Feb. 23, 2009
Overall Record: 2-1, 0-0 BIG EAST
Last Week’s Record: 2-1, 0-0 BIG EAST
February 20 – Ohio State 2, Notre Dame 0 – Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla.
February 21 – Notre Dame 14, Illinois 7 – McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
February 22 – Notre Dame 9, Purdue 4 (10 Innings) – Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla.
February 27, 6:00 p.m. (MT) – Notre Dame vs. Gonzaga – Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
February 28, 6:00 p.m. (MT) – Notre Dame vs. Dayton – Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
March 1, 10:00 a.m. (MT) – Notre Dame vs. Creighton – Marich Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
Star Watch:Name Avg. AB R H HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP OBP SB-ATTBrayden Ashdown 1.000 2 2 2 0 3 3 1.000 0 0 1.000 0-0Mick Doyle .714 7 3 5 0 0 5 .714 1 0 .667 0-1Cameron McConnell .600 5 3 3 0 3 3 .600 0 0 .500 0-0Golden Tate .500 14 4 7 0 2 9 .643 1 0 .533 0-0Jeremy Barnes .333 12 4 4 1 5 9 .750 3 0 .467 0-1
Name ERA W-L App GS CG SV IP H R-ER BB-SO BAvg.Steven Mazur 0.00 1-0 2 0 0 0 3.0 0 0-0 1-3 .000Todd Miller 2.70 0-0 2 0 0 0 3.1 2 1-1 1-2 .182Brian Dupra 2.84 0-1 1 1 0 0 6.1 6 2-2 1-2 .250Cole Johnson 3.00 1-0 1 0 0 0 3.0 2 1-1 1-2 .182David Mills 0.00 0-0 1 0 0 0 1.1 2 1-0 1-1 .333Will Hudgins 0.00 0-0 1 0 0 0 1.1 0 0-0 0-0 .000Joe Spano 0.00 0-0 1 0 0 0 0.2 0 0-0 1-1 .000
Player of the Week Nominee:
Golden Tate – Sophomore – Outfielder – Hendersonville, Tenn.
Date Opponent Score AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SB-A AVG2.20 Ohio State L, 0-2 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 .5002.21 Illinois W, 14-7 5 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0-0 .5562.22 Purdue W, 9-4 (10) 5 1 2 2 1 0 0 1 0-0 .500 Totals 14 4 7 2 2 0 0 1 0-0 .500
Sophomore OF Golden Tate spearheaded a Notre Dame offensive attack that hit .355 and racked up 39 hits over the weekend at the 2009 BIG EAST / Big Ten Challenge. Tate, who bats leadoff and earned BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge Honorable Mention All-Tournament Team (presented by CollegeBaseball360.com), hit .500 (7-for-14) with four runs scored, two doubles and two RBI. He recorded three multi-hit games as the Irish went 2-1 over the weekend. Tate, who led ND in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns on the gridiron this fall, recorded a .533 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage.
Pitcher of the Week Nominee:
Steven Mazur – Junior – Round Rock, Texas
Date Opponent Score W-L GS IP H R ER BB SO ERA2.21 Illinois W, 14-7 0-0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.002.22 Purdue W, 9-4 (10) 1-0 0 2.0 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 Totals 1-0 0 3.0 0 0 0 1 3 0.00
Notre Dame junior reliever Steven Mazur went 1-0 in two relief appearances this weekend for the Irish. He tossed 3.0 not only scoreless innings, but also hitless innings. Mazur picked up the victory against Purdue with 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings of relief. He walked one and struck out one. Mazur fanned a pair in an inning of work against Illinois. He was the only pitcher this weekend at the BIG EAST / Big 10 Challenge that did not allow a hit in 3.0 or more innings of work.
The Notre Dame baseball team opened the season taking two of three games in the inaugural 2009 BIG EAST / Big Ten Baseball Challenge. The Irish were one of three BIG EAST schools to post a 2-1 record. Notre Dame also was the only school among the 18-team field that ranked among the top five in both batting (third) and ERA (third) over the tournament.
The story of the weekend was the Notre Dame depth, especially its bench, and the bullpen. Sophomore Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.), junior Matt Grosso (Hebron, Conn.) and sophomore Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.), all of whom did not play in the season-opening loss to Ohio State, started against Illinois and combined to bat .467 (7-for-15) with four runs scored and seven RBI. Doyle went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while McConnell went 2-for-3 with a run scored and career-best three RBI. Grosso was 2-for-5 with his first career home run, a game-tying two-run blast in the eight-run seventh inning. The Irish defeated Purdue primarily due to its bench. Junior Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.), McConnell and junior Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.) all entered the game as pinch hitters in the eighth inning. Ashdown not only scored two runs, but provided a critical two-run, pinch hit single to bring Notre Dame within a run, 4-3, and added a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th. McConnell and Martin each scored a pair of runs and went 1-for-2. For the weekend, the Irish bench went 4-for-8 with three RBI and six runs scored.
