Edwards, Thornton Help Irish Improve to 5-0

The Notre Dame baseball team picked up a pair of wins on Saturday improving their record to 5-0. With a 12-3 victory over Florida Memorial in the early game, the Irish looked to improve to 5-0 with a victory over No. 12 Florida Atlantic. Another strong outing by sophomore Tom Thornton and three solo shots gave the Irish the 3-2 victory in the late game improving their record to 5-0.

In the early game freshman Jess Stewart took the mound for his first action of his career. Stewart pitched five strong innings allowing only five hits and two runs.

Two other freshmen saw their first action of the season on the mound to close out the game. Chris Vasami pitched two innings of relief allowing two hits and a run, and Jeff Samardzija closed the game with two perfect innings of relief retiring all six batters he faced.

The Irish were also led by a freshman at the plate as catcher Sean Gaston put on a show going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Brennan Grogan added a couple of hits including a two-run homer, and hot-hitting Greg Lopez chipped in with a 2-for-3 performance with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

The second game was pure guts and desire for the Irish. Sophomore Tom Thornton continues to stare down the opposition while never flinching. Thornton has started and won arguably the two most difficult games of the season thus far for the Irish.

Thornton allowed just two runs and six hits in seven innings against Florida Atlantic (11-1). He didn't issue a single walk and struck out seven.

The Irish also relied on another error-free effort by the defense including the game-winning double play in the ninth.

The story at the plate was two solo shots by Matt Edwards and another solo shot by Javi Sanchez. Edwards now has three home runs on the season and is becoming the power-hitter the Irish desperately need.

The Irish will finish the weekend today with an 11 AM game against Minnesota. A win on Sunday would give the Irish their best start since 1960. Freshman Derek Olvey will be on the mound for the Irish in this important game in a very young season.

For more on the two Irish victories click HERE

Notre Dame Sports Information contributed to this story

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