May. 1, 2005

As the Notre Dame baseball team (27-15-1, 10-4-1 BIG EAST) heads into its break for final exams, here’s a look at some of the top notes on the current team (short recaps of last week’s five games also are included):

IRISH CLOSE 11-1-1 HOMESTAND – Notre Dame’s current 13-1-1 streak includes a productive homestand that saw the Irish sweep Connecticut before going 2-0-1 vs. Villanova, plus wins over Bowling Green, Purdue (at downtown Coveleski Stadium), Valparaiso, Manchester and Cleveland State (2) and a loss to Central Michigan … the Irish hit .322 in the 13-game homestand – led by freshman 3B Brett Lilley (.449) and junior DH/C/1B Matt Bransfield (.448) – with a 3.61 staff ERA and .976 fielding pct. (18 Es).

FINALS BREAK – After closing its homestand with five games in a span of six days, the Irish now take six days off from competition during the finals break before next week’s BIG EAST showdown series at BIG EAST frontrunner St. John’s.

TV TIME – All three games of next weekend’s series at St. John’s will be telecast live nationally, respectively by ESPNU (May 7, noon EDT), EPSN2 (May 7, 6:00 p.m.) and CSTV (May 8, noon).

BREZOVSKY BREAKS OUT – Freshman 2B Ross Brezovsky (Naples, Fla.) ended his recent slump by batting 4-for-4 with 5 RBI in the 13-3 win over Cleveland State (BB, 2 R, HR, 2 2B) … Brezovsky entered that game with a sagging .252 season batting average that included just a .160 mark at Eck Stadium … he had 2 RBI in the season-opening win over Florida A&M but had registered just one other multi-RBI game before knocking in five runs in the final game of the homestand … Brezovsky’s 4-for-4 game boosted his season avg. from .252 to .276 (he is batting 65 points higher, .341, with runners in scoring position).

SHINING STARTER – Sophomore RHP Dan Kapala was a top setup pitcher for the Irish in 2004 and for the first half of the ’05 season before being shifted into a weekend starter role, in part due to the injury problems with three pitchers (senior RHP John Axford and sophomore RHPs Jeff Manship) and a slow start to the season from two-sport standout Jeff Samardzija (a sophomore RHP who wrapped up spring football on April 23) … the first start of Kapala’s career was a tough task on the road, facing Boston College ace Mike Wlodarczyk (one of the top candidates for BIG EAST pitcher of the year) in the first game of that series … Kapala allowed just one earned run in the first four innings that day before tiring in the 5th – but he now has won his last three starts in fairly impressive fashion, with a 3.15 ERA and .276 opp. batting avg. in those games (20 IP, 21 H, 7 Ks, 5 BB, .276 opp. avg.), lowering his season ERA to 3.80 (.278 opp. avg.) … Kapala beat UConn (8 IP) and Villanova (7 IP) in back-to-back complete games to give the Irish series-opening wins.

ON A ROLL – Notre Dame is in the midst of the 12th double-digit unbeaten streak of the 11-year Paul Mainieri era, with five previous Irish teams posting longer unbeaten streaks: 17 from March 24-April 14, 2003; 16 from April 4-25, 2001, and April 11-May 4, 2002; 13 from April 8-23, 1998; and 12 from April 29-May 21, 2004 … the Irish now have posted a double-digit unbeaten streak in every season under Mainieri except 1997, including two in ’98, ’01 and ’04).

