Notre Dame pitcher Adam Norton runs out of gas in Big East championship
By John Mutka Post-Tribune senior correspondent May 27, 2013 5:50PM
Updated: June 29, 2013 6:35AM
Highland’s Adam Norton was an innings-eater for Notre Dame this spring, but it caught up to the senior right-hander in the Big East tournament.
After throwing the Irish’s first complete-game shutout in 17 years against Seton Hall he tried coming back on three days rest, but UConn knocked him out in the title game 8-1.
The controlling Andrean grad pitched his fourth walk-free game of the spring against second-seeded Seton Hall, but lasted only 21/3 innings Sunday and gave up four earned runs before being yanked.
Norton received all-conference honors to help seventh-seeded Notre Dame reach the championship game for the first time since 2006. He walked only 15 in 116 innings and carried a 2.13 ERA into the finals.
The 6-2 senior was Notre Dame’s first 10-game winner in 12 years. The Irish (34-24) collected eight victories over teams in the top 50 RPI ratings.
Indiana’s Dustin DeMuth (LaPorte) was named to the Big Ten all-tournament team. The hard-hitting third baseman went 4-for-5 in a 11-3 rout of Ohio State, then doubled and scored to force extra innings in a 7-6 loss to Nebraska.
He also went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the 4-3 victory over the Cornhuskers in Sunday’s title game.
Hard-hitting Jordan Nieman (Michigan City) drove in 71 runs in 47 games for Manchester, which won its second Heartland Conference title in three years. Eleven homers boosted his slugging percentage to .629.
The junior third baseman batted .335 for the Spartans, who reached the Division III World Series and finished with a 39-7-1 record. He was named conference player of the week for the second time after fashioning an 11-game hitting streak.
Nieman homered twice and drove in four runs in the Heartland title game, a 12-9 victory over Franklin.
UIC’s Ryan Boss (Lake Central) went 9-for-13 with three doubles and five RBI to earn Horizon League honors for the week of May 6-12. He also made second-team all-conference.
Bowling Green’s Falcons ousted Toledo from the Mid-American Conference, but not before Ryan Wilkinson (Munster) bested them in an earlier game. Pitching on only two days rest, he chalked up his sixth complete game.
Wilkinson retired 13 in a row in the 5-2 victory to boost his record to 7-3. The all-conference junior limited the Falcons to five hits to lower his ERA to 2.82 over 111 innings.
Indianapolis Robert Gardner (Gary/Wallace) was clocked in a personal-best 46.99 for the 400 meters in the Division II national championships, then earned All-American honors by teaming up with Jerel Flournoy (Wallace), Joshua Bass and Quint Qualis for fourth place in the 400 relay.
They shattered the school record with a 40.24 effort in the trials, then lowered it to 39.96 in the finals in Pueblo, Colorado.
Earlier, Gardner and Flournoy earned all-regional honors in three events.
IUPUI’s Rachel Zajac (St. John/Lake Central) reached the finals in the Summit League championship meet with a personal-best time of 2:17.58 in the 800 meters. She placed 12th.
IUPUI’s Ryan Cutter (Chesterton) earned all-Summit honors with a second-place effort of 3:54.55 in the 1500. He also contributed to the 1600 relay, which was clocked in 3:45.25 to score.
Cutter owns the school record of 3:49.01, which he reeled off in the Stan Lyons Invitational.