Irish baseball off to best start since 1960

University of Notre Dame sophomore Ryan Bull’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning gave the Irish a thrilling 3-2 victory over Tennessee and capped a perfect opening day from the 2013 USA Baseball-Irish Classic Friday. Notre Dame opened the tournament with a 9-4 rout of Massachusetts earlier in the afternoon. The Irish, now 7-1 on the year, have not posted a better record over their first eight games of a season since 1960.

Junior RHP Dan Slania picked up the victory in relief in the nightcap and improved to 1-0 on the season. He tossed a perfect 3.1 innings of relief. Slania retired all 10 Tennessee batters he faced and struck out three.

Senior Frank DeSico and senior Charlie Markson each collected three hits. The freshman tandem of Zak Kutsulis and Lane Richards each added two hits. Richards tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out RBI single.

In the day’s first game, junior Trey Mancini smacked a three-run home run and junior Forrest Johnson added a three-run triple in Notre Dame’s victory over the Minutemen.

Sophomore Matt Ternowchek picked up the victory over UMass. He tossed 5.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and struck out eight.

The Irish return to action Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a top-25 showdown against No. 25 Virginia Tech.

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