The Setonian

Luck of the Fighting Irish: Notre Dame beats Seton Hall in walk-off fashion

The Seton Hall baseball team either lead or were tied for 26 out of the 27 outs on Saturday, in its second game of the Kissimmee Irish Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. Tournament hosts Notre Dame did not go away though, and a two-run ninth inning from the Fighting Irish gave Seton Hall a 9-8 loss.

Seton Hall’s offensive eruption began very early in the game, as the Pirates got ahead of Notre Dame with four runs in the first two innings. In the first frame, the Pirates manufactured a run with small ball, as Mike Alescio walked, stole a base, and later scored on a RBI single by Sebastiano Santorelli.

Photo via SHU Athletics

In the second, the Pirate scored three runs, knocking Notre Dame starter Tommy Sheehan out of the game before he could even register two outs in the inning. Seton Hall was able to get the bases loaded from two walks and a hit by pitch, which forced the Fighting Irish’s pitching change. The damage continued for Notre Dame, as Seton Hall scored two more on an error and a sacrifice fly from Alescio.

Meanwhile, on the mound for the Pirates, starter Andrew Politi pitched five innings, allowing three runs, but exiting the game with the lead behind his five-run support. Politi struck out five Notre Dame players while allowing six hits.

Seton Hall’s offense got back on track again after Politi’s exit in the sixth, as the Pirates once again capitalized on an error and scored two runs, bringing the Seton Hall lead to 6-3.

The score stayed frozen at 6-3 until the bottom of the seventh, when Notre Dame came back with three runs to even the score. The runs came on a Fighting Irish single, ground out, and a wild pitch by Corey Sawyer, who came in relief of Noah Thompson. Despite the wild pitch, Thompson was charged with the three runs, as he walked one and struck out three in 1.1 innings.

In the eighth inning, Matt Toke gave Seton Hall the lead once again with a single. The momentum and lead would be short lived; however, as the Fighting Irish came back with a leadoff homerun when it was their turn to bat.

In the deciding ninth inning, the Pirates took the lead in the top half, when Ryan Ramiz was able to score on a RBI-single from Rob Dadona.

However, in the bottom half, Notre Dame quickly loaded the bases with no outs, and the Fighting Irish tied the game when a double play allowed one runner to score. Following the run, Blake Espinal came into pitch for the Pirates, but back-to-back walks pushed a run across the plate.

The loss dropped Seton Hall to 3-5 on the season. The Pirates end their time in Florida with a game against Youngstown State on Sunday, March 4.

Robert Fallo can be reached at robert.fallo@student.shu.edu.