April 6, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –The Northwestern baseball team used an 11-run sixth inning and five total home runs to power past visiting Notre Dame, 20-10, in non-conference baseball action Tuesday at gusty Rocky Miller Park.
Notre Dame (21-8) saw an end to its six-game winning streak while losing for just the second time in the last 19 games. The strong winds that were blowing out throughout the game did not play a major part in the first five-plus innings but the gusty conditions then made their presence known over the final four innings, when the teams combined for 27 runs, 24 hits and six home runs.
Despite NU’s big sixth inning, the Irish jumped right back in the game by plating seven runs in the seventh, highlighted by a three-run shot from junior shortstop Brant Ust (his 14th of the season). The Wildcats answered with three more runs to take a 15-9 lead but the Irish scored again in the eighth and had the bases loaded for Ust (with the tying run on deck). NU then elected to change pitchers and freshman lefthander Ryan Bos threw a ball to Ust before inducing a groundout to third base, ending the threat.
Northwestern (21-8) seemingly put the game out of reach with 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth before adding three runs in the seventh and five in the eighth. The Wildcats’ were led by their sophomore No .5 and No. 6 hitters, as rightfielder J.J. Standring went 3-for-5 with five RBI and a home run (also reaching on a walk and hit-by-pitch) while third baseman Wesley Robinson was 3-for-6 with two home runs and six RBI.
Freshman righthander Gabe Ribas (2-3) had a solid first six innings to pick up the win. Ribas then was able to retire just one of the first five batters he faced in the seventh and finished the day with six runs allowed on eight hits and no walks, with six strikeouts.
Three freshman righthanders gave up the bulk of Northwestern’s runs, with Drew Duff (2-1) taking the loss after being tagged for eight runs on five hits and one walk (while recording just one out). Jason Rodda then saw his first action of the season, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks, with three Ks. Matt Buchmeier registered the final out while giving up two runs on one hit and one walk.
Irish freshman catcher Paul OToole hit his first home run of the season in the first inning and stroked a two-strike double to lead off the fourth before scoring after Alec Porzels single through the left side and Ust’s double-play ball.
Notre Dame’s big seventh inning began with Jeff Wagner’s leadoff single up the middle, Jeff Felker’s double to left-center and Ben Cooke’s one-out, RBI single to left. Jeff Perconte’s single up the middle ended Rigas outing but junior lefthander Dan Padgett did not fare much better.
The big inning kept going for the Irish, as Steve Stanley walked on three straight pitches and the runners advanced on a wild pitch (with Cooke scoring ). Pinch-hitter J.P. Drevline then hit an RBI groundout to the shortstop and Porzel was hit by a pitch before Ust launched a three-run shot to left-center. Wagner then was hit by a pitch but Felker grounded into a fielders choice.
The Irish tacked on a run in the eighth, behind singles from Golom and Perconte, an outfield error and Stanleys sacrifice fly. Drevline then reached base when catcher Joe Hietpas let strike three get away from him and Porzel walked to load the bases for Ust.
Ust’s home run was the 43rd of his career, leaving him three behind Wagner atop the Irish career home run list. Ust’s 14 home runs this season are tied for eighth-most in Irish history, six behind the record set by Frank Jacobs in 1991 (Ust hit 18 home runs last season).
NOTRE DAME 1-0-0 1-0-0 7-1-0 10 11 2NORTHWESTERN 1-0-0 0-0-11 3-5-X 20 18 1
Kalita, Duff (6), Rodda (6), Buchmeier (8) and O’Toole, Drevline (7). Ribas, Padgett (7), Briskman (8), Bos (9) and Hietpas.