend and hopefully we will come out of it 3-0.”
- W. Tennis. Irish Keep Rolling At ITA, IU Regionals
- W. Soccer. What To Watch For: Wake Forest
- M. Ice Hockey. #3/4 Irish Fall in Overtime to Penn State
- M. Tennis. Irish Play Into Quarterfinal Rounds At ITA Regional
- Swimming & Diving. No.14 Fighting Irish Stay Undefeated in Season Beating No.22 Georgia Tech in First Dual ACC Meet
- W. Rowing. Club Four Claims Third At Head of the Charles
- M. Ice Hockey. Gross Leads #3/4 Irish To Comeback Tie
- Swimming & Diving. Strong Start for Fighting Irish in Day 1 of Dual Meet Against No. 22 Georgia Tech
- M. Soccer. #4 Irish End Road Trip With 2-1 Defeat In Double Overtime At Duke
- M. Tennis. Irish Impress In First Rounds Of ITA Regional Play
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- Want the OFFICIAL Game Coin from @NDFootball vs. Stanford? Bid in the Bank of America auction. #BofACoinToss BID… twitter.com/i/web/status/7… 3 hours ago
- ON THIS DAY: 1977 #11 @NDFootball dominated #5 USC 49-19 in the famed "Green Jersey Game". ND would go on to win… twitter.com/i/web/status/7… 22 hours ago
- ☘️ ACC SWEEP @NDVolleyball downs Pitt 3-0, led by sophomore Rebecca Nunge's team-high 10 kills on 25 attempts. ➡️… twitter.com/i/web/status/7… 1 day ago
- ☘️ To compete with the best you need the best equipment. See ND's cutting edge weight room with @NDFootball. https://t.co/0rbg5Ap7SH 1 day ago
- With @NDXCTF 4x NCAA champ Molly Seidel has logged 14,000+ miles. Equivalent to running from ND ➡️Taj Mahal & back. https://t.co/gW23X2MBqW 1 day ago