The Irish got off to a fast start in the bottom of the first as sophomore Craig Cooper tripled to right center. He was later knocked in on a gargantuan homerun by sophomore Steve Andres giving the Irish the 2-0 lead.
The Irish picked up another two runs in the bottom of the second. Freshman Mike Dury walked and was later moved to second on a Brent Weiss single to center. Dury was sent home on a Zach Sisko single into right, and Weiss was later knocked in when Alex Nettey picked up his second RBI of the season grounding out to third base to give the Irish the 4-0 lead.
The Chargers fought back plating two runs in the top of the third when Charger rightfielder Lance Boehm led off the inning with a single. Shortstop Mike McGavin then doubled into the left-center. Boehm was knocked in when Adam Goslin reached on an error, and McGavin was knocked in by a single by third basemen Charlie Krebs narrowing the lead, 4-2. That would be as close as Hinsdale would get on the night.
The Irish scored another two runs in the fourth when leadoff hitter Alex Nettey reached after being hit by a pitch. Sophomore Craig Cooper then sent a pitch over the fence down the right field line giving the Irish the 6-2 lead.
Notre Dame picked up two more in the sixth with Nettey and Cooper continuing their hot nights adding another RBI each increasing the lead to 8-2.
Freshman Mike Dury picked up his first homer of his career in the seventh with a mamouth shot over the right field fence to increase the lead to 9-2.
The Irish added another run in the eighth as Nettey led off the inning with a single. He scored when catcher Sean Gaston reached on the error giving the Irish their 10th and final run of the game.
One of the best stories of the night was the return of junior Brent Weiss. His start was the first action Weiss has seen since 2002 as he missed the entire 2003 season recovering from shoulder surgery. Weiss finished the night 2-for-4 and scoring 2 runs.
The Irish were led at the plate by Cooper. The 6-2, 205-pound New York native picked up his first career homerun for the Irish on Wednesday against Western Michigan, and his hot bat continued on Thursday. Cooper finished 4-for-6 with a homer, a triple, three RBI and 2 runs scored.
Sophomores Alex Nettey (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2R) and Steve Andres (1-for-2, 2 RBI, Run) also had solid nights at the plate.
Plenty of Irish pitchers also got a shot on the mound. Freshman Chris Vasami picked up his first win of his career logging three innings and scattering four hits. He allowed two runs, but both were unearned. Joe Thaman and Ryan Doherty each pitched a hitless, scoreless inning of relief. Freshmen Matt Whittington also pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
The feel-good moment was watching walk-on pitcher Rico Bertucci pitch an inning of hitless, scoreless relief. Junior Scott Bickford pitched the final two innings allowing just one hit and zero runs to finish the game.
Irish coach Paul Mainieri was all smiles after the game. "These kids are the unsung heroes on our team that work hard every day and don't get as much of an opportunity to play," said Mainieri. "To see them go out there and do well really made me feel good. They all did well."
Mainieri was very happy to see Brent Weiss back swinging the bat. "Brent Weiss was the highlight for me after missing all of last year. For him to go out and hit the ball hard a few times like he did was really great."
"Timmy Murray played outstanding at shortstop—got that last base hit. Zach Sisko got that RBI hit early in the game. Alex Nettey got a nice hit there at the end and played a good centerfield. It was good to see Craig Cooper get out there and play and get four hits."
Another impressive sight was seeing some Irish hitters hitting some tape-measure homeruns. "Steve Andres really got into that one homerun. Andres hit that ball--that reminded me of the balls Stavisky used to hit when he was in his prime with us."
Freshman Mike Dury also gave Irish fans a glimpse of what is likely to come with his first bomb of his career. "That ball that he hit--that was a Ruthian blow. He really got into that one. I think Mike's got the world of ability. He's just right now locked in behind some veteran players that are playing. We like him. We think he's got great future in our program."
The Irish return to action this weekend to host a three-game series against BIG EAST foe Villanova (17-5-1, 3-0 in BIG EAST play). The Irish (19-3, 3-0 in BIG EAST play) will start the weekend with ace Chris Niesel pitching the first game of the weekend at 12:05 PM on Saturday.