Mar. 12, 1997
Notre Dame Pulls Out Extra-Inning Thriller
SAN ANTONIO - Notre Dame defeated Penn State in the bottom of
the 11th inning by a score of 9-8 in the opening game for both teams
in the Irish Spring Classic at Municipal Field in San Antonio, Texas.
In a wild error-filled slugfest, involving five lead changes, 26 hits
and 17 runs, Notre Dame (6-6) scored the game-winner in the bottom of the
11th on what should have been an intentional walk. Pat O'Keefe led off
the inning with a single off of Joe Martin (0-3). O'Keefe then
advanced to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a sacrifice
bunt by Jeff Perconte. Penn State (4-8) then tried to intentionally walk
J.J. Brock, but he slapped the third pitch into right field for the
The Fighting Irish rallied from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the
ninth to send the game into extra innings. Brant Ust led off with a
walk, followed by a Mike Amrhein single. Jeff Wagner then doubled to
left to score Ust, and three batters later Brock grounded out to first,
scoring Amrhein and tying the game.
Penn State had scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pull
ahead 8-6. Kevin Billotte led off the seventh with a single and John
Dacostino followed with a bunt single, his fourth hit of the day.
Jared Sadlowski then doubled to score Billotte, but Dacostino was
thrown out at home trying to score from first. However, Carl Albrecht
and Jeremy Deitrick both followed with RBI doubles to push Penn
State's lead to two. Deitrick's hit extended his hitting streak to 12
Scott Cavey (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Notre Dame, pitching
four scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while striking out
three. It was the first career decision for the freshman right-hander.
Tomorrow's Classic schedule has the Lions battling Northeastern
Illinois at 3 p.m. CST, followed by Notre Dame vs. Creighton in the 7
p.m. nightcap. Both games will take place at Wolff Municipal Field.
- Today was Brock's second final-inning, game-winning hit in the last four days. He also sent a hit through the right side of the infield vs. Texas-Pan American on Mar. 9, as the Irish scored five times in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 win.
- Notre Dame did not play an extra-inning game last season (first this season).
- Brent Ust's hitting streak ends at nine games (he went 0-for-4 with two walks).
- Brooks moved from leadoff to the No. 2 spot and responded by going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
- O'Keefe subbed for injured Justin Scholl and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
- Eight Notre Dame players had hits, while seven Penn State players had hits.
- Notre Dame stranded 13 runners, while Penn State stranded eight.
Penn State 200 003 300 00 - 8 13 3
Notre Dame 102 003 001 01 - 9 13 3
Arnold, Martin (6) and Sadlowski. Schmalz, Kalita (7), Balicki (7),
Cavey (8) and Wagner. 2B - Penn State, Dacostino (1), Notre Dame,
Greene (2), Penn State, Sadlowski (5), Penn State, Albrecht (3), Penn
State, Deitrick (3), Notre Dame, Wagner (7). 3B - Penn State, Albrecht
(1). WP - Cavey (1-0). LP - Martin (0-3). Time - 3:45. Attendance -