March 12, 2005

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A four-run first inning propelled Notre Dame to an early 11-1 lead but the Irish had to hold off Southwest Missouri State’s upset bid before winning the consolation game of the Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic, 12-11, in Saturday afternoon action at Wolff Stadium.

(Note: check back to this recap later for postgame notes, an overview of the Spring Break trip and gameday photos.)

Notre Dame (6-7) claimed its big lead after adding three runs in the third and four more in the fourth but SMS (6-7) stormed back, doing most of its damage in the six-run top of the fifth.

Sophomore righthander Jeff Manship, who is returning from reconstructive elbow surgery, was slated to throw just the first inning and the prep All-American had a solid outing in front of his hometown fans. Manship faced just three batters, walking one and striking out one while seeing another thrown out attempting to steal second base.

Five relievers followed Manship to the mound, with sophomore Dan Kapala (1-0) awarded the victory. Kapala yielded just one run (a solo home run by Jake Manning) in 1.2 innings of work, allowing three total hits while striking out one.

All-tournament pick Steve Andres had a bases-loaded walk and homered for the second straight day and third time this season as part of his 2-for-3 effort from the cleanup spot (2 R, 2 BB; hit 5-for-10 in the tournament). Junior centerfielder Alex Nettey (2-for-4, RBI, HBP; hit .385 in tournament) and freshman third baseman Ross Brezovsky (1-for-5; hit .357 in tournament) also were named to the all-tournament squad.

Other top hitters for the Irish in Saturday’s win included sophomore catcher Sean Gaston (3-for-4, RBI, 3 R) and freshman DH Tony Langford, a Fort Worth native who responded to his first start of the season by batting 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored.

Oral Roberts held off the local team Texas-San Antonio to win the championship game, 5-4. ORU’s Dennis Bigley – who hit .380 in the tournament with 15 RBI while also tossing six shutout innings to win game-1 – took home the tournament MVP honor.

Southwest Missouri State 0-0-1 0-6-2 1-0-1 – 11 16 5
Notre Dame 4-0-3 4-1-0 0-0-X – 12 15 0

Jake Bunten (2-1; L, 2-1), Jake Habsieger (4), D.J. Roshone (5) and Zach Harris.
Jeff Manship, Wade Korpi (2), Mike Dury (5), David Gruener (6), Dan Kapala (7; W, 1-0) and Ryan Doherty (9; SV, 3)

Home Run: Steve Andres, ND (solo in 3rd; 3rd of season); Jake Manning, SMS (solo in 9th; 2nd of season).
Doubles: Zach Harris (SMS), Scott Nasby (SMS), Matt Lawson (SMS), Matt Edwards (ND).