March 13, 2010
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Notre Dame jumped out to a 6-0 lead and cruised home behind junior Brian Dupra’s best start of the season as the Irish advanced to the 2010 Irish Baseball Classic championship game with a 6-3 victory over Gonzaga Saturday afternoon at Wolff Stadium. Notre Dame evened its record at 7-7, while the Bulldogs dropped to 6-7. The Irish will now face Pacific on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. CT.
Dupra (2-1) tossed 7.0+ innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He struck out a career-high eight and did not issue a walk. In fact, Dupra went to a three-ball count on just three occasions. He did not allow a Gonzaga batter to advance into scoring position until the sixth inning.
Dupra, whose previous career-high for strikeouts in a game was six accomplished on four separate occasions, retired 16 of the first 18 Bulldogs of the game, including striking out the side in the fifth inning. He then surrendered a pair of runs, only one of which was earned, in the sixth inning and a third run stood at second base with only one out, but punched out Mark Castellitto and Royce Bolinger to end the Gonzaga threat.
Dupra retired the Bulldogs in order in the seventh before a leadoff single in the eighth ended his afternoon. Sophomore Joe Spano replaced Dupra and issued a walk, as well as a pair of wild pitches, before senior Steven Mazur slammed the door with his second save of the season.
Mazur fanned a pair and allowed one hit in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
Notre Dame did all of its damage in the first and second inning off of Gonzaga starter Reedy Berg. Senior Casey Martin belted a three-run home run in the first to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. Senior David Mills added a two-run double and senior Ryan Connolly added a bunt RBI single to extend the lead to 6-0.
Berg (1-1) yielded six runs on seven hits in the first two innings, but settled down and limited the Irish to just four hits over the final six innings of the contest. He retired 18 of the final 22 Irish batters of the game. Berg scattered 11 hits and yielded six runs, all earned, in 8.0 innings. He fanned four and walked one.
Mills paced the Irish offensively. He went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Sophomore Alex Robinson, Connolly and freshman Frank Desico all added two hits apiece. Robinson went 2-for-3 with a run scored and double. Connolly went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while DeSico went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Martin’s three-run home run was his third of the season.
— ND —