March 17, 2008

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame baseball game with Central Michigan was halted in the top of the sixth inning with two outs and the Chippewas leading, 3-2. However, it has yet to be determined the exact ruling on the completion of the game. According to NCAA rules, the game would either finish in a 2-2 tie (the score at the completion of the last full inning) or could be postponed to be completed (also at the point of the last full inning) on Monday, May 12. Each team awaits exact rules interpretation from the NCAA.

The Irish jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off CMU starter James Teas. Senior Brett Lilley (North Canton, Ohio) opened the frame with a double down the right field line and moved into scoring position on sophomore David Mills’ (Battle Creek, Mich.) perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. Sophomore A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) then plated Lilley with a sharp single to center. After junior Evan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) grounded out to second base to push Pollock into scoring position, junior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) laced the 1-0 pitch to right field to score Pollock.

The 2-0 lead was short-lived as Central Michigan answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. The Chippewas used a pair of infield singles to put runners at the corners with one out. Noah Lankford promptly stroked a two-run double into the left-center field gap to tie the score, 2-2. Notre Dame starting pitcher Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) retired the next two Central Michigan batters on ground outs to prevent any further damage.

After retiring the side in order in the third inning (did the same in the first), Dupra ran into a jam in the top of the fourth inning, but struckout Jeff Helps to end the inning and work around a pair of Chippewa singles.

The righty evaded some more trouble in the top of the fifth inning. Dale Cornstubble led off the inning with an infield single and moved into scoring position following Dupra’s errant pickoff attempt. After Dupra enduced a ground ball for the first out of the inning, Cornstubble advanced to third base, but was doubled up when Brendan Emmett popped up a safety squeeze attempt for an inning-ending double play.

Central Michigan grabbed a 3-2 advantage when Dupra plunked Helps with the bases loaded.

Lilley was 3-for-3 with a run scored and senior Ross Brezovsky (Naples, Fla.) was 2-for-2.

Dupra had worked 5.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits. He had fanned two and walked one.

Notre Dame returns to action Tuesday night with a game against Xavier. First-pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Freshman right-handed hurler Ryan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) will take the mound for the Irish. The game can heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and