May 17, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame’s Ryan Bull hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Fighting Irish (22-31, 9-21 ACC) a 5-4 victory over the University of Pittsburgh baseball team (22-30, 11-19 ACC) on Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium.
Trailing 4-3 heading to the final inning, the Panthers evened the game at 4-4 on a sacrifice fly from Eric Hess. However, the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning was taken over the right field fence by Bull for the game-winner. The Panthers out-hit the Irish 14-7 but left 13 runners on base.
Pitt got on the board in the top of the second inning when Dylan Wolsonovich crossed the plate on an RBI single from Matt Johnson. Wolsonovich led off the second inning with a single to center and was moved to second on a sac bunt from Hess. After a groundout from Jordan Frabasilio moved Wolsonovich to third, Johnson drove him home on the first pitch from ND relief pitcher Nick McCarty.
McCarty was called into action with two outs in the second inning after Notre Dame starting pitcher Scott Kerrigan was injured covering home plate. McCarty’s first pitch of the game was the RBI single from Johnson.
The Panthers plated two mores in the top of the third inning to gain a 3-0 lead. Boo Vazquez and Casey Roche led off the frame with consecutive hits, and two batters later Wolsonovich was issued a walk to load the bases with one out.
Hess then perfectly executed a suicide squeeze to plate Vazquez, which was followed by an RBI fielder’s choice by Frabasilio which scored Roche.
Notre Dame manufactured a run in the bottom of the third inning after Kyle Richardson led off the inning with a walk, was moved to second on a groundout, reached third on a single and then crossed the plate on a passed ball.
The Fighting Irish then took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a bases clearing double from cleanup hitter Blaise Lezynsky. With two outs and nobody on base, Notre Dame’s Zak Kutsulis hit a pop up to Wolsonovich at shortstop which could have ended the inning, but Wolsonovich lost the ball in the sun which allowed Kutsulis and reached first. Starting pitcher Joseph Harvey then hit the next two batters which loaded the bases for Lezynsky. Harvey would be replaced by Jon Danielczyk, and Danielczyk’s first pitch to Lezynsky found the right center gap which gave Notre Dame the lead.
The two teams then traded three scoreless innings until Pitt evened the game in the top of the ninth. With one out, pinch hitter Nick Yarnall drew a walk and then stole second. The next batter was Wolsonovich and he singled to put runners on the corners. Hess then tied the game with a sac fly to left which scored Yarnall.
But the Irish’s Ryan Bull would play hero for the second day in a row as his walk-off gave the Irish the victory. Bull also provided the game-winning RBI in yesterday’s victory.