Feb. 20, 2009
DUNEDIN, Fla. – The University of Notre Dame managed just six hits in a 2-0 loss to Ohio State in the season opener for both teams Friday night in first day action from the 2009 BIG EAST / Big Ten Challenge.
Sophomore Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) was solid in his start for the Irish despite getting charged with the loss. The right-handed hurler (0-1) scattered six hits over 6.1 innings of work. Dupra allowed two earned runs, struck out two and walked one.
Sophomore righty Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.) tossed the final 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. He did not allow a hit and fanned a pair.
Sophomore left fielder Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and junior right fielder Billy Boockford (Glen Elyn, Ill.) each went 2-for-4 to lead the Irish offensively. Junior center fielder A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) and junior designated hitter David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) each added a hit apiece. Pollock doubled in the first, but was stranded in scoring position.
Notre Dame stranded eight on the night and went hitless in five at bats with runners in scoring position.
Ohio State righty Alex Wimmers (1-0) picked up his first career victory in his first career start. The sophomore, who made 25 appearances out of the Buckeye bullpen in 2008, tossed 6.0 scoreless innings and fanned seven. Wimmers did walk three, but only allowed three hits.
Drew Rucinski registered the save with 3.0 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed a pair of hits, but did not walk a batter and struck out the side in the ninth inning.
The Buckeyes grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Dupra faced the minimum over the first three innings (allowed one hit), he issued a leadoff walk to Cory Kovanda. Dupra retired the next two Ohio State batters on ground outs, but Justin Miller came through with a clutch two out, two strike RBI single to plate Kovanda.
Ohio State added a key insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning to push its advantage to 2-0. Dan Burkhart led off the frame with a triple and coasted home on Cory Rupert’s infield-in, RBI double.
Notre Dame returns to action tomorrow night against Illinois. First-pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at McKichnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. Junior RHP Eric Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) will take the mound for the Irish.
— ND —