University of Notre Dame freshman Nick McCarty tossed four scoreless innings of relief and sophomore Ryan Bull added a career-high four hits, including a solo home run, to lead the Irish past Tulane, 8-3, Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
The Irish improved to 5-1 on the season and completed the first sweep of the Green Wave at Turchin Stadium by a non-conference opponent since 1997. Notre Dame never trailed over the entire weekend and actually led at the completion of the last 22 innings.
McCarty entered the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with Notre Dame clinging to a two-run lead (5-3). The rookie proceeded to retire the next nine Tulane batters, including seven groundouts. McCarty issued a walk and allowed a base hit to open the ninth inning, but evaded damage following a fly out and game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
McCarty improved to 2-0 on the season and has yet to allow a run in 10.0 innings of work out of the Irish bullpen. He needed just 39 pitches over his four innings of work, and most impressively, 30 of those offerings were strikes.
Bull went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, one coming on his first home run of the season and second of his career. Bull, who hit second for the first time this season, spearheaded an Irish attack that collected 14 hits, including three from junior Trey Mancini and two each from junior Eric Jagielo, freshman Zak Kutsulis and sophomore Mac Hudgins.
Mancini went 3-for-5, while Jagielo went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. Hudgins went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and Kutsulis went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Junior Forrest Johnson and senior Charlie Markson also chipped in with sacrifice flies.
Freshman David Hearne started, but did not factor in the decision. He allowed an earned run on four hits in 2.2 innings of work. Hearne walked three and struck out one. Junior Donnie Hissa was charged with two earned runs on three hits in 2.1 innings. He also issued three walks.
Notre Dame grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning for the second time in as many days. Senior Frank DeSico drew a leadoff walk for the second straight day. He promptly stole second, moved to third on Bull’s infield single and came home to score on Jagielo’s sacrifice fly. After Mancini singled and the Irish executed a double steal, Markson made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The Green Wave added a run in the bottom of the first inning, but Hearne minimized the damage. Tulane collected three straight two-out hits to cut the Notre Dame lead to 2-1. Hearne got a humpback liner to third base to end the inning.
The Irish doubled their lead in the top of the fourth inning. Kutsulis and freshman Lane Richards collected back-to-back singles with one out and Hudgins came through with an RBI double just inside the first-base bag. Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly to push Notre Dame’s advantage to 4-1.
After Bull’s home run increased the Irish lead to 5-1, Garrett Cannizaro deposited a 2-2 offering from Hissa over the left-field wall for a two-run home run that made the score, 5-3.
Notre Dame would tack on two runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to close out the scoring.
Notre Dame’s sweep of Tulane in a three-game series was the first by a Green Wave non-conference foe since 1997. Indiana swept Tulane in a three-game set on Feb. 28-Mar. 2.
Kyle McKenzie took the loss for the Green Wave and dropped to 1-1 on the campaign. He was tagged for four runs, all earned, on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work.
The Irish return to action next weekend at the 2013 USA Baseball-Irish Classic presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance in Cary, N.C. First-pitch for Notre Dame’s opening game of the weekend is 3 p.m. ET on Friday against Massachusetts. The Irish will then play at 7 p.m. ET against Tennessee.