March 28, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Freshman righthander Eric Maust logged another strong start while Brett Lilley and A.J. Pollock continued to lead the offense from the top of the lineup, as the Notre Dame baseball team ended its seven-game homestand with Wednesday’s 14-4 win over Chicago State.
Notre Dame (12-12) – which has yet to make an error in 26 straight innings – jumped out to a 7-0 lead after scoring in each of the first three innings while Maust faced just 21 batters (three over the minimum) in his 6.0 innings, allowing four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. The two-sport athlete lowered his season ERA to 3.10 and now has 14 Ks and just a pair of walks in the 2007 season. Maust (2-0) located two-thirds of his pitches for strikes (51 of 76) in the win over the Cougars.
Lilley came to the plate in each of the first three innings and – after a pair of walks and a double – scored each time, before being pulled from the game to get some time for the reserves. The junior shortstop and Irish leadoff batter is riding a career-best nine-game hitting streak while pushing his season batting average to .402 and his on-base percentage to .505 (his .485 career on-base pct. is 2nd-best in the ND record book). Pollock is right on Lilley’s heels, after batting 3-for-4 (2 RBI, R) from the 2-hole to raise his season average to .400.
Notre Dame saw 15 different players reach base in the game, with 12 combining on a 17-hit attack. Sophomore Eddy Mendiola came off the bench to bat 2-for-3 (3 RBI, R) and now is hitting 7-for-10 for the season, including 5-for-6 as a pinch-hitter. Senior centerfielder Danny Dressman (2-for-3, 2 RBI, BB) also collected multiple hits while Mike Dury’s 7th-inning double extended his own career-best hitting streak to seven games.
Notre Dame’s first two runs came after loading the bases on Lilley’s leadoff walk, Pollock’s sixth sacrifice bunt of the season, a four-pitch walk by Dury and Tony Langford’s single through the right side. Dressman then sent an opposite-field single into left, plating Lilley and Dury for the 2-0 lead.
The Irish came back to score three more in the 2nd, thanks to singles by Jeremy Barnes and Pollock (RBI), Michael Wright’s four-pitch walk, a run-scoring passed ball and Dury’s sacrifice fly. Lilley’s RBI double and a run-scoring single from Pollock then helped bring home three more in the 3rd for the 7-0 cushion.
NOTES: Lilley is batting .500 (18-for-36) in his hitting streak … Dury has three more extra-base hits (14; 6 HR, 3B, 7 HR) than singles (11) this season … the Irish pushed the team batting avg. to .303 … freshman infielder Herman Petzold doubled leading off the bottom of the 7th for his first hit with the Irish.
Chicago State 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-2 – 4 11 1
Notre Dame 2-3-3 0-2-0 4-0-X – 14 17 0
Robert Vargas (L, 0-7), Mike Weida (3), Mike Storrs (4), Edwin Loza (6), William Lawrence (7) and Kyle Kupiec.
Eric Maust (W, 2-0), Andrew Scheid (7), Sam Elam (8), John Seabaugh (9) and Ryan Smith, Chris Soriano (8).