April 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 24th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team belted three home runs and freshman Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) tossed 7.0 effective innings en route to a 12-2 victory over Chicago State Tuesday night at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish improve to 26-10-1, while the Cougars drop to 4-33.
Dupra evened his record at 2-2 following the longest outing of his brief Irish career. Dupra scattered seven hits and allowed just two earned runs. He fanned a career-high tying five and walked just one. Dupra has whiffed 10 over his last 11 innings of work.
Senior Brett Lilley (North Canton, Ohio) went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI, including a two-run home run. Sophomore A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with two RBI, junior Evan Sharpley added a three-run home run, his team-leading ninth, and sophomore Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.) added a solo bomb to round out the Irish attack.
Chris Goya (0-6) was tagged with the loss. The right-handed hurler was knocked around for nine earned runs on 10 Notre Dame hits. Goya struckout two and walked two.
The Irish grabbed a 1-0 first inning lead on Pollock’s RBI single. Lilley led off the game reaching base following the 100th career hit-by-pitch (only player in NCAA Division I, II or III history to ever reach the century mark). After sophomore David Mills (Battlecreek, Mich.) laid down a sacrifice bunt, Lilley stole third base before coasting home on Pollock’s line-drive back up the middle.
After missing out on a quality scoring chance in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Irish awoke in their half of the fifth (moments after head coach Dave Schrage brought the team together just outside the dugout). Freshman Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) led off the frame with a double before cruising home on Lilley’s second home run of the season. Mills followed with his team-leading fourth triple of the season and scored on Pollock’s sacrifice fly to make the Notre Dame lead, 4-0.
Dupra seemed in total control over the first five innings, not allowing a run on just three singles, but the Cougars pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning on four hits to cut the Irish lead in half at 4-2.
Notre Dame blew the game wide open with a seven-run sixth inning. Junior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) led off the inning with a double and eventually scored on a Billy Boockford (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) sacrifice fly. Freshman Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.) plated the second run of the inning on an RBI double. After Lilley singled in two more and Mills walked, Sharpley belted a three-run homer deep over the batter’s eye in right field to push the Notre Dame lead to 11-2. The blast was Sharpley’s first of the season to get out to right field (all eight previous long balls were to left or center field).
Ashdown made it 12-2 Irish with his first career home run – a solo shot to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Freshman Evan Danieli (East Hanover, N.J.) tossed the final two innings and held the Cougars scoreless. The right-handed hurler allowed just one hit and punched out four of the seven batters he faced.
Notre Dame returns to action Wednesday night against IPFW at Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne. First pitch between the Irish and Mastodons scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.