APRIL AWAKENINGS – Notre Dame closed the book on yet another successful April, as Paul Mainieri’s 11 ND teams now have combined to win 80.3% of their games in the month of April (+158; 209-51-1) compared to winning just 67% of the Feb./March games in the Mainieri era (+75; 167-82-1) … the Irish were only three games over .500 in Feb./March this season (13-10) before rallying for a 14-5-1 mark (+9) in April, sparked by a 3.18 staff ERA during the month’s 20 games … ND hit just .293 during the month of April, averaging 7.0 runs per 9 innings … five ND players hit above .275 in April: freshman 2B Brett Lilley (.361, 7 RBI, 19 R, 3 2B, 12 BB, 6 HBP, 8 Ks, SAC, 5-6 SB, 6 Es), senior 1B Matt Edwards (.350, 19 RBI, 17 R, 3 HR, 3B, 7 2B, 10 BB, HBP, 9 Ks, 3-3 SB, 7 Es), junior DH Matt Bransfield (.348, 9 RBI, 8 R, 4 2B, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 7 Ks, E), junior OF Craig Cooper (.321, 20 RBI, 14 R, 2 HR, 3B, 5 2B, 7 BB, 9 HBP, 7 Ks, SAC, 6-6 SB) and sophomore C Sean Gaston (.321, 11 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 7 Ks, 2 SAC, 3-3 SB, 3 Es) … the Irish pitchers bounced back from a rocky first month to post a 3.81 staff ERA, .281 opp. batting avg. 2.3 K-to-walk ratio (106/47) in April – compared to a 5.11 ERA, .314 opp. avg. and 1.3 K/BB ratio in Feb./March … junior LHP Tom Thornton led the staff in April with his 2.68 ERA (3-1. 5 GS, 37 IP, 38 H/.268, 15 Ks/3 BB) while freshman LHP Wade Korpi (3.32) and sophomore RHP Jeff Samardzija (3.81) also made key improvements from the first month of the season.

QUICK STARTERS – Notre Dame has produced consistent first-inning offense this season, totaling 45 first-inning runs in 43 games while scoring at least one first-inning run in 21 games (11 games with multiple 1st-inning runs) … the Irish struggled with first-inning scoring for much of the 2004 season before a huge surge in the final month, en route to totaling 75 first-inning runs in the 63 games last season.

HBP HIGHWAY ROLLS ON – Notre Dame batters were hit-by-pitch nine times in the season opener vs. Florida A&M and the Irish have remained on a record HBP pace all season, currently with 97 HBPs in 43 games played … the Irish are on the verge of becoming the second team in Division I history to post 100-plus HBPs in back-to-back seasons (also 106 in 2004), with Long Beach State totaling 124 in ’98 and 114 in ’99 … ND’s current HBP total ranks 14th in the NCAA record book, just two shy of 11th place … the Irish are averaging 2.26 HBPs per game and are on pace for 126 in the 56-game regular season, which would best the NCAA record of 125 set by Nevada in 1997 … of the 18 teams that have totaled 86-plus HBPs in a season, ND owns the highest avg. of HBPs per game … no previous ND team had more than three players with 12-plus HBPs but the ’05 team already has five with 12-plus HBPs: freshman 2B Brett Lilley (20), junior RF Cody Rizzo (13), junior OF Craig Cooper (13), junior SS Greg Lopez (13) and junior CF Alex Nettey (12) … Lilley and Rizzo (28 in ’03, 21 in ’04) are the only ND players ever to total more than 15 HBPs in a season … Rizzo has moved into 5th place on the NCAA career HBP list with 62, trailing only Clay Schwartz (68; Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ’94-’97), Jeff Ontiveros (74; Texas, ’99-’02), Gabe Somarriba (81; Florida Atlantic, ’99-’02) and Tony Hurtado (92; San Francisco, ’97-’00) … seven ND players combined for 18 HBPs during the final five games of the homestand – including seven in the Villanova doubleheader and six vs. Manchester – led by six from Cooper (he totaled 6 HBPs in the ’03 and ’04 seasons combined) … the first weekend of the season in Orlando included Steve Andres being HBP three times in the opener vs. FAMU and Lilley’s 4 HBPs (one shy of the NCAA record) in the 4-2 win over Central Florida.

MASTERS OF THEIR DESTINY – On April 9, ND lost its series opener vs. Boston College to fall under .500 in the BIG EAST standings (3-4) – but the Irish have not lost in their past eight conference games, improving to 10-4-1 (.700) … St. John’s (12-4/.750, prior to May 2 game vs. Rutgers) remains the league frontrunner while Boston College (14-5; .737) currently holds down 2nd place … ND has three games “in hand” vs. BC and has three games upcoming vs. SJU, meaning that the Irish control their own fate in the race for the BIG EAST regular-season title and the corresponding top seed at the BIG EAST Tournament … after facing SJU, the Irish close with a series at Pittsburgh (8-8) and a home series vs. West Virginia (5-11) … SJU will have a bye weekend after the ND games before a final series at Villanova (7-11-1) … BC next will play host to Pittsburgh, followed with a bye week and a series at UConn (8-9) … ND would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with BC if the teams finish with identical records, but they likely will finish with a different number of games played (BC currently has played one more game, due to an ND-RU rainout) … final BIG EAST standings are based on winning pct. and not the traditional “games back” (that terminology is not applicable in this case) – meaning, for example, that a team with a 19-4 record would finish ahead of a 20-5 team … rainouts only can be made up on the weekend/makeup day of each series (ND and RU each lost one game while SJU and UConn did not play two games during the first week of league play).

