Irish Sweep U-Conn

The Notre Dame baseball team swept U-Conn over the weekend as the Irish closed the series with a 9-7 victory over the Huskies on Sunday. Five Irish pitchers combined for the win in Sunday's game, and senior Matt Edwards continued his impressive senior season clubbing his 12th homer of the season.

Sophomore Jeff Manship started the game on the mound for the Irish, but the San Antonio, Texas native lasted just 2/3rds of an inning. Manship had to leave the game early as he tried to field a ball off the mound with his pitching hand and injured his middle finger.

Sophomore Jeff Samardzija (5-0) then had to come in and save the day for the Irish. Samardzija didn't have his best stuff on the day, but he battled on the mound for the Irish to pick up the win.

The Valparaiso, Ind. native pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits.

Notre Dame pushed across nine runs on nine hits in an efficient effort at the plate.

Senior Matt Edwards continues to make a case to be nominated as the Big East player of the year. The all-Big East performer slugged his 12 homer of the year and finished 2-for-3 on the day with 2 RBI.

Tony Langford (2-for-4, R), Craig Cooper (1-for-4, 2 RBI) and Cody Rizzo (3-for-3, HR, 3R, 2 RBI) also had impressive days at the plate for Notre Dame.

"We won three big games this weekend and we put ourselves right back in the hunt for this thing," said Irish coach Paul Mainieri of the three-game sweep over Connecticut this weekend. "Once we got the two games yesterday, I just felt like we needed to get this sweep today."

Mainieri also had very high praise for the pitching performance by Jeff Samardzija.

"The guy goes through a grueling football scrimmage yesterday and then comes over here and competes his rear end off for 6 1/3 innings," Mainieri said. "That's just a tremendous athlete to do something like that. It gave us a chance to win the game."

The injury to Manship could be costly for the Irish as the sophomore was just starting to find his stride on the mound after sitting out all of last season with an injury. Mainieri said it was too early to tell the severity of Manship's injury at that point.

"It's pretty badly bruised," Mainieri said of Manship's middle finger on his pitching hand. "Obviously we're going to get in x-rayed and we'll hope for the best that it's not broken."

The Irish have a busy week next week playing five games in five consecutive days during the week starting with their first game on Wednesday against Purdue.

"It's going give opportunities to guys," Mainieri said of the schedule for next week. "You're going to see Wade Korpi starting against Purdue. We're not 100 percent sure what we're going to do about Thursday. Guys that haven't been pitching a lot of innings are going to get an opportunity to go out there and show us what they can do."

With the sweep over the Huskies, the Irish moved to third in the Big East standings and put themselves back in the race for post-season play. Top Stories