April 28, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior righthander Robert Morack tossed a seven-inning complete game while junior third baseman Ryan Lardi led an 11-hit attack, as Chicago State claimed an early lead and held on to defeat Notre Dame, 6-4, in error-filled baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (33-11)-which suffered just its third home loss of the season-nearly pulled off its 18th comeback win of the campaign, after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh and final inning. But Jeff Felker bounced out to the first baseman, ending the game.
Chicago State (11-25-1) scored an unearned run in the first before claiming a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fourth. Menges allowed four runs (three of them earned) on eight hits and one walk, with four strikeouts. Lardi paced the Cougars offense by batting 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.
The teams combined for 12 errors, including seven by the Irish-most by a Notre Dame team since a seven-error game versus Detroit on April 16, 1988 (a 9-8 Irish win).
The Irish tried to rally in the seventh, after Steve Stanley’s one-out infield single, J.P. Drevline’s full-count single to left and Alec Porzel’s first-pitch, RBI single past the third baseman and down the line. After a Brant Ust first-pitch popup to the first baseman, Matt Nussbaum sent an apparent game-ending groundball to the shortstop Jason Lewin, who failed to pick up the slow roller just inches from the second base bag. Felker then took ball one before grounding out to first baseman Robert Tomanich.
Freshman righthander Drew Duff (4-2)-the second of four Irish pitchers-took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks while recording just two outs in the fourth inning.
The Cougars opened the scoring in the first, thanks to David Keltner’s 0-2 fister into left field, a wild pitch, a stolen base and an errant pickoff try from pitcher Tim Kalita, allowing Keltner to race home after swiping third. The Irish tied the game in the second, when Nussbaum tripled on a ball that blew out of the reach of leftfielder Rahman Corbett, followed by Felker’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Notre Dame went ahead with an unearned run in the third. Stanley sent a one-out single through the right side and stole second base before scoring on a double error on the play-thanks to errant throws by catcher Fred Menges and the centerfielder Keltner.
The visitors surged back ahead with three runs in the fourth. J.P. Denato and Keltner drew one-out walks before Tomanich hit a one-out single to the left side, with third baseman Andrew Bushey’s errant throw allowing the lead runners to advance a base. Corbett then sent a groundball to the left side and the shortstop Ust threw home, but catcher Paul O’Toole missed the tag and dropped the ball, allowing Tomanich to take third.
Jake McIntyre added a sacrifice fly to center field before Lardi plated another run with a 2-2, two-out double to the gap in right-center field.
The Irish pushed across a run in the fourth, after Bushey walked and moved up on a balk before scoring on Ken Meyer’s 2-2, two-out single up the middle.
The Cougars added to their lead with two runs in the sixth. Corbett slapped a leadoff single up the middle before moving up on McIntyre’s sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Lardi added an RBI single to right-center, followed by Lewin’s first-pitch double to the leftfield corner and a wild pitch that allowed Lardi to score.
Felker went 0-for-3, halting his career-best hitting streak at 18 games.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECHICAGO STATE 1-0-0 3-0-2 0 6 11 5 NOTRE DAME 0-1-1 1-0-0 1 4 8 7
Morack and Menges, Gabrione (4). Kalita, Duff (4), Carlin (4), Corbin (5) and O’Toole, Drevline (7).