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Baseball: Irish drop 2 of 3 to open season

Chris Khorey | Monday, February 19, 2007

It wasn’t a pretty start to the 2007 season for Notre Dame in San Antonio this weekend.

After beating Prairie View A&M 15-8 in their first outdoor action of the year Saturday, the Irish (1-2) lost two games to Texas State, 2-1 Saturday and 6-0 Sunday.

“I’m not too worried,” Notre Dame coach Dave Schrage said. “Texas State and Prairie View both had eight or nine games under their belt. We have a young team, and we have to get our feet wet.”

“We’ll be fine once the Big East [schedule] starts [against South Florida March 23].”

In the first game Saturday, Notre Dame hit three home runs in a win over Prairie View A&M.

Designated hitter Mike Dury, third baseman A.J. Pollock and leftfielder Michael Wright all homered for the Irish.

Sophomore Wade Korpi gave up four runs on four hits in four innings to earn the win for Notre Dame.

The Irish jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings, but the Panthers (8-5) jumped on Korpi for four runs in the fourth to cut the lead to two. Notre Dame bounced back with a two-run single by sophomore Jeremy Barnes in the bottom half of the inning and then scored six in the sixth to blow the game wide open.

After the 15-run outburst against Prairie View, the Irish were shut down by Texas State pitchers Mike Hart and Kyle Gembler, scoring just one run in two games.

Notre Dame scored the first run of Saturday’s game on Hart, going up 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Danny Dressman that drove in Wright.

But the Bobcats bounced back with a run in the fifth and another in the eighth inning. Notre Dame got two men on in the bottom of the eighth, but couldn’t drive tthe runners in.

The Irish stranded 10 runners Saturday.

“Hart did a great job,” Schrage said. “He threw about seventy-five percent of his sliders for strikes.”

On Sunday, Notre Dame managed just two hits for the game and was unable to score.

“Our focus was not good,” Schrage said. “We were a little anxious at the plate.”

Irish pitchers Brett Gaffy, Sam Elam and Dan Kapala each threw a third of the game and gave up a combined 10 hits, with Elam taking the loss. The Irish made three errors behind them.

“We didn’t play a very good game,” Schrage said. “Our effort wasn’t as good as [Saturday].”

The Bobcats slowly built a lead, getting runs in the second, third, fifth and ninth innings for an easy win.

“Our guys were trying a little too hard,” Schrage said. “They really wanted to win two out of three.”

Next week, the Irish travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to face UNC-Wilmington, TCU and Coastal Carolina in Baseball at the Beach.