April 13, 2003
OMAHA, Neb. – Matt Edwards and Brennan Grogan had four hits each to pace an 18-hit attack as 16th-ranked Notre Dame held off Creighton, 13-12, to push the Irish winning streak to 16 games. It marks the third straight season that Notre Dame has won 16 straight, with the winning streak bested just twice in the program’s 111-year history – by an 18-game run in 1991 and a 17-game streak in 1907.
Notre Dame (25-6) continued its recovery from a rough start to the season, with the Irish winning 23 of their last 25 games (both losses in that stretch came in extra innings) while improving to 6-1 in one-run games this season.
The artificial turf at the Creighton Sports Complex and a strong wind blowing out to left played a key role in Sunday’s offensive fireworks, with 14 of the team’s 32 combined hits going for extra bases. Creighton (12-20) trailed 6-1 heading into the bottom of the third but the Bluejays continually battled back thanks to four home runs (three of them solo shots) in the next six innings.
Grogan hit 4-for-6 from the second spot in the lineup, with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Edwards also hit 4-for-6 with five RBI and a run scored (on his two-run shot in the third inning).
Senior righthander Ryan Kalita came up two outs shy of the five-inning minimum needed for the victory, after an up-and-down outing that included eight runs on nine hits and four walks (with three strikeouts). His classmate Matt Laird then logged 3.1 innings for the win, giving up three runs on three hits, with six strikeouts.
Yet another senior righthander, J.P. Gagne, retired four of the five batters he faced for his seventh save of the season and the 13th of his career – second in Irish history behind former teammate John Corbin’s 20.
Freshman DH Craig Cooper – who entered the day as Notre Dame’s top hitter in the winning streak (.400) – hit 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Cooper’s double and triple accounted for two of Notre Dame’s 10 extra-base hits, with seven other Irish players collecting doubles (including Grogan and Edwards).
Edwards (.383) surged ahead of Steve Sollmann (1-for-5, .380) atop the team batting charts.
Freshman righthander Eric Wordekemper (1-2) suffered the loss, after allowing five runs on seven hits (with three Ks).
Notre Dame 0-2-4 1-3-0 2-0-1 - 13 18 1Creighton 0-1-4 0-3-1 1-1-1 - 12 14 2
Ryan Kalita, Matt Laird (5; W, 1-0), Tyler Jones (8), J.P. Gagne (8; SV, 7) and Javi Sanchez.
Eric Wordekemper (L, 1-2), Jon Gorden (3), Chris Appuhn (5), Jeff Daneff (8), Steve Grasley (9) and Tony Daniel.
Home Runs: Matt Edwards, ND (1 on in 3rd, 5th of season), Dave Schultz, CU (solo in 5th, 3rd of season), Matt Hammer, CU (1 on in 5th, 1st of season), Dan Norquist, CU (solo in 6th, 1st of season), Ryan Fitzgerald, CU (solo in 7th, 3rd of season)
Triple: Craig Cooper, ND.
Doubles: Steve Sollmann (ND), Brennan Grogan (ND), Edwards (ND), Kris Billmaier (ND), Cody Rizzo (ND), Alex Nettey (ND), Cooper (ND), Joe Thaman (ND), Zach Daegas (CU), Pete Wiedewitsch (CU), Ryan Fitzgerald (CU), Tony Daniel (CU).