March 17, 2006
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Jeff Manship continued his strong start to the season by striking out eight and allowing just two earned runs in eight innings of a 12-2 win over Southern Illinois, but Notre Dame saw its six-game winning streak come to end later in Friday’s action, as Iowa cashed in three unearned runs while rallying from an 8-4 deficit to defeat the Irish, 10-8.
Notre Dame (8-6) – which will wrap up its Spring Break trip on Saturday with another Irish Baseball Classic game versus Southern Illinois – totaled a season-high 17 hits versus SIU (13-8) but failed to close out the nightcap, as Iowa (8-6) completed a late rally for the third time in as many days.
Manship (2-0) picked up his second win of the trip while pitching in his hometown, scattering seven hits and just one walk in his 112-pitch outing. The junior righthander yielded just a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning and now owns a 1.44 season ERA in four starts, with 32 strikeouts, only five walks and a low .176 opponent batting average in 25 innings pitched.
Sophomore second baseman Ross Brezovsky has made just one error in 49 fielding chances this season and batted 5-for-8 in Friday’s games vs. SIU and Iowa (all photos by Pete LaFleur).
Sophomore second baseman Ross Brezovsky batted a combined 5-for-8 in the two games, with an RBI and four runs scored. Senior leftfielder Matt Bransfield added a strong game versus SIU, batting 3-for-4 with a walk, an opposite-field triple, a double, an RBI and three runs scored.
Brezovsky’s bat helped the Irish build an 8-4 lead versus Iowa (8-6) but the Hawkeyes scored four runs (three unearned) to tie the game in the seventh before the decisive two runs in the top of the eighth. It marked the third time this season that unearned runs have produced the margin in a loss for the Irish.
Senior first baseman Craig Cooper had hits in both games and now has hit safely in all seven games on the Spring Break trip.
Alex Nettey scored three times in the win over SIU, after batting 2-for-2 and reaching three other times on HBPs.
ND-SIU Game Notes – Manship located 78 of his 112 pitches for strikes and now is averaging 11.5 Ks per 9 IP (also 1.8 BB, 5.8 hits) … senior LHP Adam Snyder (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season (6.1 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 2 Ks) … Cooper batted 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot (RBI, R), with Bransfield adding his 3-for-4 game while four others – Sean Gaston (2 RBI, R), Alex Nettey (3 HBP, RBI, 3 R), Brezovsky (2 R) and Cody Rizzo (3 RBI) each had two hits … the Irish claimed a 3-0 lead in the 2nd, sparked by Bransfield’s triple (he went the other way and rode the wind to right field, on a 2-0 pitch) … Gaston followed with an RBI groundout, Nettey reached on a HBP, Brezovsky singled and Rizzo delivered yet another 2-out RBI after ripping a 2-run single into right-center … the Irish tacked on a run in the 3rd after singles by Nettey, Brezovsky, Greg Lopez and Rizzo (RBI) … SIU’s unearned runs in the 6th came after a leadoff walk, two errors and just one hit … the Irish came back to score another in the 6th (when Cooper singled home Nettey) and stretched to 7-2 with a run in the 7th (a Jeremy Barnes single scored Bransfield) … ND broke open the game with a 5-run 8th, totaling six hits on singles from Cooper, Bransfield (RBI), Gaston (RBI) and Eddie Smith (pinch-hit), plus an RBI double by Barnes … junior OF Danny Dressman walked twice but saw his hitting streak end at nine games.
ND-Iowa Game Notes – Freshman RHP David Phelps pitched into the 3rd while making his first college start (2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, BB, 2 Ks) … junior RHP Jess Stewart then logged 4.2 mid-relief innings while freshman RHP Kyle Weiland (0-3) suffered the loss … ND scored two runs in each of the first three innings … Brett Lilley’s groundout and Brezovsky’s opposite-field double to left plated Cooper (leadoff double) and Dressman for the quick 2-0 lead … Dressman added an RBI double and Lilley a run-scoring single in the 2nd (with Lopez and Cooper crossing the plate) … Iowa promptly forged a 4-4 tie in the 3rd, via four hits, a HBP, walk and sac. fly … ND knocked sophomore RHP David Conroy out of the game moments later, claiming a 6-4 lead after Lopez’s RBI double and Dressman’s bases-loaded walk … Lopez added an RBI single in the 4th (scoring Bransfield) and freshman 1B Evan Sharpley then had his first RBI of the season, singling up the middle to score Brezovsky for the 8-4 cushion … Iowa’s game-tying sequence in the 7th included just three hits, plus two errors (and another costly defensive miscue), a wild pitch, a stolen base and a squeeze bunt … the Hawkeyes claimed the lead in the 8th, after three straight hits and a wild pitch with a runner on third.
Matt Bransfield has kicked in some big hits in the Alamo City, batting .500 in the seven games with four doubles, a triple and a home run to go along with six singles.
UPDATED ND TEAM NOTES – ND hit just .210 with 2-outs in the first seven games but the Irish consistently have delivered big 2-out hits on the Spring Break trip, batting .383 with 2-outs in the seven Spring Break games with half of the RBI on the trip (28 of 56) coming on 2-out ABs … top hitters on the Spring Break trip: Bransfield (.500, 12-for-24, 5 RBI, 7 R, HR, 3B, 4 2B, 2 BB, HBP, 3 Ks, SB), Cooper (.467, 14-for-30, 2 RBI, 10 R, 2 2B, 4 BB, 2 HBP, 3 Ks) and Dressman (.462, 12-for-26, 13 RBI, 7 R, 3B, 2B, 4 BB, 3 HBP, 2 Ks, 2 SAC, 2 SB) … the ND offense is batting .358 on the trip while averaging 8.3 runs per game, with 21 doubles (2 HR, 3 3B) and a +15 plate-discipline ratio (25 BB, 21 HBP, 31 Ks) … ND was -23 in the plate-discipline ratio during the 2-5 start … the Irish pitchers have posted a 2.86 staff ERA on the trip (.211 opp. avg., 47 Ks, 23 BB, 48 H in 63 IP) … top ND hitters in the Irish Baseball Classic: Bransfield (.538, 7-for-13, 3 RBI, 6 R, HR, 3B, 2 2B, BB, 2 Ks), Nettey (.500, 5-for-10, RBI, 4 R, 4 HBP, K, SB) and Cooper (.429, 6-for-14, RBI, 4 R, 2B, 2 BB, 2 Ks) … ND owns an 8-2 scoring edge in the 1st inning this season and 18-6 in the 8th.
Southern Illinois (13-8) 0-0-0 0-0-2 0-0-0 – 2 7 0
Notre Dame (8-5) 0-3-0 2-0-1 1-5-X – 12 17 3
Triple: Matt Bransfield (ND).
Doubles: Jeremy Barnes (ND), Bransfield (ND).
Iowa (8-6) 0-0-4 0-0-0 4-2-0 – 10 11 2
Notre Dame (8-6) 2-2-2 1-0-1 0-0-0 – 8 12 3
David Conroy, Chris Zinn (3), Luke O’Loughlin (5; W, 1-2), Tim Gudex (9; SV, 4) and Dusty Napoleon.