March 12, 1999
SAN ANTONIO, Texas Sophomore lefthander Mike Nauman and freshman righthander Drew Duff turned in solid outings while junior All-America shortstop Brant Ust delivered a game-wining single in the eighth inning, as the Notre Dame baseball team rallied for a 4-3 victory over St. Mary’s (Texas), in third-day action of the fifth annual Irish Baseball Classic, at Wolff Municipal Stadium.
Notre Dame (8-6), which has won four straight games and seven of its last nine, took the lead with three runs in the seventh before seeing St. Mary’s (11-8) tie the game with a run in the top of the eighth. The Irish will play in Sunday’s tournament championship game versus Creighton, which defeated Penn State 3-1 earlier in the day. Junior righthander Scott Caveyan Omaha, Neb. Native and a graduate of Creighton Prepis expected to start versus his hometown school as the Irish look to build on their 5-4, late-inning comeback win over the Bluejays on Friday night. Naumann allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five Rattlers batters over the first seven innings. Duff (1-0) picked up the first win of his Irish career, allowing one run, two hits and one walk over the final two innings (with one K).
St. Mary’s junior righthander Joseph Goodmann also had no decision after allowing three runs on nine hits and seven walks over seven innings, with three strikeouts. Reliever Fernando Tadefa was tagged with the loss, after giving up one hit and two walks in he decisive bottom of the eighth.
Junior rightfielder Jeff Perconte drew a leadoff walk for the Irish in the eighth, and moved up to second on a bunt by freshman centerfielder Steve Stanley. Freshman third baseman Andrew Bushey advanced the runner with a groundout to first base and sophomore Alec Porzel drew a walk before Ust drove the first pitch he saw into the opposite right field, plating Perconte for a 4-3 lead.
The Rattlers ended six innings of scoreless play by scoring twice in the seventh. Ross Beardsley’s deep infield single to the left side provided a leadoff runner but the crafty Naumann completed the pickoff throw. But Joseph Contreras doubled to deep right-center field and the Irish later issued a two-out, intentional walk to Jason Ganter. Pinch-hitter O.J. Garza then delivered an 0-1 pitch into right-center field, scoring both runners.
The Irish answered in the bottom of the inning, sparked by Bushey’s leadoff single to left and Ust’s one-out walk. Junior first baseman Jeff Felker then poked a two-out, opposite-field single into left (before moving up to second on the throw) and freshman catcher J.P. Drevline delivered a clutch, two-run single to center field for a 3-2 lead.
St. Mary’s tied the game in the eighth, after Brandon Bippert’s leadoff walk, Josh Coy’s sacrifice bunt and Beardsley’s one-out, two-strike single to left.
RADIO BROADCAST NOTE: Following the spring break trip, 36 of Notre Dame’s 40 remaining regular-season games are scheduled to be broadcast by WHME 103.1 FM (available on the internet, via www.und.com). Some baseball broadcasts in March and early April may be aired on a delay basis, if they conflict with any postseason broadcasts involving the Notre Dame women’s basketball and hockey teams.
ST. MARY'S 0-0-0 0-0-0 2-1-0 3 9 0NOTRE DAME 0-0-0 0-0-0 3-1-X 4 10 0Goodman, Tadefa (8) and Contreras. Naumann, Duff (8) and Drevline.