Oct. 10, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Blue team’s four-run first inning was not enough to win the Notre Dame baseball team’s annual Blue-Gold intrasquad series, as the Blue won Thursday’s battle (6-1) but lost the war – with the Gold capturing the series title thanks to its +4 edge in run differential (9-1, 7-6).
Sophomore righthander Tyler Jones – who saw limited duty on the deep Irish pitching staff last spring – had a strong outing to pick up the win, scattering two hits and three walks over four innings (with one strikeout). His classmate Martin Vergara then logged three shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk (2 Ks).
Freshman Ryan Doherty had a rocky debut, as the 7-foot-2 righthander was touched for four runs in the top of the first. He allowed one run over the next three innings, with his four-inning totals including nine hits, two walks, six Ks and 93 pitches.
Senior Mike Holba – who again played left field for a Gold team that fielded just eight position players – completed a strong all-around series, batting 3-for-7 with 4 runs, 3 RBI, a pair of doubles, a solo home run (in the 4th inning of Thursday’s game), two walks, two times hit-by-pitch and a stolen base. Blue manager Brian O’Connor shook up his lineup for the series finale, with junior Javier Sanchez moving from catcher to shortstop, sophomore Geoff Milsom from shortstop to second base, junior Zach Sisko from second to third, freshman Steve Sweeney from third to first and freshman Steve Andres from first to catcher.
Freshman centerfielder Craig Cooper started the early rally by poking a full-count pitch into right field. Milsom then parked the next pitch in the left-center gap for a double and Cooper scored on a wild pitch before Sanchez walked on a full count. Senior rightfielder Kris Billmaier, Andres and freshman leftfielder Alex Netty added RBI singles for the early 4-0 lead.
The Blue team hit .305 in the series, with a 4.71 staff ERA and a .935 fielding pct. (6 Es). Netty hit 4-for-9 (2B, RBI) while three others hit 4-for-10: Sanchez (3 R, 3B, RBI, BB, SB), Cooper (3 R, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, SB) and Andres (R, 3 RBI, SB).
The Gold hit .256 with a3.68 staff ERA and .968 fielding pct. (3 Es). Freshman CF Brennan Grogan (4-for-12, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB) joined Holba as the only Gold regulars who hit above .275 in the series.
ND Blue 4-0-1 0-0-0 1 - 6 11 0ND Gold 0-0-0 1-0-0 0 - 1 5 2
Tyler Jones (W), Martin Vergara (5) and Steve Andres.Ryan Doherty (L), Brandon Viloria (6) and Cody Rizzo, Jay Molina (5).Home Run: Mike Holba, (G, solo in 4th)Doubles: Geoff Milsom (B), Sam Richey (B).