Notre Dame held off a late comeback by the Villanova Wildcats to win by a score of 5-4. The Irish improved to 25-22 overall and 11-10 in the Big East, while the Wildcats dropped to 27-22 and 9-12.
Before the 9th inning, Villanova had managed just one base hit after the 1st inning against Irish RHP Pat Connaughton and sophomore Sean Fitzgerald, but that all changed during their final trip to the plate.
Fitzgerald gave up 4 staright singles to the Wildcats to start out the 9th inning. After Villanova cut the lead to 5-2. Notre Dame brought on closer Dan Slania. Slania recorded to outs before giving up a 2-run single to Villanova’s Kevin Wager. Now the tying run was on 3rd base.
Dan Slania finsihed the job in the clutch, when Tyler Sciacca flew out to right field to end the game. This was Slania’s 10th conference save of the season.
Connaughton earned the victory and improved to 3-3 on the campaign. He gave up 1 earned run on 6.0 innings of work. Pat struck out a career-best 7 and walked just 2.
Sophomore 1B Trey Mancini and junior C Joe Hudson provided all the offense Notre Dame needed. Mancini went 1-3 with an 3 RBIs. Hudson went 1-4 with a 2-run single.