Irish Win Big East Title

The scenario was simple for the Notre Dame baseball team: a win on Friday against Villanova would clinch the Big East regular season championship. With a strong outing from Jeff Manship on the mound and Ross Brezovsky providing the punch at the plate, the Irish achieved this goal.

Manship allowed just one run in seven-plus innings and Brezovsky chipped in with three RBI's as Notre Dame beat the Wildcats 6-2 at Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. The victory moved the Irish's record to 40-14-1 on the season and 20-5-1 in the Big East. It clinched the conference regular season title and the 40-win mark was breached for the 17th time in the last 18 years.

Manship improved his record to 9-1 on the season, making a strong case for Big East pitcher of the year. The junior right hander allowed one run in 7.2 innings pitched, surrendering just five hits while striking out six. Manship went over the 100 strikeout mark for the season, becoming just the fourth pitcher in Notre Dame history to achieve this feat. He has 102 K's so far in 2006.

Head coach Paul Mainieri had Brezovsky bat in the clean-up spot on Friday and it paid off huge dividends. The sophomore second baseman had an RBI single, a two-run double and also scored a run. Brezovsky now has 37 RBI's on the year, good for third on the team, and bumped his batting average up to .316.

Notre Dame closes out the regular season tomorrow. They'll be looking for the three-game sweep over Villanova. First pitch is slated for noon. After this contest, the Big East Tournament kicks off on Tuesday, May 23rd in Clearwater, Florida. Notre Dame will be the number one seed.

***The Notre Dame Sports Information Department contributed greatly to this report. Top Stories