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ND Baseball: Sharpley picks up first win

Michael Bryan | Thursday, March 27, 2008

Freshman Ryan Sharpley pitched five shutout innings Tuesday to lead the Irish to a 14-3 route of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the team’s fifth win in a row.

Sharpley, making just his second career start, allowed just one hit for Notre Dame en route to his first victory. The right-hander struck out three and walked three, lowering his ERA from 5.40 to 2.70 with the performance.

Over the current winning streak, the Irish have thoroughly dominated opponents both on the mound and at the plate. Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 58-9 in the past five games, while improving its record to 12-7-1.

The Irish offense was led by sophomore A.J. Pollock, who went 4-5 with five runs scored. Pollock had three singles, a triple and a stolen base as well as two diving catches in right field.

Panthers starter Jordan Herbert could not last through the first inning against the Irish, recording just two outs before getting sent to the showers. While Herbert did not give up a hit, the righty gave up three walks and hit a batter.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning despite its only hit remaining in the infield. After loading the bases on walks, senior Ross Brezovsky picked up an RBI after getting hit by a pitch. Sophomore Billy Boockford brought home another run with a walk and freshman Cameron McConnell drove in the last run with an infield single.

The Irish pushed their lead to 5-0 after Jeremy Barnes hit a two-run single in the second. The game then turned into a route with Notre Dame putting up six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Coach Dave Schrage used the blowout to give younger players playing time. Notre Dame played 23 different position players on the night, and five different players made their season debuts. Freshmen Matt Katich and Andrew Wiand made their first career appearances in an Irish uniform.

Junior Casey Martin was 2-for-2 off the bench with an RBI and a run scored, and McConnell and Barnes each went 2-for-3. Lilley also scored three runs despite not recording a hit.

Irish freshman Evan Danieli gave up a run in two innings of work after replacing Sharpley in the sixth. Sophomore Steven Mazur pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and junior Sam Elam gave up two runs in the ninth.

The Irish resume play Friday with a three-game home series against Big East foe Cincinnati. Notre Dame is 3-0 in conference play after sweeping a series against Georgetown last weekend.