Matt Bransfield nearly left the yard at Commerce Bank Ballpark for the second straight season, sending an opposite-field double off the rightfield wall to help produce first Irish run in the 6-5 win over Boston College (photo by Pete LaFleur).

Irish Survive Another Thriller With Boston College, 6-5 In BIG EAST Tournament Opener

May 26, 2005

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – The Notre Dame baseball team emerged with a 6-5 win over Boston College in Thursday’s first round of the BIG EAST Championship. The third-seeded Irish next will face #4 seed Pittsburgh in Friday’s pivotal winners-bracket game, slated for 3:30 EDT (2:30 in South Bend) at Commerce Bank Ballpark. Jeff Samardzija will take the mound for Notre Dame while Pittsburgh is expected to counter with its own sophomore righthander, Billy Muldowney.

Notre Dame (34-22-1) forged an early tie and then claimed a 4-1 lead with three runs in the top of the 3rd. Junior lefthander Tom Thornton was in line for the win, despite allowing a two-run, 6th-inning home run by Jason Delaney, but Boston College (36-19) surged into the lead with a pair of 6th-inning runs vs. sophomore righthander Jeff Manship.

Manship (1-1) recovered to pitch through the 8th and 9th while his teammates reclaimed the lead in the top of the 9th. The go-ahead rally included a single down the rightfield line from pinch-hit specialist Steve Andres, Craig Cooper’s four-pitch walk and a pair of groundball outs that left runners on second and third. Cody Rizzo’s check-swing then placed the ball down the first-base line and catcher Shawn McGill sailed his throw over the first baseman, as Cooper and Matt Edwards scurried home for the 6-5 win.

Check back for a full game recap, photos from the game action and updated team notes.