The No. 17 Notre Dame baseball team earned its third win over a ranked opponent this season with a 1-0 win over No. 20 Cal Poly Friday night at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo. The victory evens the three-game series with the rubber game Saturday afternoon.
The Fighting Irish (11-5) scored the game's lone run in the top of the 9th inning when second baseman Frank DeSico plated shortstop Lane Richards, who had doubled to start the frame. Kyle Richardson bunted Richards to third and DeSico came through with two outs after Zak Kutsulis had flied out to centerfield.
DeSico now has two late inning game-winning RBIs this season. His 10th inning two-out single gave the Irish a 6-5 win over Florida Gulf Coast in the Feb. 16 season opener in Sarasota, Fla.
Starting pitcher Adam Norton (5-0) was stellar on the mound again. The senior tossed 8.0 shutout innings while allowing just five hits to the Mustangs (15-3). He struckout three and walked one. Norton, who has allowed just a run in his last 15 innings, lowered his season ERA to 1.25 in the outing. He became the first Irish pitcher since future Major Leaguer Aaron Heilman in 2001 to open a season with wins in each of his first five starts.
Dan Slania brought the hammer in the bottom of the ninth after DeSico gave the Irish the run. The 6'5 fire baller gave-up a leadoff single to Mustang centerfielder Adam Armendariz, but he struckout the next two batters and got leadoff man Denver Chavez to pop up to third base to end the game.
The save is Slania's fourth of the season and the 21st of the junior's career. He is just five saves from Kyle Weiland's (currently of the Houston Astros) school record of 25.
Notre Dame has won 40 games by a 1-0 margin in the 120 year history of the program, but the win at Cal Poly marks the first such road win since a 1989 victory at Saint Louis.
Saturday's series and spring break trip finale begins at Noon PT. Notre Dame is yet to lose a series or multi-game event this season. They won two of three games at the Dodgertown Classic to open their California trip last weekend in Los Angeles.