March 10, 1999
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Junior lefthander Tim Kalita rebounded from a rocky start and the new-look Notre Dame batting error made a noticeable difference, as the Irish evened their record (6-6) with a 6-3 win over Penn State in first-day action of the fifth annual Irish Baseball Classic, at Wolff Municipal Stadium.
Penn State (4-5) claimed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, behind RBI doubles from Dan Beers and Chris Netwall, but the Irish answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Senior righthander Dan Goebeler (2-2) took the loss, allowing six runs (five of them earned) on seven hits and four walks over seven innings, with three strikeouts.
Kalita (1-1), who had no decision in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to PSU, racked up 10 strikeouts (equaling his career-best) while logging eight innings for the second-longest outing of his career. He allowed three runs on five hits, two walks and one hit batter. Kalita at one point had retired 20 of his previous 21 batters faced before yielding his first walk of the game, in the eighth inning.
Junior righthander John Corbin notched his first career save by closing out the ninth, with one hit allowed. Notre Dame moved freshman centerfielder Steve Stanley into the leadoff spot while inserting rookie third baseman Andrew Bushey in the No. 2 spot and dropping sophomore second baseman Alec Porzel into the three hole. That combination clicked in the first inning, when Stanley walked and Bushey singled through the left side. The Irish then pulled off the double steal and Stanley came home when the catcher Netwall threw the ball down the leftfield line. Porzel then plated Bushey with a groundout to the shortstop.
The Irish took a 3-2 lead in the third, after Stanley’s one-out bunt single and stolen base, Bushey’s walk and Porzel’s single to right field
Notre Dame’s three-run sixth included a two-run double by junior leftfield Jeff Felker that one-hopped the rightfield wall and a run-scoring, opposite-field single to right by freshman first baseman Matt Strickroth.
Kalita worked out of a jam in the eighth, when the Lions plated their third run before putting runners on the corners with two outs. But Donnie Wright was called out on strikes, when he failed to pull back on a check swing, ending the threat.
Penn State (4-5) 2-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-0 3 6 1 Notre Dame (6-6) 2-0-1 0-0-3 0-0-0 6 7 0 Goebeler, Wager (8), Russo (8) and Netwall. Kalita, Corbin (9) and O'Toole.
In other action . . .
Creighton Tops St. Mary’s, 9-4
Creighton jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and then rode the strong pitching of freshman righthander Prentice Lofstedt to post a 9-4 victory Wednesday afternoon over St. Mary’s University (Texas) in opening-day action of the fifth annual Irish Baseball Classic, at Wolff Stadium. Creighton (12-4) received offensive contributions from several players, as five different Bluejays players combined for the team’s six RBI. Lofstedt (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over six and one-third inning, with four strikeouts. Senior righthander Brad Erickson then allowed two runs before junior righthander Aaron Eisenring shut the door in the ninth.
St. Mary’s (11-6) was hurt by four errors that led to four unearned runs. Freshman lefthander Fernando Tadefa took the loss, allowing six runs (four of them earned) on four hits, eight walks and one hit batter over seven innings, with six Ks.
Ryan Gripp’s two-run shot to dead-center field gave Creighton a 2-0 lead in the first inning and the Bluejays tacked on two more runs in the second, thanks to a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt by Kenny Sarna, a sacrifice fly from Scott Allen and a costly throwing error. St. Mary’s closed the gap in the late-going, with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Creighton (12-4) 2-2-1 0-0-0 1-2-1 9 6 3St. Mary's, Texas (11-6) 0-1-0 0-0-0 2-1-0 4 9 4Lodstedt, Erickson (7), Eisenring (9) and Rowley. Tadefa, Cartwright (8) and Contreras.