March 22, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (3/22/00) – Junior lefthander Mike Naumann pitched five strong innings of middle relief and sophomore Paul O’Toole had two hits and three runs scored to lead a balanced Notre Dame offense, as the 24th-ranked Irish won for the 10th time in the last 11 games, 10-3 over visiting Detroit, in non-conference baseball action Wednesday at Eck Baseball Stadium.
The win featured most of the ingredients that have characterized Notre Dame’s 13-3 season, with strong pitching and defense, offensive contributions up-and-down the lineup and a late-inning explosion from the Irish.
Detroit (4-4) claimed a 2-0 lead in the first inning but managed just five hits the rest of the way while making an assortment of six errors that led to three unearned runs. Senior righthander Chris Andrzejak (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing all 10 runs on 12 hits and three walks over seven innings, with one strikeout.
Naumann (1-1) was solid in relief of sophomore righthander Matt Buchmeier, who allowed the early runs and four hits while recording the first five outs for the Irish. Naumann then faced just 16 batters over the next four and two-thirds innings (two batters above the minimum), allowing an unearned run and two hits during that stretch.
Every Irish starter registered a hit, led by four with two hits each. Five different Notre Dame players combined for the team’s seven RBI while seven Irish players crossed the plate.
The Irish broke open the game with five runs in the eighth, representing Notre Dame’s most runs in an inning this season. Notre Dame earlier had stretched to a 5-2 cushion with single runs in the fifth and sixth before Detroit answered with a run in the seventh.
Notre Dame’s big finish gives the Irish a 19-4 scoring edge in the eighth inning this season and a 36-9 margin in the seventh and eighth innings combined.
Detroit opened the game with a two-out rally, as Juston Davenport hit a first-pitch double to left-center before scoring on Mike Daguanno’s 1-2 single to right. Trevor Gentry then parked an RBI double in the left-center gap, for an early 2-0 lead.
Two errors helped the Irish tie the game in the third. Senior catcher Matt Nussbaum drew a full-count, leadoff walk before sophomore second baseman Kris Billmaier singled to third baseman Mike Malley, with the runners moving up on the errant throw . Sophomore centerfielder Steve Stanley then hit a pitch to the first baseman Daguanno, who fired home to nail Nussbaum at the plate. Freshman rightfielder Brian Stavisky plated the first run with a groundout to the second baseman before junior shortstop Alec Porzel’s grounder went through the legs of his counterpart, allowing another run to score.
O’Toole was hit by a one-out, 0-2 pitch in the fourth and scooted to third on sophomore third baseman Andrew Bushey’s first-pitch single through the right side before scoring on sophomore DH Matt Bok’s bunt single to the left side.
The Irish stretched to a 4-2 cushion in the fifth, after Stanley’s bunt single to the pitcher’s left, Stavisky’s single through the right side and Porzel’s RBI groundout to the second baseman.
O’Toole lit the spark again in the sixth, with a first-pitch single off the glove of second baseman Ron Blackmore. After a stolen base and Bushey’s 2-2 single to the shortstop, Bok lifted a sacrifice fly to center for a 5-2 Irish lead.
Detroit’s final run came in the seventh, with Billmaier’s throwing error allowing the leadoff hitter Gentry to reach base. A groundball out moved the runner to second and pinch-hitter Mike Mitrevski then delivered a run-scoring double to right.
O’Toole came through again in the leadoff spot, slicing a first-pitch hit into left-center that he converted into a hustling double in the eighth. Bushey then drew a full-count walk and Bok’s sacrifice bunt was thrown down the rightfield line by Andrzejak. The rightfielder Davenport then threw errantly as well, allowing Bushey to score for a 7-3 Irish lead.
Nussbaum followed with a first-pitch bunt single to the left side and Billmaier dropped the next pitch into right-center to plate another run. Junior righthander David Wampler then took the mound and threw a wild pitch before Stanley plated the final two runs with a 3-1 single past the head of the drawn-in second baseman Blackmore.
Junior RHP Aaron Heilman came on in relief of Naumann, facing six batters while recording five outs (with three Ks) … senior RHP John Corbin then recorded the final three outs, with a hit and strikeout … Wednesday represented Notre Dame’s 2,999th official game in the program’s 108 seasons of varsity play … the current squad kept pace with the 1963 Irish squad as the only Notre Dame teams since 1959 to open 13-3 (the ’63 team stretched to 15-3 before losing its next game) … the 1959 Irish squad raced out to a 14-2 start but dropped its next game.
DETROIT (4-4) 2-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0 - 3 8 3NOTRE DAME (13-3) 0-0-2 1-1-1 0-5-X - 10 13 1
C. Andrzejak, Wampler (8) and Rumberger. Buchmeier, Naumann (2), Heilman (7), Corbin (9) and O’Toole.