March 10, 2002
ROUND ROCK, Texas – Senior lefthander Frank James limited Notre Dame to two runs over the first eight innings before a ninth-inning Irish rally ended with the bases loaded, as Texas-Pan American held on for a 6-5 victory in third-day action at the Express College Classic.
James (3-3) struck out four Irish batters and yielded five runs – just one of them earned – on 10 hits and two walks while junior righthander Peter Ogilvie (1-1) took the hard-luck loss, after allowing four runs (just two earned) on nine hits and two walks over five and two-thirds innings, with a pair of strikeouts.
The pivotal top of the sixth saw UTPA surge to a 4-2 lead with three runs on three hits and an error. Matt Sisk and Tony Ortiz opened the inning with singles, followed by Skip Weast’s sacrifice bunt and Matt Eichel’s foulout down the rightfield line – with Sisk tagging up and scoring for a 2-2 game. Chris Jones later capped the inning with a first-pitch RBI single through the right side of the infield.
The Broncs added a fifth run in the seventh inning before tacking on what proved to be a key insurance run in the top of the ninth.
Notre Dame’s ninth-inning rally saw Paul O’Toole draw a full-count leadoff walk before Ken Meyer sent the next pitch through the left side. Matt Bok kept the rally alive with a two-out walk and O’Toole scored when backup shortstop Omar Pena sailed his throw to first on a groundball from Steve Sollmann.
Steve Stanley then drove a two-run single up the middle, cutting the lead to 6-5, and righthanded reliever Jacob Pierce hit Javier Sanchez with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. But Pearce induced a foul popup on the next pitch, ending the game.
Notre Dame had opened the scoring in the second inning, thanks to O’Toole’s leadoff triple to right-center (the seventh triple of his career) and Meyer’s RBI single to center. Doubles from John Lopez and Bryan Kennedy tied the game in the third but the Irish retook the lead in the fourth, after Sanchez’s leadoff double down the leftfield line, a passed ball and Matt Macri’s RBI groundout.
Texas-Pan American 0-0-1 0-0-3 1-0-1 – 6 16 3
Notre Dame 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-0-3 – 5 10 1
Frank James (W, 3-3), Jacob Pierce (9, S, 2) and Matt Eichel
Peter Ogilvie (L, 1-1), John Axford (6), Drew Duff (8) and Andrew Bushey.
Triple: Paul O’Toole (ND).
Doubles: Bryan Kennedy (UTPA), John Lopez (UTPA), Javier Sanchez (ND), Andrew Bushey (ND).