FIT TO BE TIED – The 7-7 game vs. Villanova is just the second in Paul Mainieri’s 11 seasons at Notre Dame and his third in 23 seasons as a college head coach … ND’s 2001 team played to a tie with Navy at the Fresno State Classic, with time limits set on those games to keep that eight-team tournament schedule in place.

ND-VU SERIES WRAPUP – The series included just two 1-2-3 innings (one by each team) and both came in the game-1 win by the Irish (5-2): in the bottom of the 5th by ND’s Tom Thornton (KL, P-2, 1-3) and in the top of the 6th by VU’s Nick Allen (1-3, 5-3, 4-3) … top ND hitters in the series included Greg Lopez (5-for-11, 3 RBI, 4 R, HR, 2 HBP, K), Sean Gaston ( 5-for-11, 5 RBI, 3 R, HR, BB, SAC) and Alex Nettey (5-for-12, 2 R, BB, 2 HBP) … the Irish hit .343 in the series with 21 runs (2 HR, 4 2B, 8 BB, 9 HBP, 9 Ks, 1-2 SB, 5 Es/.949 fielding) while the ND staff posted a 4.15 staff ERA in the three games (26 IP, 33 H, 12 BB, 16 Ks, .337 opp. avg.).

ROAD HAZARDS – After compiling the 11-1-1 homestand (boosting the ’05 home record to 18-3-1), Notre Dame now looks to improve its 2005 road performance (9-12) that includes just a .283 team batting avg., a 5.68 staff ERA and .955 fielding pct. … Ross Brezovsky (.323 batting avg. on the road, .222 at ND’s Eck Stadium) and fellow freshman Tony Langford (.382 road; .266 Eck) actually have hit higher away from home this season while their classmate Brett Lilley is a .444 batter at The Eck but just .290 on the road (senior 1B Matt Edwards is hitting at a .423 clip at Eck Stadium this season, with a respectable .337 on the road) … ND is batting .317 at Eck Stadium with a 3.46 staff ERA and .960 fielding pct. (33 Es in 21 games) … junior LHP Tom Thornton (2.40 home ERA, .267 opp. avg.) and Kapala (2.76, .246) both are 3-0 at The Eck in their 2005 decisions.

HOT CORNER SWITCH PROVIDES SPARK – The Irish have lost just once (13-1-1) since shifting freshman Brett Lilley to 3B and inserting his classmate Ross Brezovsky at 2B, with that 15-game stretch including a .970 team fielding pct. (0-1 Es in 12 games; 19 total Es) … Lilley is batting .404 since shifting to the hot corner while his fellow leftside infielder, junior SS Greg Lopez, has made just one error in those 15 games (77 chances, .987 fielding pct.).

BONUS BASEBALL – Notre Dame has played to extra-innings four times in the past 11 games, going unbeaten in those games with wins over UConn (3-2, in 8), Purdue (9-7, in 12) and Cleveland State (7-6, in 13), plus the 7-7 tie vs. Villanova … the Irish had a rare 0-3 start in extra-inning games this season but ND now is 23-8-2 in its past 33 extra-inning games (dating back to 1997).

GOING THE DISTANCE – The 13-inning win over Cleveland State (7-6; 3:52 game time) ranks as the 3rd-longest in the 11-year history of Eck Stadium, both in terms of innings and time … the only games at the Eck to go see more innings both stretch to the 15th frame: a 5-3 win over West Virginia on May 3, 1998, and the 7-6 win over Ball State on March 23, 2004 … the two games that have lasted longer in game time were the 1998 WVU game (4:20) and the crazy 22-18 loss to Pittsburgh on May 7, 2000 (4:06).

CLOSING IN – Junior All-America closer Ryan Doherty’s career stats now include ranking 2nd in the ND record book with 12.28 Ks per 9 innings, 3rd with 18 saves (two shy of the record), 4th in low hits allowed per 9 IP (6.60), 6th in K-to-walk ratio (3.46) and 13th in ERA (2.94), plus a .203 career opponent batting avg. (stat not kept in ND record book).

