Notre Dame sophomore Kevin DeFilippis made his 2013 debut in grand fashion.
The pinch hitter ripped a walk-off, RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the No. 22 Irish a thrilling come-from-behind 6-5 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma at Jackie Robinson Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Irish improved to 10-3 on the season, while the Sooners dropped to 12-4.
DeFilippis stepped to the plate with the game tied, 5-5, and runners on the corners with one out. He was pinch hitting for Irish junior All-American closer Dan Slania (who was forced into the lineup due to a double switch). DeFilippis took the first offering from Robert Tasine - the first pitch he has seen the entire season - and pulled a drive down the left-field line that one-hopped wall. Sophomore RF Ryan Bull (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) trotted home from third base to give Notre Dame its second victory of the season over a top-25 foe.
Slania (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe) picked up the victory in relief and improved to 2-0 on the year. The junior tossed 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Slania struck out two and limited Oklahoma to one base hit. He has now logged 13.1 innings this season and has yet to allow a run. Slania also picked up a save in 2.0 scoreless innings against USC on Saturday.
Billy Waltrip took the defeat and dropped to 0-1. He allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks in 3.1 innings. Waltrip also fanned four.
Freshman DH Ricky Sanchez was the lone Irish player with more than one hit, but a total of 10 different Notre Dame players collected hits. Sanchez went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Notre Dame appeared destined for its second one-run loss of the weekend before a ninth-inning rally.
Trailing 5-4, Irish sophomore PH Phil Mosey (Fishers, Ind./Cathedral) opened the inning with a pinch-hit double (in his third at-bat of the season). He added a pinch-hit home run against Ohio State earlier in the year.
Senior 2B Frank Desico (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) followed with a bunt single - and not the type of bunt single one might imagine. DeSico actually popped up the bunt. Waltrip came sprinting off the mound and made a diving attempt to catch the ball near the third base foul line. The ball caromed off his glove and rolled into foul territory for a base hit.
With runners on the corners and still no outs, Bull drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases for junior 3B All-American candidate Eric Jagielo, who belted a two-run home run back in the fifth inning to tie the game, 4-4. Waltrip got Jagielo to pop out, but was not as fortunate against junior 1B All-American candidate Trey Mancini. He lifted a fly ball to relatively deep centerfield to score pinch runner Conor Biggio (Houston, TX/St. Thomas) to tie the game, 5-5. DeSico moved up 90 feet to third base on the sacrifice fly and senior CF Charlie Markson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay) nearly legged out an infield single that would have ended the game.
Notre Dame had another golden chance in the bottom of the 10th inning before DeFilippis came through an inning later.
Jagielo went 1-for-6 with his team-best fifth home run of the season and second in as many days. The third baseman belted a towering, two-run blast that nearly cleared the UCLA batting facility in right centerfield. The round tripper tied the game, 4-4, in the fifth inning.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run triple from freshman SS Lane Richards (Pendleton, Ore./Pendleton) in the bottom of the second inning.
Freshman RHP David Hearne (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) did not factor in the decision. He allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits in 4.2 innings of work. Hearne struck out two and did not issue a walk. Sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek (Glenmoore, Pa./Downington East) tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Freshman LHP Zak Kutsulis (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence) pitched 0.2 scoreless innings of relief. Sophomore RHP Cristian Torres allowed a run in 0.2 innings. His leadoff walk in the top of the eighth inning led to Oklahoma taking a 5-4 lead. Junior RHP Donnie Hissa (Iron River, Wisc./Maple Northwestern) did not allow a run in 0.2 innings of work.
Notre Dame improved to 3-1 in extra-inning games and 5-3 in one-run games this season. A single run has decided eight of the 13 games for the Irish this year.
The Irish return to action at 3 p.m. PT Tuesday against UC Santa Barbara at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.