April 1, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman left-handed pitcher and South Bend native Ryan Richter tossed 4.0 effective innings of relief to lead the Irish past Toledo, 11-7, in college baseball action from Frank Eck Stadium Wednesday night. Notre Dame improved to 16-10, while the Rockets dropped to 10-12.
After Toledo plated six runs over the first four innings, Richter limited the Rockets to just one earned run on three hits. He improved to 3-0 on the season and now is tied with sophomore Cole Johnson for the team-lead in victories. Richter struck out a career-high four and walked one.
Sophomore David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) went 3-for-5 with four RBI – both career-highs. Junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.), junior A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) and sophomore Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.) each chipped in with two hits apiece.
Barnes drove in three, including a two-run home run. Mills also drove in a pair and scored a run, while Pollock had one RBI and three runs scored. Sherry has three consecutive multi-hit games.
Lincoln Rassi (1-3) was charged with the loss for Toledo. The righty allowed three earned runs on three hits in 2.0 innings. He fanned a pair and walked a pair.
Toledo pounced on Irish starter Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.) right out of the gates. Joe Corfman led off the game with a solo home run – his fourth of the season and first by a Notre Dame opponent to lead off a game since Justin Parks of West Virginia smacked a leadoff home run on April 20, 2008.
Tim Krofcheck followed with a sharp single and trotted home on Jared Hoying’s fifth home run of the season that gave the Rockets a 3-0 lead.
Notre Dame answered in its half of the first inning. Mills laced a one-out double to the right field wall and moved to third base on Pollock’s infield single. Casey followed with an RBI single and Barnes made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly.
Miller worked around a one-out hit and pair of Notre Dame errors in the top of the second. Miller was charged with three runs, all earned, on four hits in 2.0 innings. He did not register a strikeout or walk and surrendered a pair of home runs.
The Rockets pushed their lead to 4-2 in the top of the third inning on senior Sam Elam’s (Mesquite, Texas) wild pitch. After the wild pitch, Toledo still had a runner at third base with one out, but Elam struck out Aaron Dudley and got Jake Oester to fly out to end the inning.
The Irish gained the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and Mills walked to open the inning. After Pollock beat out a possible double play ball that left runners on the corners and one out, Casey followed with an RBI ground out before Barnes belted his team-leading fifth long ball of the year that made the score 5-4.
The Irish lead did not last long. Toledo regained the lead, 6-5, in the top of the fourth inning on Corfman’s RBI fielder’s choice and Krofcheck’s sacrifice fly.
Elam also threw 2.0 innings. The southpaw allowed three runs, two earned, on just one hit, but was hurt by three walks and two wild pitches. Elam also struck out a pair.
Notre Dame drew even, 6-6, on Pollock’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Irish grabbed an 8-6 lead on Mills’ two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Notre Dame loaded the bases on three consecutive walks before Mills hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball that would have ended the inning, but Toledo first baseman Jim Vahalik lost the bouncing ball in the sun and pulled back his glove allowing the ball to reach the outfield.
After Richter kept Toledo scoreless over his first two innings of relief, the Rockets inched closer with a solo tally in the top of the seventh inning. Josh Colliver led off with a single and raced home on Hoying’s RBI double. Richter got Dudley to pop out and Oester to ground out before fanning Dan Sherwood to end the inning with the tying run at third base.
Notre Dame again took advantage of suspect Toledo defense in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Irish plated three runs, all unearned, after a pair of Rocket errors. After Notre Dame made it 9-7 on an error, Casey gave the Irish an 11-7 lead with a two-run single.
Richter and Barnes then sent down the Rockets in order in both the eighth and ninth inning.
Notre Dame returns to action this weekend with a three-game BIG EAST series against Villanova. First pitch for Friday night’s series opener is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
— ND —