CLUTCH HITTING KEY COMPONENT – ND’s 2004 team racked up its records-setting 51 wins behind an explosive offense that totaled 69 home runs, 19 triples and 120 doubles for a .479 slugging pct. … the ’05 team has seen that slugging pct. drop 50 points (.429), with just 32 HRs, 10 triples and 72 doubles … the projected ’05 extra-base hit totals over the 56-game regular season are 42 HRs, 13 triples and 94 doubles … three stats that measure clutch offensive production – leadoff on-base pct., batting with runners in scoring position and 2-out batting – show what a valuable addition freshman 3B Brett Lilley has been to the 2005 team … using a formula that combines those three situational hitting numbers, Lilley is the runaway team leader with a “clutch hitting” score of 1.453 … that number can be skewed a bit by the on-base pct. (which has the benefit of including walks and HBPs and thus is higher than the batting avg. stats) … using an adjustment whereby the leadoff on-base pct. is multiplied by 75% (based on the fact that the ’04 ND team hit .309 but had a .409 on-base; also mirrored by the ’05 team’s .300 batting and .400 OB), Lilley still checks in as ND’s all-around leader in clutch hitting with a 1.325 score (.511 leadoff on-base/.383 adjusted, .442 RISP, .500 with 2-outs) … Lilley leads the team in batting with RISP and with 2 outs while his leadoff OB ranks 3rd … three other ND players are virtually tied for 2nd using the adjusted clutch-hitting formula: senior 1B Matt Edwards (1.157), junior DH Matt Bransfield (1.131) and junior OF Craig Cooper (1.113) … Edwards ranks 2nd in leadoff OB (.704/.528) and 3rd in RISP batting (.353) but is hitting just .276 with 2 outs … Bransfield owns the top leadoff OB (.750/.563) and is 5th in RISP avg. (.318) but also has a subpar 2-out batting avg. (.250) … Cooper checks in among the team leaders in all three stats: 2nd in batting with RISP (.423) and with 2 outs (.357) and 4th in leadoff OB (.444) … as a team, the most consistent part of ND’s clutch offense has been leadoff on-base pct. (.427/.320 adjusted), followed by batting with RISP (.315) while the 2-out batting lags far behind (.284).

HAND IT TO HIM – The Irish are hoping that the fulltime return of junior DH Matt Bransfield will continue to spark the ND offense … Bransfield suffered a broken hand in the season opener and missed the next 18 games but he is batting 10-for-24 (.417) in the past seven games and now ranks 3rd on the team with a .333 season batting avg. … Bransfield also could provide a key boost to ND’s power game and big-inning production, after smacking 12 home runs and leading the Irish with 58 RBI in the 2004 season (when he also paced the BIG EAST with 33 RBI in league play).

BIG BOPPER – Junior 1B Matt Edwards has hit 12 of ND’s 32 home runs in the 2005 season (nearly 40%) while his 54 RBI are 15 more than the next-highest run producer on the team (Craig Cooper, with 39) … Edwards, who has started all 43 games this season batting in the 3-hole, is hitting 11-for-28 (.393) in his current 7-game hitting streak … Edwards – who can apply for a 5th year of eligibility in ’06, has made 84 straight starts with the Irish while missing a total of just three games in the past three seasons … he remains 6th in ND history for career RBI (now 181, in 176 games) and suddenly is only 40 shy of the record held by ’93 grad. Eric Danapilis (221) … others on that list include Alec Porzel (211; ’98-’01), Dan Peltier (202; ’87-’89), Mike Amrhein (202; ’94-’97) and Jeff Wagner (189; ’96-’99) … Edwards also ranks 9th in ND history with 12 career home runs and 17th with a .347 career batting avg.

SEEING RED – ND assistant coach David “Red” Grewe charts plate discipline with a ratio of BB+HBP-Ks and freshman 3B Brett Lilley now is +30 (27+20-17) while junior OF Craig Cooper is +23 (23+13-13) in that “Red Ratio” … ND as a team is +39 (161 BB, 97 HBPs, 219 Ks).

