Sean Fitzgerald

Irish Drops Series Opener At Texas State, 6-0

March 2, 2012

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SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State used some timely two-out hitting and continued to benefit from a dominant pitching staff en route to a 6-0 victory over Notre Dame Friday night in front of 1,882 at Bobcat Ballpark (fourth largest crowd in Texas State history). The Bobcats improved to 6-3 on the season, while the Irish dropped to 5-2.

Texas State has now registered back-to-back-to-back shutouts against Houston, TCU and Notre Dame – a first in school history. The Bobcats’ pitching staff has not allowed a run, earned or unearned, in 32.0 innings. Texas State has not allowed an earned run in five straight games – a span of 36.0 innings of work.

Colton Turner (1-0) settled down after the first three innings and picked up his first victory of the season. The southpaw, who yielded six hits to Notre Dame over its first 12 plate appearances, surrendered just one over the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh inning. Turner fanned six and walked four in 6.2 innings of work. He extended his scoreless streak to 12.2 innings. In fact, he has allowed just one earned run in his last 19.1 innings.

Irish sophomore RHP Sean Fitzgerald (1-1) struggled over his 3.2 innings of work and took the defeat. He was charged with four runs, three earned, on eight hits. Fitzgerald struck out four and did not issue a walk.

Andrew Stumph and Nick Smelser paced the Bobcats with three hits apiece. Stumph added three RBI, all coming with two outs. Four of Texas State’s six runs came with two down.

Junior 2B Frank DeSico went 4-for-4 and reached base in all five of his plate appearances. Sophomore OF Eric Jagielo and senior 3B Tommy Chase also chipped in with two hits. Freshman RHP Matt Ternowchek, sophomore RHP Donnie Hissa, freshman RHP Kyle Rubbinaccio, senior LHP Ryan Richter and junior RHP Patrick Veerkamp silenced Texas State over the final 3.2 innings.

Notre Dame collected at least 10 hits for the sixth time this season, but stranded 12 more on the base paths. The Irish have now left at least 10 on base in each of their seven games this season.

Notre Dame had a little something brewing in the top of the first inning after back-to-back, one-out singles from DeSico and Jagielo, but Turner got sophomore 1B Trey Mancini to ground into an inning-ending double play on his ninth pitch of the at bat.

Texas State took advantage of its scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Sibley and Morgan Mickan opened the frame with consecutive singles. After a fly out, strikeout and stolen base, Stumph singled back up the box to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.

Notre Dame again mounted a good scoring threat in its half of the second. Junior C Joe Hudson opened with a single and Chase followed with a single two batters later, but was gunned down trying to stretch the hit into a double. Junior CF Charlie Markson then walked and promptly stole second, but freshman SS Jason McMurray struck out to end the inning.

The Irish third was quite similar to the first. DeSico and Jagielo both singled with one out. With the count full to Mancini, and the runners on the move, Notre Dame’s cleanup hitter popped out. Hudson then struck out looking to end the inning.

The Irish stranded five on base over the first three innings, including three in scoring position.

The Bobcats and specifically Stumph used some more two-out magic with an RBI single in the bottom of the third to push their lead to 3-0.

Texas State made it 4-0 following McMurray’s two-out error in the bottom of the fourth. The Bobcats added two more runs in the fifth and never looked back.

Notre Dame and Texas State are scheduled to play game two of the three-game weekend series at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Sunday’s series finale is slated for Noon CT.