May 10, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Matt Edwards snapped out of his brief batting slump with a pair of hits and two RBI, leading the Notre Dame baseball team to another win at home, 7-2 over Oakland, in Tuesday night’s non-conference action.
Nearly 1,000 students were on hand as part of a special senior-week event, helping to produce the second-largest attendance number (2,606) in the 11-year history of Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (28-18-1) improved to 19-3-1 at home this season while getting back on the winning track, after losing all three games last weekend at St. John’s by a total of four runs. The Irish are riding an 11-game unbeaten streak at home, dating back to mid-April.
Edwards ended his only three-game hitless stretch of the season by batting 2-for-4 from his customary spot in the 3-hole. The BIG EAST’s leading run producer also ended his stretch of five games without an RBI, knocking home a pair of 2nd-inning runs after sending his 16th double of the season into the right-center gap. The senior first baseman now has totaled 183 RBI in 180 career games with the Irish, just six behind Jeff Wagner (’99) for 5th-place in the Notre Dame record book.
Freshman second baseman Ross Brezovsky (2-for-3, BB, RBI, 2 R) and junior shortstop Greg Lopez (2-for-4, R) chipped in with solid efforts from the bottom of the order while freshman lefthander Wade Korpi was awarded the victory as the starter in a planned rotation. Korpi (4-1) allowed one run on four hits and three walks in the first 4.0 innings, with one strikeout in his 81-pitch outing.
Korpi’s classmate Joey Williamson then surrended just an unearned run in the next 3.0 innings (H, 2 Ks, 10 BF) before a pair of lefthanders – senior Scott Bickford and freshman David Gruener – closed out the game.
Freshman third baseman Brett Lilley and junior DH Matt Bransfield both were hit-by-pitch twice in the game, pushing Notre Dame’s season HBP total (104) to 9th in the NCAA record book – just one behind San Jose State’s 2000 total and two shy of the ND team record set in 2004. Lilley’s 22 HBP this season rank second in the Irish record book, behind Cody Rizzo’s 28 in 2004.
Notre Dame struck first by scoring in the 1st inning for the 46th time this season, after Lilley was hit by a pitch before coming around to score after an Edwards single, a wild pitch and Craig Cooper’s sacrifice fly. The visitors then quickly tied the game before the Irish brought home four runs in the bottom of the 2nd. The big inning included singles from Brezovsky and Lopez, another HBP for Lilley and Edwards’ two-run double.
Lopez ended a 1-for-19 slump while Brezovsky hit safely for just the second time in the past eight games.
Oakland (Mich.) (10-31) 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 – 2 8 3
Notre Dame (28-18-1) 1-4-0 0-0-0 1-1-X – 7 9 1
Doubles: Matt Edwards (ND), DeLamielleure (OAK), Chad Winkler (OAK).