Notre Dame Knocks Out Seton Hall, 4-3

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
HIGHLIGHTS
INTERVIEW WITH MIK AOKI
INTERVIEW WITH ADAM NORTON

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Third baseman Eric Jagielo hit his 12th home run of the season and pitcher Adam Norton scattered seven hits and allowed two runs in seven innings to help Notre Dame to a 4-3 win against Seton Hall in an elimination game of the 2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Bright House Field.

The Irish (31-26), who won their second straight elimination game, advanced to the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Championship, where they will face St. John's Saturday. The Irish would need two wins against the Red Storm to reach Sunday's championship game, while St. John's - which defeated Notre Dame 12-2 Wednesday - needs just one win to advance to the final. Seton Hall (34-24) was eliminated from the tournament with its second loss.

Jagielo's shot to straightaway centerfield in the bottom of the fifth gave the Irish a 3-1 lead and Notre Dame scratched a run across in the bottom of the seventh to take a two-run advantage. Joe Hudson hit a chopper to shortstop with the bases loaded, and the Pirates were forced to settle for an out at third base, allowing Frank DeSico to score the fourth run.

Seton Hall got one back in the top of the eighth when Zach Granite led off with a base hit to center, stole second, moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on Giuseppe Papaccio's single to left. Notre Dame reliever Steve Sabatino got the Irish back in the dugout when he got Scott Kalamar to ground out to third, leaving two men on base.

The Pirates again got their leadoff man on in the ninth inning as Kyle Grimm reached on a single to left. But relief pitcher Sean Fitzgerald got a strikeout and a groundout before yielding to closer Dan Slania, who retired Granite looking to end the game.

The top six batters in the Notre Dame lineup accounted for five of the Irish's six hits. Norton evened his record at 5-5 with the win, while Slania picked up his 13th save of the season.

Seton Hall finished with a 10-6 edge in hits, but the Pirates were undone in part by three errors. Granite went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while Kalamar was 2-for-4. Jose Lopez took the loss, falling to 5-3 after he allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in five innings.

The Notre Dame-St. John's game will begin at 10 a.m. Friday. If Notre Dame wins, a second game between the teams would be scheduled for 5 p.m., with the winner moving on to Sunday's final.


2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Schedule

Wednesday, May 23
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 1 - No. 3 Seton Hall 6, No. 6 Rutgers 1
Game 2 - No. 2 St. John's 12, No. 7 Notre Dame 2 (7 innings)
Game 3 - No. 1 Louisville 8, No. 8 Pittsburgh 4
Game 4 - No. 5 Connecticut 7, No. 4 USF 2

Thursday, May 24
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 5 - Notre Dame 9, Rutgers 0 (Rutgers eliminated)
Game 6 - St. John's 6, Seton Hall 3
Game 7 - USF 12, Pittsburgh 5 (Pittsburgh eliminated)

Friday, May 25
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 8 - Connecticut 4, Louisville 1
Game 9 - Notre Dame 4, Seton Hall 3 (Seton Hall eliminated)
Game 10 - Louisville (39-19) vs. USF (35-21), 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 26
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 11 - St. John's (35-21) vs. Notre Dame (31-26), 10 a.m.
Game 12 - Connecticut (31-25-1) vs. Winner of Game 10, 1 p.m.
Game 13 - Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11, 5 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 14 - Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12, 6:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.
(if necessary; game would be at 6:30 if Game 13 is not necessary, 8 p.m. otherwise)

Sunday, May 27 - Championship game
(live television on ESPNU)
Game 15 - Winner of Group 1 vs. Winner of Group 2, Noon

All times Eastern