March 4, 2012
SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State sophomore RHP Kyle Finnegan followed up junior RHP Travis Ballew’s complete game, three-hit shutout with an equally dominant effort of his own as the Bobcats blanked Notre Dame, 5-0, Sunday afternoon at Bobcat Ballpark. Texas State improved to 8-3 on the season, while the Irish dropped to 5-4.
Texas State has now registered five consecutive shutouts against Houston, TCU and Notre Dame (three times) – a first in school history. The Bobcats’ pitching staff has not allowed a run, earned or unearned, in 50.1 innings. Texas State has not allowed an earned run over seven straight games – a span of 54.1 innings of work. The NCAA record for consecutive scoreless innings is 64.0 by Arizona State in 1978.
Finnegan, whose fastball sat between 93-95 mph and touched 96 on a handful of occasions, including in the seventh inning, limited the Irish to three singles. He struck out a career-high 12. In fact, Finnegan’s first seven recorded outs were all punchouts. He improved to 3-0 on the year.
Junior RHP Adam Norton did his part to match Finnegan early in the game. The righty kept the Bobcats off the scoreboard over the first three innings and collected five strikeouts, but was victimized by some suspect Irish defense. After Norton allowed a leadoff single in the fourth inning, he got a tailor made, double play ground ball, but Irish freshman SS Kevin DeFilippis couldn’t field the grounder cleanly and was only able to retire the lead runner.
Andrew Stumph pulled the next pitch just inside the third base bag and down the left field line for an RBI double to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. He was gunned down trying to stretch into a triple and Norton got another ground ball to end the inning.
Norton worked around a leadoff double in the fifth inning, but was victimized by his defense again in the sixth. Casey Kalenkosky lifted a fly ball to the warning track in centerfield to open the inning, but freshman CF Mac Hudgins either lost it in the sun or simply misjudged the ball. Kalenkoshy was awarded a triple and scored on Jeff McVaney’s ensuing RBI single with the infield in. The Bobcats added another run on Nick Smelser’s RBI double to push their lead to 3-0.
The three-run cushion was more than enough.
Finnegan retired 17 of the final 21 Notre Dame batters, allowing only one hit and three walks after the second inning.
Norton pitched far better than his line might indicate. He was charged with three earned runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings of work. Norton fanned five and walked none. He dropped to 2-1 on the season.
Senior LHP Joe Spano worked a scoreless inning of relief. He worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh inning.
Kalenkoshy went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Stumph went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Smelser went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI.
Notre Dame heads to Baton Rouge, La., next weekend and play two games against both Michigan and LSU. The Irish open the weekend at 1:00 p.m. CT on Sat., Mar. 10, against the Wolverines. Notre Dame then plays a split doubleheader against each foe on Sun., Mar. 11 at 10:30 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT, respectively. The Irish close the weekend against the Tigers on Mon., Mar. 12 at 6:30 p.m. CT. In-game updates will be available on twitter at @NDBaseball and facebook at NDBaseball while fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the internet at UND.com.