Junior 2B Frank DeSico.

Indiana State Tops Irish In Irish Baseball Classic Title Game, 6-1

March 18, 2012

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Kyle Rupe and Chris Machado of Indiana State combined to allow just one run on four hits as the Sycamores knocked off Notre Dame, 6-1, in the championship game of the 2012 Irish Baseball Classic at Wolf Stadium Sunday. The Irish dropped to 10-7, while Indiana State captured its 11th consecutive game and improved to 16-4.

Rupe improved to 4-0 on the season and lowered his earned-run average to a paltry 0.85. He limited Notre Dame to just one runs on three hits, all singles, in 6.2 innings. Rupe struck out only two and worked around four walks.

Machado was credited with the save – his first of the season. He tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with two punch outs and no walks.

Irish sophomore RHP Sean Fitzgerald (McLean, Va./McLean H.S.) was charged with the loss. He pitched far better than his line might indicate. Fitzgerald was charged with three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits in 6.1 innings of work. He fanned four and walked two.

Sophomore RHP Dan Slania (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) worked the final 1.2 innings and allowed two runs, both unearned, on three hits. He fanned three and walked one.

Notre Dame had a pair of golden scoring chances in each of the first two innings against Rupe. Junior 2B Frank DeSico (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius H.S.) ripped a one-out single and promptly stole second base, but Rupe got sophomore 1B Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) and junior C Joe Hudson (Odessa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit H.S.) to fly out to end the inning. Mancini hit a bullet right at the Sycamores centerfielder.

The Irish again stranded a pair, including one in scoring position, in the second.

Indiana State broke through for three runs, two earned, in the bottom of the second inning to grab a 3-0 advantage. Fitzgerald issued a leadoff walk and Kyle Burnam followed with a seeing-eye single. Jon Hedges followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that Fitzgerald fielded cleanly, but threw wildly in an attempt to retire the lead runner at third base. A run scored on the error and Casey McCurdy followed with a two-run triple.

Notre Dame scratched across a run in the top of the fifth inning on DeSico’s RBI ground out, but Indiana State answered back with its own run to regain a 4-1 lead.

The Sycamores put the game out of reach with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Junior RF Charlie Markson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay H.S.) was the lone Irish player with more than one hit. Markson went 2-for-4. DeSico went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Mancini went hitless despite four screaming line drives.

McCurdy went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two-run triple. Six other Indiana State players had one hit.

Notre Dame returns to action on Tues., Mar. 20 at 5:35 p.m. for its home opener against Eastern Michigan. Freshman RHP Pat Connaughton (Danvers, Mass./St. John’s Prep) will get the start and make his Irish debut.

In-game updates will be available on twitter at @NDBaseball and facebook at NDBaseball while fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the internet at UND.com.

— ND —