Sept. 30, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
Freshman Ross Brezovsky’s two-run double highlighted a five-run bottom of the 8th as the Gold team rallied to beat the Blue, 10-9, in Thursday night’s intrasquad scrimmage that signals the end of Notre Dame’s fall season. (Check back to this release later for boxscore, play-by-play and photos from the game.)
The Gold surged to a final 14-11 edge in hits, led by six different players with multiple hits. The Blue team’s catcher, sophomore Sean Gaston, enjoyed possibly the best all-around offensive game, batting 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored, an RBI, a triple, a double and a stolen base. The lefthanded batter also reached on a first-inning error, one of three defensive miscues by the Gold that produced three early unearned runs.
The Blue led 5-0 midway through the 3rd inning and 6-1 heading to the bottom of the 5th before owning a 9-5 cushion in the 8th, just six outs from victory.
Freshman righthander Tony Langford, who also served as his team’s DH, picked up the win after allowing three runs on three hits over the 6th-8th innings. Langford struck out two Blue batters, walked one and had two wild pitches in his 56-pitch outing.
Sophomore lefthander Matt Whittington retired three of four batters he faced in the 9th for the save, allowing a one-out hit.
Freshman righthander Joey Williamson turned in the top outing of the day, allowing just one run as the Blue team’s starter. Williamson had two strikeouts to counter two hits and a walk, with five groundouts in his 52-pitch controlled start.
His classmate Wade Korpi did not last the maximum three innings, with the lefthander’s outing hurt by some defensive miscues (including one of his own). Korpi was touched for five runs – just two of them earned – in 2.1 innings, with five hits, one walk, one strikeout and five groundouts in the 58-pitch outing.
Senior righthander Tyler Jones played a key role in the victory, racking up six strikeouts while being credited for just one run allowed in 2.2 innings (2 H, BB).
Freshman walk-on candidate John Seabaugh led the Gold with three hits in five at-bats (2 R, 2B) while each of the 2-6 batters chipped in with two hits: junior third baseman Cody Rizzo (2 RBI, 2 R, SB), junior catcher Steve Andres (RBI, R, BB), junior first baseman Matt Bransfield (2 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B), Brezovsky (3 RBI, R, 2B, BB) and Langford (RBI, BB).
Freshman Joey Williamson logged a strong start for the Blue team.
Rizzo was playing third base out of necessity (with Matt Edwards and Greg Lopez sidelined by injuries) while Bransfield’s strong day included factoring into half of the Gold team’s five runs.
Both teams put five leadoff batters on base but neither hit well with two outs (Blue 2-for-11, Gold 2-for-9). The Gold’s clutch hitting ultimately made the difference, batting 9-for-25 with runners on base and 7-for-16 with them in scoring position (the Blue was just 5-for-19 with runners on and 4-for-15 with RBI chances).
Notre Dame assistant coach and Gold team skipper Terry Rooney saw his squad rally to its first lead of the game with five runs in the bottom of the 8th. Seabaugh sent a first-pitch fastball from senior lefthander Scott Bickford into left-center before sophomore centerfielder Danny Dressman coaxed a full-count walk in the lefty-lefty matchup.
Rizzo then drove a 1-1 fastball to left field but a costly error loaded the bases with no outs. Andres added his own quality AB from the left side, worknig to a 3-1 count before lifting a fastball into right-center no-man’s land to plate Seabaugh for a 9-6 game.
Sophomore righthander Rico Bertucci was called from the bullpen and induced Bransfield’s grounder to the left side, with third baseman Kevin O’Connell taking the force at second while Dressman scored (9-7).
Brezovsky then delivered on a 1-1 fastball, smoking the ball into the left-center gap to forge the 9-9 tie. Langford added another rookie highlight by sending a full-count fastball to right field and walk-on hopeful Robbie Rhinesmith plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center field (Rizzo’s score was the only unearned run of the inning).
The Blue pushed across runs in each of the first three innings, including two in the 1st. Korpi’s throwing error allowed Ed Smith to reach with one out and sophomore centerfielder Alex Nettey made the mistake hurt by pulling a 2-out, 1-1 fastball over the leftfield fence for a linedrive home run. An infield fielding error then allow Gaston to reach while leading off the 2nd and he came around to score on a stolen base and groundouts from classmate Mike Dury and O’Connell.
The lead grew to 5-0 in the 3rd, sparked by leadoff singles to center off the bats of Smith and junior rightfielder Craig Cooper. Nettey then picked up his third RBI of the night – sending an 0-1 fastball into left-center – before a double-steal, a full-count walk by senior DH Brent Weiss and popup preceding the end of Korpi’s outing. The switch-hitting Dury then turned around and pulled a 2-1 pitch from Jones through the right side of the infield to plate Cooper (Jones then notched a strikeout and groundout to leave the bases loaded).
The Gold finally dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the 3rd, thanks to Dressman’s full-count walk, a stolen base and Rizzo’s full-count single to center. The Blue nearly responded in the 4th, with runners on second and third, but Jones again delivered in the clutch with a pair of strikeouts.
The Blue restored its five-run cushion (6-1) in the 5th, after Gaston laced a 2-2 slider off the fence in right-center and scored on Dury’s sacrifice fly.
The Gold jumped right back in the game with four runs in the bottom of the 5th. Seabaugh led off versus freshman lefthander David Gruener by sending a 1-1 double to right field. Rizzo later added a one-out, RBI single to center, Andres followed with a hit to left-center and Bransfield came through on a two-run double to the left-center gap (on a 2-2 changeup). Brezovsky sent the next pitch into right field for a 6-5 game.
The Blue then moved to a 9-5 lead with a single run in the 6th (after a Lilley single, stolen base, wild pitch and Cooper’s sac. fly) and two more in the 7th, thanks to doubles by Weiss and Gaston (RBI), a wild pitch and another sac. fly (by O’Connell).
Comments From ND Assistant Coach/Gold Team Skipper Terry Rooney – “The Gold team showed a lot of confidence and poise when we were down 6-1. The pitchers continued to throw strikes and kept the game within reach so our hitters could make it a game. As an overall staff, for both the Blue and Gold, there always are positives and negatives. We saw some good things tonight but there also are things we need to improve on. Joey Williamson had a great outing. He threw a lot of strikes and really rose to the occasion tonight.
ND Blue 2-1-2 0-1-1 2-0-0 – 9 11 1
ND Gold 0-0-1 0-4-0 0-3-X – 10 14 3
Joey Williamson, David Gruener (4), Scott Bickford (6), Rico Bertucci (8; L) and Sean Gaston.
Wade Korpi, Tyler Jones (3), Tony Langford (6; W), Matt Whittington (9; SV) and Steve Andres.
Home Run: Alex Netter, BLUE (2 on in 1st).
Triple: Gaston (BLUE).
Doubles: Brent Weiss (BLUE), Pat Robinson (BLUE), Gaston (BLUE), Matt Bransfield 2 (GOLD), John Seabaugh (GOLD) and Ross Brezovsky (GOLD).