April 26, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore Golden Tate capped off a truly golden rally with his first career home run to help Notre Dame rally from a five-run, seventh inning deficit en route to a 13-12 victory over Louisville in the BIG EAST series rubber game Sunday afternoon. The Irish improve to 25-16 overall and 10-8 in the conference, while the Cardinals drop to 29-13 and 12-6. In the past two weekends, Notre Dame has upended the top two teams in the conference standings entering the weekend.
Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) could not have picked a better time to hit his first career home run. The sophomore, who by his admission has hit only two runs in batting practice all year, lined a 2-2 fast ball from Louisville closer Tony Zych over the left field wall to give the Irish a 13-12 lead.
Freshman Will Hudgins (Richmond, Va.) allowed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, but sent down the next three Cardinals to record his second career save and second in as many days.
Hudgins made a winner out of freshman Ryan Richter (South Bend, Ind.). The southpaw improved to 5-1 on the season with 3.0 scoreless and hitless innings of relief. Richter did walk three and struck out one. He also induced a double play ground ball to end the Cardinals eighth inning.
Zych dropped to 3-2 on the year. He allowed three earned runs on two hits, both home runs, in 2.2 innings of work. Adam Duvall went 4-for-4 with a double, three home runs and seven RBI in defeat.
Sophomore Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.) and sophomore Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.) each went 3-for-4. Doyle scored a run and drove in three, while Sherry scored three runs. Sophomore A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored. Sophomore David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) came off the bench and went 1-for-2 with a grand slam and career-high five RBI.
Trailing 12-7 going into the top of the seventh, Notre Dame mounted a threat to get back in the game. Sophomore Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) walked and Sherry executed a perfect hit-and-run single before Tyler Mathis plunked Pollock to load the bases. Zych came in the game to face Tate and got Tate to ground back to the mound. Zych fielded the grounder and threw home to retire McConnell at the plate for the second out of the inning. Zych walked senior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) to bring the Irish within four runs, 12-8.
Zych fell behind 2-0 to Casey, and as Louisville had done all afternoon, Casey made the Cardinals pay with a towering grand slam that tied the game, 12-12. The bomb was Casey’s second of the weekend and third of the season. It was the first grand slam for Notre Dame since David Mills against West Virginia on April 20, 2008.
Notre Dame did some damage in the first inning for the second consecutive game. After plating four runs in the top of the first yesterday, the Irish grabbed a 2-0 lead on Sunday of Louisville starting pitcher Bob Revesz. Pollock ripped a double, just inside the third base bag, to lead off the game, stole third base and scored on Barnes RBI ground out. Sophomore Matt Scioscia (Westlake Village, Calif.) then laced a two-out double into the right centerfield gap and scored on Doyle’s two-out RBI single.
Junior Eric Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) was not able to take advantage of the two-run cushion as the Cardinals answered in their half of the first. Maust plunked Josh Richmond and balked him to second before Duvall crushed a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to tie the game, 2-2. Maust also worked around a bloop and infield single to keep the game tied.
Notre Dame regained the lead in the top of the second inning. Sherry lined a two-out single to right field and Pollock followed with a bloop double. Sherry advanced to third, but scampered home to give the Irish a 3-2 lead when Phil Wunderlich mishandled the bouncing ball in left field.
For the second consecutive inning, Maust was unable to hold the lead. After sending down the first two Cardinals of the third inning on just three pitches, Maust fell behind in the count 3-1 to Richmond before issuing a walk and did the same to Duval, who followed with his second two-run bomb of the game to give Louisville a 4-3 lead.
The Irish drew even, 4-4, in the top of the third thanks to another Cardinals error. After Doyle singled and junior Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.) walked with two outs, junior Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.) hit a two-hopper to Dominguez at third base, but the throw sailed over the head of Louisville first baseman Andrew Clark. Doyle scored, Martin advanced to third and Ashdown to second, but McConnell was not able to provide any further damage after grounding out to end the inning.
Dominguez rebounded from the error and led off the third with a single, stole second and scored on Wunderlich’s RBI single that rolled just under a diving Martin at first base. Ashdown made a strong and accurate throw home, but Dominguez slid underneath the tag of McConnell at home to give the Cardinals a 5-4 advantage.
The base hit ended the day for Maust. The right-handed hurler, who tossed a complete game shutout of West Virginia in his last outing, went just 2.0+ innings and was tagged for five earned runs on six hits. Maust walked one and struck out one.
Junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) entered and immediately turned an incredible double play. Ryan Wright hit a bullet right back to Mills, who somehow got a glove up and snagged the liner before doubling up Wunderlich at first base. The southpaw then got Alex Lowrey to ground out to end the frame.
Revesz was pulled after three innings. The southpaw surrendered four runs on six hits. Revesz did not register a strikeout and issued a walk.
Derek Self entered in the top of the fourth and promptly walked Sherry and Pollock on eight consecutive offerings out of the strike zone. The Cardinals went to the bullpen again in the fourth and called on Gabriel Shaw, who drilled Tate on his first pitch to load the bases with no outs. Barnes then fouled out (infield fly) before Casey pinch hit for Scioscia.
Casey tied the game, 5-5, with a sacrifice fly and Doyle followed with a huge two-out, two-run double to give Notre Dame a 7-5 lead.
The Cardinals opened the fourth inning with a gift double. Kyle Cheesebrough hit a lazy fly ball to right field, but Pollock, Ashdown and Sherry all converged on the ball, but it eventually bounced in front of a diving Ashdown. Mills then got John Dao and Nate Holland for the first two outs of the inning, but up stepped Duvall, who had already hit a pair of two-run home runs. Duvall crushed a 3-2 offering over the centerfield wall to tie the game, 7-7.
The Cardinals regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, 8-7, on Dominguez’s 12th home run of the season – a solo shot off Mills. After Wunderlich grounded out, Ryan Wright hit a grounder deep in hole at shortstop that Barnes dove to keep in the infield, but the ball ricocheted off his glove into short leftfield which turned the single into a double. Lowrey followed with another seeing-eye single to plate Wright to push the Cardinals’ lead to 9-7.
Sophomore Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.) came on to replace Mills and fell behind 3-1 to pinch hitter Tim Hayes, who then doubled just inside the leftfield line to make it 10-7 and another pinch hitter, Drew Haynes, dropped in an RBI single to push the Cardinals lead to 11-7. Duvall, who homered in his first three at bats of the game, pulled a double inside the third base bag to make it 12-7. In all, Louisville plated five runs on seven hits in the inning.
Mills was roughed up for five earned runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work. The southpaw, who had allowed just one earned run over his first 11.0 innings this season, yielded two doubles and two home runs. Miller was equally ineffective in his relief stint. The righty faced five batters, four recorded hits, including two doubles, and he was charged with two earned runs in 0.2 innings.
Notre Dame returns to action on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with a pair of non-conference games. The Irish host both Illinois-Chicago and Bowling Green at Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.