March 3, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Nebraska ace Joba Chamberlain struck out 11 Notre Dame batters while cleanup batter Luke Gorsett hit for the cycle and had a hand in five of his team’s runs, as the Huskers – ranked as high as fourth in the nation – opened play at the Metrodome in the Dairy Queen Classic with Friday afternoon’s 11-1 victory over Notre Dame.
Junior leftfielder Danny Dressman helped avert the shutout with a triple and run scored in the top of the eighth, extending the Notre Dame program’s second-longest scoring streak to 215 games. The lefthanded-hitting Dressman came to the plate with one out and drove a pitch from lefthanded reliever Jon Klausing into the right-center gap, with the speedy Dressman motoring all the way to third base. Senior centerfielder Alex Nettey followed moments later with an RBI single to the left side, as shortstop Jake Opitz was unable to make the play on the batter.
Chamberlain (2-1) – rated by Baseball America as the nation’s No. 12 pro prospect – faced just 25 batters in his seven full innings of work. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound righthander allowed three hits and one walk to go along with the 11 strikeouts.
Senior lefthander Tom Thornton (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and one walk in 2.1 innings, with three strikeouts. The Irish were not formally charged with an error in the game but the defense had a couple of misplays in the first two innings that forced Thornton to work longer than needed.
Nebraska (6-2) scored once in the first inning and twice more in the second before pushing across four runs in the third, sparked by Gorsett’s leadoff blast over the fence in left-center.
Notre Dame (2-3) registered its first hit versus Chamberlain in the fourth, when senior DH Steve Andres pulled a pitch through the right side of the infield.
Freshman first baseman Evan Sharpley played in reserve duty for his first action with the Irish while his classmate Eddy Mendiola registered his first hit in a Notre Dame uniform, following Nettey’s eighth-inning single by fisting a single into right field. Nebraska then brought in another lefthander to face the lefthanded-hitting Andres but Zach Herr lost the batter to a walk, loading the bases before a strikeout and flyout ended the threat.
Another Notre Dame newcomer, sophomore catcher Chris Soriano, also saw his first action – as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.
The two longest scoring streaks in Notre Dame history are separated by just one scoreless game, meaning that the Irish now have scored in 446 of the past 447 games and in all but six games during the 12-year Paul Mainieri era.
Junior righthander Jeff Samardzija is set to start for the Irish on Saturday, in the 6:35 (central) game versus the host Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Notre Dame (2-3) 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 – 1 6 0
#4 Nebraska (6-2) 1-2-4 2-0-0 1-1-X – 11 17 0
Tom Thornton (L, 1-1), Jess Stewart (3), David Phelps (6), David Gruener (8) and Sean Gaston, Cody Rizzo (7).
Joba Chamberlain (W, 2-1), Jon Klausing (8), Zach Herr (8) and Jeff Christy, Jeff Lanning (8).
Home Run: Luke Gorsett (NU; leadoff in 3rd; 4th of season).
Triples: Gorsett (NU), Danny Dressman (ND).
Doubles: Gorsett (NU), Brandon Buckman (NU), Andy Gerch (NU).