April 21, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Michigan plated all of its runs with two outs and starting pitcher Matt Miller benefitted from a trio of double play ground outs to lead the Wolverines past Notre Dame, 13-1, in college baseball action from Frank Eck Stadium Wednesday night. The Irish dropped to 15-21, while Michigan improves to 24-12.
Miller, who entered the season as the Wolverines No. 2 starter, tossed 6.0 scoreless innings and improved to 2-1 on the campaign. The righty limited Notre Dame to just two hits, but worked out of trouble in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning thanks to inning-ending twin killings in each frame. Miller walked three and fanned one.
Sophomore Steve Sabatino was dealt the defeat. The southpaw, who was slated to throw just one inning, struck out the first two Wolverines of the game, but junior shortstop Mike Doyle’s throw on a routine ground ball pulled first baseman David Casey off the bag and allowed Ryan LaMarre to reach. Berset, Crank, Dufek and Stephens followed with four straight hits to give Michigan a 4-0 lead.
The four-run cushion was more than enough for Miller, who equaled his longest outing of the season. Miller went 6.0 innings in each of his first two starts against Texas Tech and St. John’s (allowed just two earned runs in each outing).
Notre Dame used a total of seven pitchers. Senior David Mills and freshman Patrick Veerkamp were the lone Irish pitchers to record scoreless outings. Mills did allow a base hit, but faced the minimum after recording a double play ground out. Veerkamp worked 2.0 scoreless innings. The rookie retired all six Michigan batters he faced.
Senior left fielder Ryan Connolly went 0-for-3 on the night and failed to reach base safely in a game for the first time since May 3, 2009. Connolly’s streak ends at 47 consecutive games, which entered tonight as the second-longest active streak in the NCAA.
The Irish bullpen entered the contest with 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings and extended it to 18.1 before the Wolverines plated a run off of freshman Adam Norton. Norton allowed an earned run on four hits in 3.1 innings of work.
Anthony Toth, Ryan LaMarre and Coley Crank paced the Wolverine attack with two hits apiece. Toth and Mike Kittle each drove in three.
Michigan extended the lead to 5-0 in the second inning, again putting together a two-out rally. After Norton retired the first two Wolverines of the frame, Michigan followed with three straight hits, including Crank’s RBI double.
Notre Dame could not take advantage of a Michigan error to lead off the game. Connolly reached on a John Lorenz throwing error at third and moved into scoring position when the throw sailed down the right field line. Freshman second baseman Frank Desico grounded out to second to advance Connolly, but the Irish co-captain was gunned out at home trying to score on Mills’ fielder’s choice ground ball to third. Casey then grounded out unassisted to the pitcher to end the inning.
Notre Dame mounted a little bit of a rally in the bottom of the fourth inning as Mills led off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on Doyle’s one-out single, but senior center fielder Ryne Intlekofer grounded into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
Miller got another double play ground out to end the bottom of the fifth inning. Boockford drew a leadoff walk, but junior catcher Cameron McConnell flew out to right and junior third baseman Greg Sherry followed with a 4-6-3 twin killing.
Michigan continued its two-out magic in the top of the sixth. Patrick Biondi and Toth each collected two-out RBI singles to push the Wolverines lead to 7-0.
Michigan plated six more two-out runs in the top of the seventh inning, three on a Kittle double. All three Wolverines that came around to score on the two-bagger reached base via walks. Another walk, double and single capped off the inning.
Remarkably, Miller worked out of more trouble in the bottom half of the sixth, again thanks to a double play. DeSico and Mills drew consecutive walks, but Casey grounded into a double play to end the frame. The Irish actually grounded into inning-ending double plays in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Wednesday’s game marked the 118th anniversary of Irish baseball. Notre Dame opened program history on April 21, 1892 with a 6-4 victory over Michigan. This season is actually the 117th season of Irish baseball as the school did not field a team in 1893.
Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action for a three-game series against Cincinnati that opens at 6:05 p.m. on Friday at Frank Eck Stadium. Live stats, live web stream, live blog and a recap of Friday’s game will be available on UND.com. Tickets for all Fighting Irish home contests this season are available through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), on-line at the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets), and at the Frank Eck Stadium ticket windows on game night
— ND —