March 25, 2006
BETHESDA, Md. – Jeff Samardzija continued to round into form with a strong seven-inning outing while Cody Rizzo again was Notre Dame’s top run producer from the bottom of the batting order – launching an early home run and adding three more RBI on a pair of singles – as the Irish rebounded from their game-1 loss with a convincing 12-2 victory over Georgetown, in Saturday’s BIG EAST baseball doubleheader action at Shirley Povich Field.
Notre Dame (11-8, 1-1 BIG EAST) – which has been swept in just nine of 91 all-time BIG EAST doubleheaders – scored single runs in the first two innings before erupting for 10 runs over the span of the 4th-6th innings.
Samardzija (2-1) avoided the big inning while scattering five hits and two walks over the full seven innings, with three strikeouts and nine groundouts in his fifth start of the season. The two-sport standout improved to 15-5 in his Notre Dame career, after limiting Georgetown (11-11, 1-1) to 2-for-10 batting with runners on base and 0-for-7 with 2-outs. He faced just two batters over the minimum (20) in the first six innings, allowing two hits and a walk while rolling up a double-play ball.
The Notre Dame offense posted 15-plus hits (15) for the fourth time this season and second time this week. The Irish put the leadoff batter on base in six of the nine innings and batted 7-for-19 (.368) with runners in scoring position.
Rizzo (4 RBI, 3 R) factored into half of Notre Dame’s runs while pushing his team-best RBI total to 19, just five shy of his RBI total from the entire 2005 season. The senior rightfielder (who started at catcher in game-2) now is batting at a .407 clip (11-for-27) with runners in scoring position, nearly 120 points above his overall batting average (.288) and more than double his average in at-bats without RBI chances (.188).
Freshman Jeremy Barnes batted in the leadoff spot for the second time this season and joined Rizzo by producing three hits – with a double and run scored to open the scoring, a two-run blast in the 4th and an RBI single in the team’s second consecutive four-run inning (the 5th). Barnes continued to show his versatility by starting at first base for the second time in 2006, to go along with three starts each at third base and DH, two at second base and one at shortstop.
Sophomore second baseman Ross Brezovsky added a pair of leadoff doubles and scored three runs to help post the 10-run margin of victory.
Freshman righthander Darren Sizemore failed to duplicate his older brother Warren’s win from game-1, with the younger Sizemore allowing nine runs (seven earned) on 11 hits and two walks in four-plus innings.
Barnes drove the first pitch of the game deep in the right-center gap for a standup double before coming around to score after Brett Lilley’s sacrifice bunt and Danny Dressman’s opposite-field single through the left side. One inning later, Rizzo turned on a two-out pitch and launched his second home run of the season (and 16th of his career) down the leftfield line.
Notre Dame’s four-run 5th included Brezovsky’s leadoff double, Alex Nettey’s bunt single, a sacrifice fly from Greg Lopez, an RBI single from Rizzo and the Barnes home run. Another Brezovsky double in the 5th, followed by an infield throwing error and Lopez’s RBI single, then ended the day for Sizemore, with the Irish ultimately stretching to the 10-0 lead.
Notes – The Irish now own a 19-7 scoring edge in the 1st inning … Dressman (2-for-5, 2 RBI) is batting .346 for the season, including .462 (18-for-39) when playing in the outfield (his other ABs have been as the DH) … ND 12th-year head coach Paul Mainieri (499-204-3) is one win shy of his 500th victory with the Irish … Lopez scored his 100th career run with ND while Nettey (98 hits), and Rizzo (98) each are close to century-mark milestones … Steve Andres drew two walks, giving him 90 BB in his Irish career.
Notre Dame (11-8, 1-1 BIG EAST) 1-1-0 4-4-2 0-0-0 – 12 15 0
Georgetown (12-12, 1-1 BIG EAST) 0-0-0 0-0-0 2-0-0 – 2 7 4
Jeff Samardzija (W, 2-1), David Gruener (8), Brett Graffy (9) and Cody Rizzo, Steve Andres (9).
Darren Sizemore (L, 3-2), Grady McConnell (5), Kevin Lundquist (8) and Brandon Davis, Nick Barnicle (3), Greg Pustizzi (8).