Mar. 12, 1997

Notre Dame Pulls Out Extra-Inning Thriller

SAN ANTONIO – Notre Dame defeated Penn State in the bottom ofthe 11th inning by a score of 9-8 in the opening game for both teamsin the Irish Spring Classic at Municipal Field in San Antonio, Texas.

In a wild error-filled slugfest, involving five lead changes, 26 hitsand 17 runs, Notre Dame (6-6) scored the game-winner in the bottom of the11th on what should have been an intentional walk. Pat O’Keefe led offthe inning with a single off of Joe Martin (0-3). O’Keefe thenadvanced to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a sacrificebunt by Jeff Perconte. Penn State (4-8) then tried to intentionally walkJ.J. Brock, but he slapped the third pitch into right field for thegame-winner.

The Fighting Irish rallied from a two-run deficit in the bottom of theninth to send the game into extra innings. Brant Ust led off with awalk, followed by a Mike Amrhein single. Jeff Wagner then doubled toleft to score Ust, and three batters later Brock grounded out to first,scoring Amrhein and tying the game.

Penn State had scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pullahead 8-6. Kevin Billotte led off the seventh with a single and JohnDacostino followed with a bunt single, his fourth hit of the day.Jared Sadlowski then doubled to score Billotte, but Dacostino wasthrown out at home trying to score from first. However, Carl Albrechtand Jeremy Deitrick both followed with RBI doubles to push PennState’s lead to two. Deitrick’s hit extended his hitting streak to 12games.

Scott Cavey (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Notre Dame, pitchingfour scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while striking outthree. It was the first career decision for the freshman right-hander.

Tomorrow’s Classic schedule has the Lions battling NortheasternIllinois at 3 p.m. CST, followed by Notre Dame vs. Creighton in the 7p.m. nightcap. Both games will take place at Wolff Municipal Field.

Post-Game Notes

Today was Brock’s second final-inning, game-winning hit in the last four days. He also sent a hit through the right side of the infield vs. Texas-Pan American on Mar. 9, as the Irish scored five times in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 win.Notre Dame did not play an extra-inning game last season (first this season).Brent Ust’s hitting streak ends at nine games (he went 0-for-4 with two walks).Brooks moved from leadoff to the No. 2 spot and responded by going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.O’Keefe subbed for injured Justin Scholl and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored.Eight Notre Dame players had hits, while seven Penn State players had hits.Notre Dame stranded 13 runners, while Penn State stranded eight.

Penn State   200  003  300  00  -  8  13  3Notre Dame   102  003  001  01  -  9  13  3Arnold, Martin (6) and Sadlowski. Schmalz, Kalita (7), Balicki (7),Cavey (8) and Wagner. 2B - Penn State, Dacostino (1), Notre Dame,Greene (2), Penn State, Sadlowski (5), Penn State, Albrecht (3), PennState, Deitrick (3), Notre Dame, Wagner (7). 3B - Penn State, Albrecht(1). WP - Cavey (1-0). LP - Martin (0-3). Time - 3:45. Attendance -530.