The No. 17 Notre Dame baseball team used a four-run third inning to edge No. 20 Cal Poly 6-5 Saturday afternoon at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo. The Irish (12-5) lost the first game of the series, but bounced back to beat the Mustangs (15-4) in the last two games for the series win. It marks the fifth time in as many weekends the Irish have won a series/event.
Notre Dame got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning when third baseman Eric Jagielo cleared the right field wall with a solo home run. Jagielo leads the team with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 2013. His long ball was one of two hits on the day.
The Fighting Irish then broke the game open by plating four runs in the top of the third. The scoring started with a sacrifice fly by Trey Mancini that got leadoff man Frank DeSico home from third base. Phil Mosey followed that with an RBI single that pushed Ryan Bull home. Shortstop Lane Richards then capped the scoring in the inning with a single that scored both Mosey and Jagielo.
Bull gave Notre Dame its sixth and final run of the game in the sixth inning when he tripled to right centerfield to score Kyle Richardson, who had walked to start the inning.
Irish starting pitcher David Hearne allowed an earned run on four hits in just 2.2 innings. Nick McCarty relieved his fellow freshman and got the final out of the third inning after Cal Poly plated its first run. McCarty gave-up three runs (two earned) in the sixth in his seventh relief appearance of the season. Matt Ternowcheck (2-0) earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Closer Dan Slania fired 2.0 scoreless innings to end the game and earn his fifth save of the season. He struckout two of the three batters he faced in the 9th inning, including three-hole batter Jimmy Allen to end the game. It was Slania's second save in as many days and the 22nd of his career. He needs three more to tie current Houston Astros Kyle Weiland for the all-time Notre Dame saves record.
Friday and Saturday's wins by the Irish mark Cal Poly's first series loss and first back-to-back losses this season. Notre Dame finishes its spring break trip in California with a 7-3 record, including three wins against ranked teams. They return home to open their final season of Big East play against Seton Hall next Friday-Sunday at Frank Eck Stadium.