May 28, 2000
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Notre Dame catcher Paul O’Toole drove in four runs to lift the second-seeded Fighting Irish to a 7-0 win over top seed Mississippi State, forcing a decisive Game Seven in the NCAA Starkville Regional, at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.
Notre Dame (46-17) scored two runs each in the second, third and fifth innings, while starter Danny Tamayo went the distance to pick up his third win of the season. Tamayo (3-1) allowed just three Bulldog hits in his longest career outing. Mississippi State (40-18) didn’t record its first hit until the seventh inning.
The Irish got on the board in the second when O’Toole blasted a two-run homer over the right field fence, scoring Brian Stavisky. Stavisky picked up an RBI of his own in the third driving home Jeff Felker after Kris Billmaier plated Steve Stanley. Felker and Stavisky each scored in the fifth thanks to an O’Toole double, as the two-bagger set a new Notre Dame record for doubles in a season. O’Toole later scored in the eighth to give the Irish a 7-0 advantage.
Starter Joey Collums (2-2) took the loss for Mississippi State, lasting just 2.1 innings of work. He allowed four runs, all earned, with two walks.
The attendance of 10,832 was the fourth-largest in NCAA Regional history, giving Mississippi State nine of the top 11 crowds in NCAA Regional play.
The Notre Dame victory forces a deciding Game Seven in the Starkville Regional, as the two teams will meet again with the winner advancing to the Super Regional round.