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Baseball: Sent down to the minors

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Despite striking first off the bat of sophomore David Casey in the first inning, Notre Dame’s offensive woes resulted in a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the South Bend Silverhawks, the Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in the second annual Silver vs. Gold exhibition game.

Proceeds from the game’s ticket sales were given to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which fights Niemann-Pick Type-C disease.

The Irish jumped on the Silverhawks in the top half of the first inning when Casey singled to right field to drive home classmate Golden Tate and give the Irish an early 1-0 lead.

With runners at the corners and only one out, senior Jeremy Barnes grounded into a double play to end the first inning. Unfortunately for the Irish, that is the closest they would come to scoring again the rest of the way.

Notre Dame’s offense struggles came with its inability to adjust to the professional pitching and use of wooden bats. In fact, Casey’s single was the only hit recorded by the Irish in the contest.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Silverhawks wasted little time scoring four runs of their own off sophomore Todd Miller, who started the game for the Irish. Notre Dame’s defense behind Miller also had a shaky inning, making two errors that resulted in two unearned runs.

After an explosive first inning, the scoring came to a halt with just one run being scored between both teams in the final six frames. That run came for the Silverhawks in the third inning off freshman reliever Steve Sabatino.

Notre Dame’s bullpen had a strong outing Tuesday, pitching six innings and allowing just one run on four hits. The Irish used a total of six different pitchers for an inning each in relief of Miller.

The Irish will return to collegiate play when they take on Cincinnati in a three-game set Thursday in Cincinnati. Notre Dame is currently tied for fourth in the Big East with a 5-4 record, while the Bearcats are tied for ninth at 3-6.