ALL HE DOES IS GET EXTRA-BASE HITS – Junior LF/DH Steve Andres remains the master of the extra-base hit, as he has totaled two more extra-base hits (9; 4 HR, 3B, 4 2B) than singles (7) in the ’05 season … Andres has hit just one single since April 6, as three of his past four hits have gone for extra bases (including doubles vs. Cleveland State and Purdue and a triple vs. Bowling Green) … since hitting a single vs. Northern Illinois on March 18, Andres has totaled six extra-base hits (also 2Bs vs. Seton Hall and Rutgers and a HR vs. Toledo) and just two singles … he is batting only .222 this season but ranks 3rd on the team in slugging pct. (.472) and home runs (4) and 5th in extra-base hits while also owning a .398 on-base pct., thanks to 16 walks and 5 HBPs … his .870 OPS (on-base plus slugging) ranks 4th among the 2005 ND players.

GOOD FOR ONE – Notre Dame has extended the program’s 2nd-longest scoring streak to 190 games (also 421 of the last 422 and 660 of 666 in the Mainieri era).

LUCKY NUMBERS – The Irish are 21-1 this season when leading at the end of the 6th inning (just 4-13 when trailing at the end of the 6th), 15-1-1 when outhitting the opponent, 17-1 when limiting the opponent to 0-3 runs and 6-0 when playing error-free ball.

CONFERENCE CLOUT – Notre Dame is riding an eight-game unbeaten streak in BIG EAST play (7-0-1) that ranks among the longest in the program’s impressive 10 seasons of BIG EAST play … only two previous Irish teams have logged longer unbeaten streaks in BIG EAST action: the 2001 team’s 18 consecutive BIG EAST wins (a league record, set from March 31-May 5 of that season) and 10 straight BIG EAST wins by the 1998 Irish squad (March 28-April 18).

MOUND MANEUVERING – Notre Dame’s 2005 pitching staff has been slowed by injuries to several key veterans, as senior RHP John Axford and sophomore RHP Jeff Manship both are returning from 2004 reconstructive elbow surgery while sophomore RHP Jess Stewart was sidelined for most of April with a knee injury … Manship and Axford also have suffered midseason setbacks, as Manship injured a finger on his throwing hand in the first inning of the April 17 game vs. UConn while Axford has been sidelined with a recent shoulder injury that could hold him about until mid-May (Manship threw one inning out of the bullpen vs. Cleveland State, on April 30) … Manship (10.0), Axford (1.2) and Stewart (11.2) have combined to throw only 23.1 innings this season, representing just 6% of the staff’s workload in the 2005 season … their absence has been magnified due to the fact that the Irish lost three key pitchers – top starters Grant Johnson and Chris Niesel (respectively 2nd- and 9th-round MLB draft picks) and lefthander setup man Joe Thaman – from the 2004 staff that ranked 9th in the nation with a 3.36 season ERA.

THE DRIVE FOR 30 … AND 40 – Notre Dame is three wins shy of posting its 18th consecutive season with 30-plus victories but the program’s standard has been higher than that for nearly two decades, as the Irish also are riding a 16-year streak of seasons with 40-plus wins … Florida State and Wichita State are the only Division I teams with longer active streaks of 40-win seasons (each with 27) but the Shockers streak is flawed due to several seasons in which they were allowed to play more than 56 games (for exempted games in Hawaii, including the current season) … the Irish would need to win all of their remaining regular-season games to reach 40 victories prior to the postseason … if ND delivers a sweep next weekend at St. John’s, the 30th win would come in the 46th game … the previous 10 seasons of the Paul Mainieri era saw the 30th win came, on average, in the 41st game (the latest 30th win of the Mainieri era came in the 45th game of the 1997 season).


ND 9, Villanova 4 (4/25)Dan Kapala notched another complete game (7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 BB, HB, 69 of 11 pitches for strikes) while Sean Gaston’s three-run shot (his first career HR at ND) provided an early 8-3 lead … Kapala’s 21 outs included 13 via groundballs, three strikeouts, an infield lineout and just four outfield flyouts … he allowed four leadoff batters to reach but then held the Wildcats to 3-for-13 batting (.231) with runners in scoring position … Kevin Mulvey took the loss (6 IP, 8 H, 9 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 4 HB, 3 Ks) … the teams began playing at 9:30 a.m. and Villanova claimed early leads (1-0 and 3-2) before three runs in the bottom of the 2nd put ND in front to stay.