The bullpen worked 12.2 innings over the three games this past weekend and allowed just two earned runs – good for a 1.42 ERA. The sextet allowed just six hits as Ohio State, Illinois and Purdue batted just .143 (6-for-42) against the non-starters. Junior Steven Mazur (Round Rock, Texas) picked up the victory over the Boilermakers and threw 3.0 hitless innings of relief over two separate relief outings. Junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich., 1.1 IP) and the freshman tandem of Will Hudgins (Richmond, Va., 1.1 IP) and Joe Spano (Verona, N.J., 0.2 IP) combined to not allow a run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work. Sophomores Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn., 3.1 IP) and Cole Johnson (Hudson, Ohio, 3.0 IP) were the only two pitchers of the group to allow runs, but each surrendered just one earned run on a pair of hits. Notre Dame’s bullpen was at its best in the two come-from-behind victories over Illinois (14-7) and Purdue (9-4, 10 innings). The Irish not only outscored the Illini 9-0 over the final three innings of the game, but Notre Dame’s bullpen retired the final 10 Illinois batters of the evening, including three by strikeout. The Irish were even better against the Boilermakers. They did not allow a hit over the final 4.2 innings of the game.
In the season opener against Ohio State on Feb. 20, Notre Dame managed just six hits in a 2-0 loss to the Buckeyes. Sophomore Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) was solid in his start for the Irish despite getting charged with the loss. The right-handed hurler (0-1) scattered six hits over 6.1 innings of work. Dupra allowed two earned runs, struck out two and walked one. Miller tossed the final 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. He did not allow a hit and fanned a pair. Sophomore Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and junior Billy Boockford (Glen Elyn, Ill.) each went 2-for-4 to lead the Irish offensively. Junior A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) and Mills each added a hit apiece. Pollock doubled in the first, but was stranded in scoring position. Notre Dame stranded eight on the night and went hitless in five at bats with runners in scoring position.
Grosso belted a two-run, the first of his career, and senior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) added a three-run blast in an eight-run seventh inning as Notre Dame rallied past Illinois, 14-7, on Feb. 21. The Irish snapped their nine-game losing streak dating back to last season. With Notre Dame trailing 7-5, Barnes opened the seventh with a walk. After Grosso fell behind in the count 0-2, the junior battled back to push the count full and fouled off three straight pitches before hammering Billy Barrett’s offering over the right field fence to square the game, 7-7. The next five Irish batters would reach base, including a go-ahead, two-run single from McConnell that made the score, 9-7. Pollock added a sacrifice fly to make it 10-7 before Barnes capped the explosion with a three-run bomb deep into the left field night. Johnson picked up the victory in relief. The right-handed hurler (1-0) allowed one earned run on a pair of hits in 3.0 innings. Tate and Doyle each had three hits. Tate added three runs scored, while Doyle drove in a pair and scored a pair. Barnes went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a career-high five RBI. McConnell went 2-for-3 with a run scored and career-best three RBI.
In the weekend’s final tilt, Ashdown came off the bench with a huge pinch hit two-run single and added another RBI base hit in the five-run 10th inning as the Irish rallied past Purdue, 9-4. Mazur picked up the victory. The right-handed hurler tossed 2.0 hitless innings of relief. Mazur struck out one and walked one. Doyle, Tate, junior Ryne Intlekofer (Moorpark, Calif.) and Barnes all chipped in with two hits apiece. Notre Dame rallied from a 4-1 deficit with three two-out runs in the top of the eighth inning to tie the score, 4-4. After the first two Irish batters of the inning were retired, McConnell singled and Martin followed with a walk. Both McConnell and Martin advanced a base on a throwing error (a failed pickoff attempt) from the Purdue catcher. Ashdown stepped up and ripped a two-run single plating McConnell and Martin to bring the Irish within a run, 4-3. Ashdown scampered into scoring position on a wild pitch and came around to score on Doyle’s game-tying RBI single. The game remained tied into the top of the 10th inning when the Irish exploded for five runs. After Ashdown gave the Irish their first lead of the afternoon, 5-4, with an RBI single, Tate laced a two-run double, Intlekofer followed with a sacrifice fly and Pollock closed the scoring with a RBI single.
Notre Dame returns to action next weekend at the Phoenix Classic hosted by the University of Dayton. The Irish will face Gonzaga (Fri., 6:00 p.m. MT), Dayton (Sat., 6:00 p.m. MT) and Creighton (Sun., 10:00 a.m. MT). Notre Dame’s first two games of the weekend will be played at Diablo Stadium in Mesa, Az. – the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim. The final game of the weekend will return to Phoenix and the Phoenix College campus.
— ND —