March 2, 2008
SANTALUCES, Fla. – Sophomore right fielder A.J. Pollock’s (Hebron, CT) two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning gave Notre Dame the lead and junior closer Kyle Weiland (Albuquerque, NM) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the save as the Irish prevailed over St. Bonaventure, 6-4, in college baseball action from the Papa John’s Palm Beach Challenge Sunday afternoon. Notre Dame improves to 3-2 on the season, while the Bonnies drop to 5-3.
After St. Bonaventure took a 4-3 lead on a wind-blown, two-run home run from Anthony Randich in the top of the eighth inning, the Irish rallied with three runs in the bottom of the inning capped off by Pollock’s clutch hit.
St. Bonaventure closer Jim Britton retired the first two batters of the eighth before senior catcher Sean Gaston (Brownsburg, IN) laced a pinch-hit single to keep the inning alive. Freshman third baseman Mick Doyle (LaGrandge Park, IL) followed with a double before senior shortstop Brett Lilley (North Canton, OH) was intentionally walked to load the bases for Pollock. Notre Dame tied the score at 4-4 on Britton’s wild pitch and took the lead when Pollock ripped Britton’s 1-2 offering into the left-center field gap.
Weiland, who struckout the side in his one inning of work last night against Mount St. Mary’s, retired the first two batters before issuing his first walk of the season. St. Bonaventure shortstop Jesse Bosnick singled to put the tying run on base, but Weiland got Brad Steinbach to ground into a game-ending fielder’s choice as Doyle snagged the ground ball, raced to the third base bag and tagged the Bonnies’ baserunner.
Senior right-handed hurler Tony Langford (1-0) picked up the victory in relief. Langford (Fort Worth, TX) did surrender the lead on the two-run home run, but fanned a pair.
Britton (0-1) was charged with the loss. He allowed three runs, all earned, on three hits. Britton struck out two and walked one.
Notre Dame got a quality start from freshman Brian Dupra (Rochester, NY) despite not earning a decision. The righty went 6.1 innings and limited St. Bonaventure to two earned runs on just three hits. Dupra registered four strikeouts and did not issue a walk during his 74 pitch outing. Sophomore Steven Mazur (Round Rock, TX) tossed 0.2 scoreless innings of relief and yielded one hit.
Pollock not only went 2-for-5 with the critical two RBI, but also swiped three bases. Tate (Hendersonville, TN) registered his second straight three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs scored, including scoring from first base on a hit-and-run single off the bat of first baseman Casey Martin (Chesterton, IN). Freshman catcher Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, IL) picked up his first career hit and RBI driving in Tate in the second inning.
Notre Dame returns to action later this afternoon against Boston College (4:00 p.m.) at the Papa John’s Palm Beach Challenge in Santaluces, Fla. The game can heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.