February 26, 1999
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The University of Missouri baseball team took advantage of four Notre Dame errors to score nine unearned runs and held the Irish to five hits, handling Notre Dame a 13-1 loss Friday afternoon at Privateer Park, in the first game of the New Orleans tournament.
Missouri (5-4) erupted for eight runs in the third inning to hand Notre Dame (1-4) its fourth consecutive loss. The tournament continues on Saturday, when Notre Dame will face host New Orleans at 1:00 p.m.
Notre Dame senior righthander Alex Shilliday (1-1) lasted just two and two-thirds innings, after allowing nine runs–just three of them earned–on seven hits and two walks (with three strikeouts). Missouri lefthander Jody Harris gave up just a single run in the fourth and struck out five batters while holding the Irish to five hits in the complete-game, eight-inning effort.
The game was halted after eight innings due to the 12-run tournament rule that allows a game to end when a team has at least a 12-run advantage after seven innings.
Jake Epstein stroked a two-out solo home run in the first inning to put Missouri ahead 1-0 before the decisive eight-run third inning. The big inning included six hits, highlighted by a two-run homer by Mick Weiss, two triples by J.R. Warner and two doubles. The Tigers also took advantage of a throwing error by freshman third baseman Andrew Bushey to score six unearned runs in the inning.
Irish freshman righthander Drew Duff relieved Shilliday with two outs in the third and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning. Duff logged three and one-third innings, allowing three unearned runs on five hits and one walk (with two Ks).
Missouri tacked on two more unearned runs in the top of the fourth before Notre Dame scored its only run, thanks to a leadoff triple by junior All-America shortstop Brant Ust and an RBI double by senior Jeff Wagner (who played first base in Friday’s game). The Tigers added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to complete the 12-run win.
Junior righthander Steve Szczepanski pitched one and two-thirds innings for the Irish while freshman righthander Matt Buchmeier struck out the only batter he faced, in the top of the eighth.
The four-team, round-robin tournament field of Notre Dame, Missouri, New Orleans and Southern Illinois features the return of three head coaches who were teammates during their playing days at New Orleans. New Orleans head coach Tom Schwaner was an assistant coach when Irish head coach Paul Mainieri, Tiger head coach Tim Jamieson and Saluki head coach Roger Coryell played together at UNO.
Missouri (5-4) 108 200 11 13 13 0Notre Dame (1-4) 000 010 00 1 5 4
Jody Harris and Jon Williams. Alex Shilliday, Drew Duff (3), Steve Szczepanski (7), Matt Buchmeier (8) and Paul O’Toole.