Baseball: Players take field in scrimmage
Joe Meixell | Friday, October 6, 2006
Notre Dame will have its first games under new coach Dave Schrage this weekend – and Schrage is guaranteed three wins.
The annual Blue-Gold intrasquad series kicked off Thursday with sophomore righty David Phelps squaring off with junior right-hander Joey Williamson.
“We’re trying to play it as close to a spring game as we can,” Schrage said. “It’s kind of the culmination of the fall.”
Each game is a seven-inning contest, with Game 2 and 3 coming Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at noon. Schrage said he is looking for “crisp” defensive play, even if the offenses play well.
“If it’s high scoring and we’re hitting the ball all over the place, that’s fine,” Schrage said.
Saturday’s game features starting pitchers Wade Korpi, a junior left-hander, and fellow southpaw Sam Elam, a sophomore.
“The guys have thrown well this fall,” Schrage said. “They’ve had a great fall and I think the biggest thing is looking for consistency out of them throwing strikes.”
Pitchers are limited to 75 pitches over the course of the series, which may limit the amount of work relievers get in.
Sophomore right-hander Kyle Weiland, who has worked with the starting pitchers this fall, will be in his usual role of closer for the series. Weiland had 16 saves last season with a 2.37 ERA in 49 1-3 innings pitched.
Schrage said he expects the pitchers and hitters to be on par after four weeks of fall practices.
“Guys have competed really hard this fall for some positions,” Schrage said. “What we’re looking for is to see how our guys have progressed.”
uSchrage brought in some help to coach the series.
Irish pitching coach Sherard Clinckscales will manage the Blue team with the help of Colin Burns of Irisheyes.com in Game 1, Irish Illustrated’s Tim Prister in Game 2 and Michiana celebrity Jeff Jeffers of WNDU-TV in Game 3.
For the gold team, volunteer assistant John Fitzgerald will have the support of WSBT-TV’s Pete Byrne in Game 1, Blue and Gold Illustrated’s Ryan O’Leary in Game 2 and Sean Stires of ESPN Radio in Game 3.
“It’s something that I did at Evansville,” Schrage said. “One it involves the people that cover us. We have some ammunition with those guys in the spring when they get on us.”