ND 7, Villanova 7 (10 inn.; 4/25) – Greg Lopez was the hero in the nightcap, going the other way and riding the wind to clear the rightfield fence and forge the 7-7 tie in the bottom of the 9th … per BIG EAST policy, the game was halted after the 10th inning and is recorded as a tie due to Villanova’s flight schedule out of Chicago (the game had exceeded the predetermined time that the final inning could start) … Lopez hit 4-for-7 and Sean Gaston 4-for-8 to lead a .406 batting day (13-for-32) from ND’s #6 through #9 hitters in the doubleheader, with the 1-5 hitters batting just .275 (11-for-40) … Lopez batted 8th and the lefthanded-hitting Gaston was 9th in the opener but each was shifted up for the series finale, with Gaston slotted 6th and Lopez 7th (VU started a righthander in each game) … 3-hole hitter Matt Edwards hit 4-for-9 in the doubleheader … ND held early leads (3-1 and 4-3) but VU scored the next four runs and was three outs away from earning a split of the day’s action, with Mike Grodecki and his BIG EAST-leading six saves on the mound … Steve Andres reached to lead off the bottom of the 9th when his windblown popup to shallow left-center landed in no-man’s-land … Gaston then pulled a 1-0 pitch into right field and Lopez went to his opposite field on the next pitch, riding the gusts to clear the rightfield fence for his 2nd home run of the season and 4th of his career … ND loaded the bases in the 10th but could not plate the winning run … Wade Korpi had a short stint as the ND starter, relieved by Jeff Samardzija, while VU’s Mike Loree logged 6 IP (10 H, 4 R, BB, K) … ND closer Ryan Doherty logged the final 4.0 innings (3 H, R, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 41 of 69 pitches for strikes … the Irish left 16 runners on base while the Wildcats stranded 15.

ND 5, Manchester 0 (4/27) – Matt Bransfield continued to swing a hot bat (2 RBI, 2 2B), seven Irish pitchers combined on the shutout and the ND batters were hit-by-pitch six times … Mike Dury picked up the win as part of a planned rotation, after retiring every batter he faced in the 4th-6th innings … David Gruener drew his first start of the season and worked out of a 1st-inning jam, ultimately allowing two hits and two walks while adding a pair of strikeouts in 3.0 innings … Jess Stewart, who has been slowed during the past month due to a minor knee injury, retired two of the three batters he faced in the 7th before four other relievers followed him to the mound.

ND 7, Cleveland State 6 (13 inn.; 4/29) – Alex Nettey’s leadoff single sparked the winning rally in the bottom of the 13th, as the Irish won on “Turn Back The Clock Night” … starter Tom Thornton was not his sharpest while looking for a fourth straight complete game (5 IP, 9 H, 6 R/3 ER, 3 Ks, 87 pitches) but Jeff Samardzija then threw 7.0 shutout innings (4 H, BB, 8 Ks, 104 pitches) … Tony Langford retired three of the four batters he faced in the top of the 13th to pick up the win … Craig Cooper paced ND’s 10-hit attack by batting 3-for-4 (3 RBI, 2 R, 3B) … the 2-3-4 hitters combined for all but two of the Irish hits, as Brett Lilley (3-for-6, R) and Matt Edwards (2-for-4, R, 3B) joined Cooper with multiple hits … Samardzija allowed a pair of two-out singles in the 8th but then retired nine of the next 10 batters, seven via strikeouts.

ND 13, Cleveland State 3 (4/30)Dan Kapala logged another solid start (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R/1 ER, 2 Ks, 42 of 61 pitches for strikes) and Ross Brezovsky’s big day from the 9-hole (4-for-4, BB, 5 RBI, 2 R, HR, 2 2B) paced a 14-hit attack, as ND closed an 11-1-1 homestand … Alex Nettey (RBI), Matt Edwards (R, BB, 2B) and Matt Bransfield (R, 2 BB, 2B) each hit 2-for-3, with Edwards collecting his team-leading 19th multiple-hit game of the season and 15th double (pushing his career total to 45) … Steve Andres had a hand in five of the Irish runs (1-for-2, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2B) … Jeff Manship, Wade Korpi, Jess Stewart and Tony Langford each tossed an inning, with Korpi (H, BB), Stewart (K) and Langford (K) combining to face just 10 batters in the final three innings … the efficient Irish offense racked up 13 runs while leaving just nine runners on, overcoming another off-day from the 6-7-8 hitters (combined 1-for-11) after those spots went 0-for-15 (including Brezovsky’s 0-for-5 in the 8-hole) the previous day, in the 13-inning win over CSU.