Feb. 22, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. – The 11th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team split a pair of games Saturday at Arizona State’s Packard Stadium, beating Newman University in a 15-5 game that was called after seven innings before watching 4th-ranked ASU – which was playing its 21st game of the season – erupt in the late innings for a 16-3 win over the visiting Irish. The game marked the 500th at Notre Dame for ninth-year Irish head coach Paul Mainieri (356-143-1), who also is nearing his 700th career coaching win (688-422-1).
Senior rightfielder Kris Billmaier – who homered in Friday’s season-opening win over Dayton – added two home runs vs. Newman to match his total from the entire 2002 season. Sophomore righthander John Axford (1-0) picked up the win, after allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings of work (with one strikeout).
Notre Dame (2-1) took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 5th vs. ASU – thanks to 2nd-inning solo home run from impressive walk-on freshman Steve Andres – before the Sun Devils (20-1) cashed in a pair of defensive miscues to claim the lead. Senior righthander Peter Ogilvie (0-1) allowed a leadoff single and walk but later appeared to serve up a rally-killing groundball, with one out and runners on the corners. But sophomore shortstop Matt Macri allowed the routine grounder to skip under his glove as Frank Mesa scored the tying run. Dustin Pedroia then reached on a wind-blown ball that fell into shallow left field but Ogilvie jumped ahead on the count (0-2) vs. sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish, who parked the next pitch over the center-field fence for his eighth home run of the season and a 5-1 ASU lead.
The Sun Devils tacked on 11 more runs vs. the Irish relievers, including four in the sixth, two in the seventh and five in the eighth.
Notre Dame allowed just 10 hits but surrendered 11 walks, plus two hit batters and four wild pitches. The Irish offense had several solid scoring chances but left 13 runners on base, after totaling six hits, six walks and 12 strikeouts.
Senior righthander Beau Vaughan (3-1) – a transfer from the University of New Orleans – picked up the win, after allowing just one earned run (three overall) on four hits and four walks in 5.2 innings of work (with six Ks).
NOTES: Andres – who decided to attend fall walk-on tryouts at the last minute – leads ND with a .545 batting average (.545), including 12 total bases, a home run, triple and double, seven runs scored, two RBI, two walks and one hit-by-pitch … junior 2B Steve Sollmann (who hit 23-for-41 in the 2002 NCAA Tournament) is batting .500 (6-for-1, 5 R, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, SB) … Sollmann also has totaled just one error in his last 20 games with the Irish and has gone 14 games without striking out … half of Billmaier’s hits (6-for-14, .429) have left the yard, with 15 total bases (4 R, 8 RBI) … ND’s starting pitchers (Chris Niesel, Axford and Ogilvie) have combined for a 3.71 ERA this week in 17 innings of work (18 hits, .277 opp. batting, 6 BB, 4 Ks, 2 WP, HB) but the Irish bullpen owns a 24.43 ERA and .455 opponent batting avg. in 7 IP (15 H, 12 BB, 4 Ks, 4 WP, 2 HB) … ND owned a solid +9 ratio of runs (25) to runners left on base (16) in the first two games but was -10 in that ratio vs. ASU (3 R, 13 LOB).
Newman 0-0-2 0-0-0 3 – 5 12 2
Notre Dame 0-1-6 2-4-0 2 – 15 17 1
James Nieto (L, 2-1), Michael Schleeper (4), Kyle Hon (5) and Orlando Mijares.
John Axford (W, 1-0), Cody Wilkins (7) and Steve Andres.
Home Runs: Kris Billmaier, ND (two on in 3rd, one on in 4th; 2nd and 3rd of season)
Triples: Bryce Woods (NU), Jason Romero (NU)
Doubles: Joe Thaman (ND), Steve Andres (ND), Cody Rizzo (ND), Romero (NU), Orlando Mijares (NU), Dustin Stember (NU)
Notre Dame 0-1-0 0-0-2 0-0-0 – 3 6 3
Arizona State 0-0-0 0-5-4 2-5-X – 16 10 3
Peter Ogilvie (L, 0-1), Matt Laird (6), Martin Vergara (7) and Javi Sanchez, Steve Andres (8).
Beau Vaughan (W, 3-1), Brett Bordes (6), Ryan Schroyer (9) and Joel Bocchi, Tuffy Gosewich (9).
Home Runs: Steve Andres, ND (solo in 2nd, 1st of season); Jeff Larish, ASU (grand slam in 5th, 8th of season), Jeremy West, ASU (one on in 7th, grand slam in 8th; 5th and 6th of season).
Doubles: Matt Macri (ND)