Baseball: Irish take two games from GU against last-place Georgetown
Joe Meixell | Monday, April 16, 2007
Notre Dame’s inconsistency continued this weekend as the Irish recorded two blowout victories sandwiched around an ugly loss in a three-game series against Georgetown at Frank Eck Stadium.
By winning two of three, the Irish ran their record to 17-17 overall and 4-7 in the Big East.
“We needed to [win a conference series] to get back in the race,” Irish coach Dave Schrage said.
Notre Dame 11, Georgetown 2
Notre Dame scored 11 runs in the first three innings and every Irish starter had a hit as the Irish routed Georgetown to take the rubber game of the weekend series at Frank Eck Stadium Sunday.
“Today was a must-win,” Schrage said. “If we don’t win today, we’ve got a long haul to get back.”
With the help of several costly Georgetown errors, the Irish offense took it to Hoyas starter Jimmy Saris early.
In the bottom of the first, Notre Dame took advantage of several misplays by Georgetown rightfielder Kelly Muir to take the early lead. With two outs, Irish left fielder Ross Brezovsky hit a single to right and took second on an error by Muir.
Designated hitter Matt Weglarz then looped a pop-up into short right that Muir misjudged, allowing Brezovsky to put the Irish up 1-0.
In the second inning, senior centerfielder Danny Dressman led off with a first-pitch single to center. Jeremy Barnes then lined his sixth double of the season down the right field line to knock in Dressman. Barnes eventually scored from second on a passed ball that Georgetown catcher Matt Iannetta could not locate until Barnes had slid across the plate safely.
After Ryan Connolly continued the rally with a walk and Brett Lilley singled to center, another Georgetown defensive miscue put the Irish up 4-0. Saris caught Connolly off second but instead of throwing to pick off the runner, he charged off of the mound and attempted to tag Connolly. Connolly avoided the tag before heading to third. Saris finally got rid of the ball but threw it away, allowing Connolly to come in to score.
The Irish offense opened the flood gates with seven more runs in the third. After Weglarz led off with a walk and Mike Dury pulled a double over first base, Dressman plated both runners with his second single up the middle of the game. Barnes followed with a single to left and Dressman came in to score. Barnes then stole second before Ryan Connolly walked, putting runners on first and second for Lilley. Lilley followed with his 50th hit of the season to knock in Barnes and chase Saris.
Freshman reliever Cary Piligian did not fare much better than Saris. Piligian surrendered an RBI double to Pollock, the first batter he faced. Brezovsky then grounded out to second to plate another run, before Weglarz capped off the inning with the double to right to make it 11-0.
“We were finally able to string together a big inning in the fourth and get some extra base hits, which we haven’t been doing,” Schrage said.
Sophomore righthander Kyle Weiland gave up just one unearned run in five innings while striking out six to get the win for Notre Dame.
“The offense did a great job and gave me a lot of confidence,” said Weiland, who got his first win of the season as a starter and improved to 3-0 overall.
Weiland had appeared mainly in relief for the Irish this year and added that he was happy about his new role.
“It’s a little nicer being a starter,” Weiland said. “It gives you more time to get control over all your pitches.”
Georgetown 6, Notre Dame 1
Georgetown pitcher Michael Gaggioili allowed just one run in eight innings and the Hoyas banged out 12 hits in a 6-1 win over Notre Dame Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium.
“This was supposed to be a big weekend for us,” Irish coach Schrage said. “I was disappointed in our effort today.”
The inning was capped when Matt Harrigan blasted a double to score left fielder Derek DeGrijs and Bouchard and drive Korpi to the bench. Irish reliever Joey Williamson came in and got right fielder Kelly Muir to pop up to end the inning.
Notre Dame got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, when Weglarz reached on an error by Muir and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Dury.
Georgetown responded in the eighth with another three runs. After the first two batters of the inning reached base, Silvestri squared to bunt. Notre Dame’s infield rushed in expecting a sacrifice, but Silvestri pulled the bat back and slapped a single right past them to put the Hoyas up 4-1. A sacrifice fly by McLaughlin then put the Hoyas up by four and two straight hits by DeGrijs and Bouchard added another run.
Pollock and Lilley, who hit in the top two spots in Notre Dame’s batting order, accounted for all six of the Irish hits.
Schrage said the lack of hitting was due to too many fly balls, which the cold wind blowing in at Frank Eck Stadium knocked down and turned into easy outs.
“Today was not the kind of day to hit that way,” Schrage said. “It’s very disappointing.”
Korpi threw 4.2 innings, giving up three runs in on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks. The junior’s record dropped to 1-5 on the season.
“I don’t think he has confidence in his stuff right now,” Schrage said.
Right hander Dan Kapala was scheduled to start Saturday, but had to miss the start due to tendonitis.
Notre Dame 10, Georgetown 0
Sophomore David Phelps proved how reliable he is for Notre Dame again, capturing his third straight win Friday night with a 10-0 shutout of Georgetown.
The right-hander, who entered the series No. 11 in the nation in ERA, lowered his from 1.51 to 1.34, adding eight strikeouts in seven innings of work to boot.
The middle of the lineup provided strong support for Phelps and Notre Dame as Brezovsky, Weglarz and Dressman, the three, four, and five batters, each reached base four times. The trio combined to go 7-10 at the plate with five RBIs and seven runs.
Note Dame took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
Lilley started the inning on base for Notre Dame after getting hit by a pitch. Georgetown’s Erick Chandler proceeded to walk Pollock and Brezovsky to load the bases. Weglarz drove in the first run, sending Lilley home off a sacrifice fly. Dressman advanced the lead to two by reaching first off a throwing error and sending Pollock home.
“You get confidence scoring runs, getting the lead and we just kind of took with that,” Weglarz said.
Phelps gave the Hoyas a glimmer of hope in the second as he allowed Muir to advance to third off two failed pickoff attempts. Phelps was able to hold on to his shut out as he rounded out the inning with a strikeout and pop-up.
The Irish followed with another two-run inning in the bottom of the third to expand their lead to four. The inning proceeded in similar fashion to the first for Notre Dame as it scored two runs off one hit.
The middle of lineup came up strong for the Irish in the seventh inning.
“Our three, four and five hitters, that’s been kind of our Achilles heel all year, and they really stepped up,” Schrage said.
Weglarz started off the inning for Notre Dame with a single and eventually crossed home on a throwing error. Dressman added an RBI and scored on a dropped fly ball to finish the inning.
The middle of the lineup powered Notre Dame again in the eighth. Brezovsky, Weglarz and Dressman combined for three hits. Dressman’s line drive down the left field line drove in the fifth run for Notre Dame. Weglarz and Dressman scored off Georgetown errors to pick up the last two more runs of the game for Notre Dame.
Phelps noted that the Irish would have struggled without the combination of strong bats at the middle of the lineup and a strong defensive game.
“When the team puts up ten runs for me, they’re going to pick me up nine times out of ten,” he said.