June 4, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Brett Lilley and Alex Nettey drove in two runs apiece to help Notre Dame beat Stetson 7-4 Saturday and eliminate the Hatters from NCAA regional play.
The Fighting Irish advanced to play Florida or North Carolina on Sunday.
Lilley finished with three hits, his biggest a two-run single that capped a three-run sixth inning.
Tony Langford opened the inning with a single, Matt Bransfield followed with a double and then Nettey executed a perfect squeeze bunt that snapped a 2-2 tie. Two batters later, Lilley’s hit dropped down the right field line.
The Hatters (35-28) trimmed the lead to 5-4 with two runs in the seventh, but Notre Dame added runs in the seventh and eighth to seal the victory.
Nettey had an RBI groundout in the seventh that scored Sean Gaston. Gaston’s RBI single in the eighth brought home Craig Cooper.
The Irish (37-23-1) scored their final five runs much more conventionally than their first two. Greg Lopez and Craig Cooper scored on consecutive wild pitches by Nathan Nery in the third.
Nery (4-5) allowed seven hits and four earned runs in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out seven, walked one and finished with five wild pitches and a hit batter.
Notre Dame starter Jeff Samardzija was much more effective. He gave up four hits and two earned runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Jeff Manship (2-1) picked up the win, though, giving up three hits and two runs in 1 2-3 innings of relief. Mike Dury pitched two scoreless innings for his second save.
Samardzija walked Brian Bocock and Chris Johnson with two outs in the third, and both of them scored on Braedyn Pruitt’s double, giving the Hatters a 2-0 lead. Pruitt added an RBI double in the seventh that cut the lead to 5-4.
But Stetson failed to tie the game, and Notre Dame eventually pulled away.