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Norton Leads ND Into League Tourney

The Notre Dame baseball team is in Florida gearing up for Wednesday’s Big East Championship first-round game against Seton Hall, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bright House Field in Clearwater. Each of the first 12 tournament games can be seen on ESPN3.com and BigEastBaseball.com, and the championship will air live on ESPNU. Contests will be played at different sites in the Clearwarter/Tampa area.

Adam Norton takes the hill for Notre Dame Wednesday against Seton Hall.

Notre Dame wrapped up regular-season play with a 31-23 overall record and a 10-14 mark in the Big East, earning the No. 7 seed for its 17th appearance in the league tournament in 18 years of conference membership. Seton Hall (36-17, 18-6) finished second behind regular-season champion Louisville for the second seed, though the Pirates dropped two out of three games in its lone series with ND this year — with all three contests being decided by a run. Notre Dame was the only squad to take a series versus the Pirates.

The Fighting Irish are 34-24 all time in Big East Championship action, boasting five straight titles from 2002-06. The program went 3-4 in league tournament play in head coach Mik Aoki’s first two seasons. The winner Wednesday will play the victor between No. 3 seed Pittsburgh and No. 6 seed St. John’s.

Despite joining the league 11 years after inaugural member St. John’s, Notre Dame’s 34 tournament victories rank second behind the Red Storm’s 44. The five titles also trail only the Red Storm’s seven.

Irish right-handed ace Adam Norton takes the mound Wednesday. He beat the Pirates last season in the tournament after allowing just two earned runs in seven innings of work. The senior is 9-4 this year with a team-low 2.31 ERA (fifth in the Big East).

Big East Championship Schedule
Day 1 — Wednesday, May 22

Game 1 — No. 6 St. John’s (23-33) vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh (40-15), 10 a.m.
Game 2 — No. 7 Notre Dame (31-23) vs. No. 2 Seton Hall (36-17), 1 p.m.
Game 3 — No. 8 Connecticut (30-25) vs. No. 1 Louisville (46-10), 5 p.m.
Game 4 — No. 5 Rutgers (26-28) vs. No. 4 USF (35-20), 8 p.m.

Day 2 — Thursday, May 23
(ESPN3 and BigEastBaseball.com)
Game 5 — Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 10 a.m.
Game 6 — Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 7 — Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 5 p.m.
Game 8 — Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 8 p.m.

Day 3 — Friday, May 24
(ESPN3 and BigEastBaseball.com)
Game 9 — Loser of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 5, 4 p.m.
Game 10 — Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 7, 7 p.m.

Day 4 — Saturday, May 25
(ESPN3 and BigEastBaseball.com)
Game 11 — Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 9, 10 a.m.
Game 12 — Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 10, 1 p.m.
Game 13 — Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11, 5 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 14 — Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12, 6:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.
(if necessary; game would be at 6:30 if Game 13 is not necessary, 8 p.m. otherwise)

Day 5 — Sunday, May 26 (Championship Game)
(live television on ESPNU)
Game 15 — Winner of Group 1 vs. Winner of Group 2, Noon All times Eastern

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