May 12, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. ­- Central Michigan plated six runs in the top of the fifth inning, in large part to Notre Dame¹s five walks and two errors, to grab a 7-2 lead and never looked back en route to a 12-2 victory over the Irish at Frank Eck Stadium Wednesday night. Notre Dame dropped to 20-28, while the Chippewas improved to 27-19.

Brock Guetzke picked up the victory for Central Michigan. The southpaw improved to 1-0 on the season with 7.0 solid innings. Guetzke limited the Irish to just two earned runs on six hits. He fanned three and walked one. Mike Nixon and Trent Howard each followed with scoreless innings of relief.

Junior right-handed hurler Ryan Sharpley was tagged with the loss. He dropped to 0-1 on the year. He allowed three runs, all earned, on three walks in 0.1 innings of work.

Scott Phillion led the Chippewas at the plate. The left fielder went 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI. James Teas went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI.

Senior first baseman Casey Martin did his part for Notre Dame. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI single. Junior shortstop Mick Doyle added his fourth home run of the season.

Junior lefty Joe Spizzirri tossed a pair of scoreless innings of relief. In fact, he did not allow a hit. Spizzirri fanned one and walked one. Sophomore sidewinder Will Hudgins and senior right-handed pitcher Steven Mazur each blanked Central Michigan in 1.0 inning. Hudgins yielded a hit and fanned one, while Mazur struck out the side in the ninth.

Senior David Mills, working on a pitch count, started for the Irish, tossed 2.0 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. Mills also fanned a pair without a walk.

After Doyle¹s solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Irish a 2-1 lead, Sharpley entered out of the Notre Dame bullpen and promptly walked three of the first four Chippewas before getting pulled. He registered just one out and it came on a sacrifice bunt. Johnson followed and, unfortunately, did not fare much better. He issued back-to-back bases loaded walks to make the score, 3-2, before getting a foul out, but Central Michigan followed with an infield hit to make it 5-2. The Chippewas then plated two more runs on back-to-back Irish errors to push their lead to 7-2.

The sixth inning was equally difficult on the Irish. Robbie Harman reached on an infield single. Matt Faiman followed with a sacrifice bunt, but Notre Dame sophomore reliever Joe Spano was unsuccessful in his attempt to retire the lead runner. Spano then threw wildly on a failed pickoff attempt. The error allowed both runners to advance. Dale Cornstubble, who originally was going to sacrifice bunt before the error from Spano, slapped a seeing-eye single through the right side to make it 9-2. Two more singles, another walk, an RBI ground out and sacrifice fly pushed the Central Michigan advantage to 12-2.

Notre Dame grabbed the first lead of the evening. Senior left fielder Ryan Connolly led off the bottom of the first with a hot shot back up the middle. After freshman second baseman Frank Desico and senior pitcher David Mills grounded out, Martin followed with his own single up the middle to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.

After Mills retired the Chippewas in order in the top of the first inning on just 15 pitches, 12 strikes, the southpaw worked around a leadoff double in the second inning to keep the 1-0 advantage intact.

Junior righty Todd Miller followed Mills with a scoreless inning of work. The junior righty sent down Central Michigan 1-2-3.

Central Michigan equalized with a run in the top of the fourth inning, but sophomore Ryan Richter minimized the damage. Brendan Emmett and Teas opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Richter got a double play ground ball, but Phillion followed with an opposite field RBI single to tie the score, 1-1.

Notre Dame regained the lead thanks to the bat of Doyle. The Irish shortstop belted his fourth home run of the season, deep over the scoreboard in left field, to make the score, 2-1.

Notre Dame returns to action this weekend with a critical BIG EAST series against Villanova. The three-game set with the Wildcats opens at 3:45 p.m. on Friday at the Villanova Ballpark. GameTracker, live web stream, live blog and recap of the game will be available on

— ND —