March 7, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame baseball team cashed in on the unseasonably-warm weather Tuesday by posting a 5-1 win over visiting Manchester College at Eck Stadium.
Sophomore righthander Matt Buchmeier (1-0) was credited with the first win of his Irish career, after opening the game with three scoreless innings in a planned rotation. Buchmeier allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out two of the 11 Spartans batters that he faced.
The highlight of the day came in the top of the ninth, as junior righthander Danny Tamayo made his first appearance in more than two years. Tamayo-who last pitched on March 1, 1998, before suffering an elbow injury that ultimately required “Tommy John” reconstructive surgery-retired Tony Hardiman on a bunt attempt before serving up a flyout from Bill Johnson. Pinch hitter Nick Chaney then walked on four pitches but Tamayo closed out the game by catching Craig Hersey looking at a full-count, called third strike.
Notre Dame (5-2) failed to generate any sustained offense, just days after amassing 37 hits in three games in the Hormel Foods Classic (at the Minneapolis Metrodome). The Irish managed just six hits on Tuesday, with sophomore DH Paul O’Toole hitting a solo home run in the third while freshman rightfielder Brian Stavisky ended his early slump with two hits in four at-bats.
Manchester (1-2) plated its lone run in the fourth, after Irish junior righthander Mike Carlin had issued three walks while hitting a fourth Spartans batter with a pitch. Freshman righthander Joel Barrus took the loss, allowing the five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks over seven innings.
Stavisky scored the first Irish run, after leading off the bottom of the second with a 2-2 single through the right side of the infield. He moved up on a single to right field by senior first baseman Jeff Felker and a perfectly-executed groundout to the right side by senior Matt Nussbaum-who started at catcher for the first time in his Irish career. Sophomore third baseman Andrew Bushey plated the runner, going the other way on an 0-1 pitch for a single through the left side.
O’Toole hit his first home run of the season with one out in the third-lifting a 1-1 pitch over the right field fence. The blast marked the fourth straight game at Eck Stadium in which O’Toole has hit a home run (he left the yard in each of Notre Dame’s three 1999 NCAA Tournament games).
Sophomore centerfielder Steve Stanley followed with a bunt single to the left side-extending his hitting streak to six games-and junior shortstop Alec Porzel walked on five pitches before Stavisky delivered an 0-2 single to right field, plating Stanley. Rightfielder Steve Quaderer then made an errant throw back to the infield, with Porzel alertly scooting home for an unearned run and a 4-0 Irish lead.
Manchester’s Blake Collinsworth drew a full-count, one-out walk in the fourth and Carlin then hit Jeff Floyd with an 0-1 pitch. Hardiman followed with a walk on five pitches before four straight balls to Pete Britton forced in the lone Spartans run.
The Irish tacked on a run on the fifth, when O’Toole led off with a full-count walk, stole second and took third on Stanley’s rightside groundout. Porzel then hit a groundball to the third baseman Collinsworth, who conceded the run while throwing Porzel out at first.
Irish freshman righthander Brandon Viloria had an impressive debut, allowing two hits and no walks during the sixth, seventh and eighth innings while recording two strikeouts.
NOTES: Tuesday’s game ranks as the third-earliest home game in the history of Notre Dame baseball … the 1990 Irish team posted a 3-0 win over Goshen College on Feb. 5 (at old Jake Kline Field) while the ’98 Irish team defeated Central Michigan, 7-5, in a Feb. 25 home opener (at Eck Stadium) … Tamayo was the winning pitcher in that game vs. CMU, in his second-to-last appearance of the ’98 season … the Manchester game was the 2,990th officially-recorded game in the 108-year history of Notre Dame varsity baseball program, with the Irish next scheduled to play eight games during spring break at the Kennel Club Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. … the program’s 2,999th game currently is scheduled for March 22 at Eck Stadium (versus Detroit), with the 3,000-game milestone set for the first game of a March 25th doubleheader at Villanova … Tuesday’s game dropped Notre Dame’s team ERA from 3.75 to 3.25.
MANCHESTER (1-2) 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 - 1 4 3NOTRE DAME (5-2) 0-1-3 0-1-0 0-0-X - 5 6 0
Barrus, Moore (8) and Britton. Buchmeier, Carlin (4), Viloria (6), Tamayo (9) and Nussbaum, Bok (9).