IRISH BASEBALL BLANKS NO. 25 VIRGINIA TECH, 3-0
March 2, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
CARY, N.C. – University of Notre Dame senior Adam Norton tossed a complete-game,
four-hit shutout to lead the No. 22 Irish past No. 25 Virginia Tech, 3-0, Saturday
at the 2013 USA Baseball-Irish Classic. Notre Dame, now 8-1 on the year, has not
posted a better record over its first nine games of a season since 1960 (9-0). The
Hokies dropped to 10-2.
In a word, Norton (3-0) was marvelous. The right-handed hurler collected Notre
Dame’s first complete game shutout over a top-25 opponent since Danny Tamayo blanked
Mississippi State in the Starkville Regional on May 28, 2000.
Norton completely baffled a Virginia Tech lineup that entered the game with a
.337-team batting average and averaged 8.3 runs/game. He retired the first 10 Hokies
of the game before Sean Keselica singled with one out in the fourth inning. Norton
promptly sent down the next six Virginia Tech hitters before a bunt single in the
top of the sixth inning.
Norton did not allow another base runner until two outs in the top of the ninth
inning – another stretch of 10 consecutive retired Hokies for Norton. He was one out
away from a two-hit shutout, but Virginia Tech rallied in the ninth inning. The
Hokies got back-to-back singles from Chad Pinder and Mark Zagunis to bring the
potential tying run to the plate.
All that stood in between Norton and the victory, complete game and shutout was
Virginia Tech slugger Tyler Moran, who only set the Cape Cod League record with 16
home runs this summer.
After a brief mound visit from Irish pitching coach Chuck Ristano, Norton got Moran
to pop out to the catcher to end the game.
Norton struck out five and walked one. He faced 32 batters and needed just 108
pitches (76 strikes). Norton lowered his season ERA to 1.71 with his third career
Junior 1B Trey Mancini took care of everything else. After missing Friday night’s
game against Tennessee with an injury, Mancini returned to the lineup and drilled a
two-run home run down the right-field line in the bottom of the fourth inning to
give the Irish a 2-0 lead. The home run was his second in as many days, third of the
season and 24th of his career.
Mancini added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning – once again taking a
pitch on the outside corner and driving it to right field.
The three-run cushion was more than enough for Norton.
Virginia Tech starting pitcher Brad Markey (2-1) was just as good as Norton sans two
pitches to Mancini and took the tough-luck loss. The righty allowed three earned
runs on five hits and struck out seven in 8.0 innings.
The Irish return to action Sunday morning at 11 a.m. against Rhode Island.