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    April 17, 1997

    Felker's 10th-Inning Home Run Lifts Irish Past Indiana Tech

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Freshman first baseman Jeff Felker smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting Notre Dame to an 8-7 comeback victory over visiting Indiana Tech in non-conference baseball action Thursday at Eck Stadium.

    Notre Dame (26-13)--winners of 17 of its last 19 games--needed three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to take its first lead of the game before Indiana Tech scored once in the eighth to force extra innings. The left-handed hitting Felker won the game on his second home run of the season, sending a one-out pitch into the brisk wind and over the right-field fence.

    Freshman right hander Tom O'Hagan--the last of four pitchers, including three freshmen, used by the injury-plagued Irish pitching staff--picked up the first win of his college career, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks over the final four innings, with one strikeout.

    Indiana Tech (23-21) jumped out to 5-0 lead after three innings, taking advantage of two Irish errors and a passed ball to score four unearned runs. Freshman righthander Jason Bullinger (1-2) took the loss in relief of junior lefthanded starter Ken Fischer. Bullinger allowed just two hits and no walks over the final three and third innings, but was tagged for two runs (including Felker's game-winning blast).

    O'Hagan worked out of a jam in the eighth, after allowing the Warriors to tie the game. Tyson Hill got the rally going for the visitors with a one-out double to right before pinch-hitter Jason Burke drilled a shot to center field. Irish senior centerfielder Randall Brooks slipped while making a break on the ball, with senior rightfielder Pat O'Keefe scurrying to get the ball at the fence while Burke pulled into third with an RBI triple. But O'Hagan struck out Brad Casal looking, on his tough slider, and then forced Ivan Sanabria to ground out to the shortstop, stranding Burke at third.

    The Warriors earlier had scored once in the top of the seventh, stretching to a 6-4 lead, before the Irish claimed the lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Brooks led off with a triple to right-center and scored on a single up the middle by senior DH Mike Amrhein, ending Fischer's day. A passed ball moved Amrhein to second and sophomore catcher Jeff Wagner then reached on a fielding error by third baseman Casal.

    Freshman second baseman Brant Ust grounded back to the box, with Bullinger forcing Amrhein at third, before sophomore leftfielder Allen Greene delivered a two-run double that landed squarely on the leftfield line (one of six Notre Dame extra-base hits in the game).

    After falling behind early, the Irish cut into the lead with a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth. Wagner and Ust smacked back-to-back doubles in the fourth and Wagner got things going again in the sixth, with a leadoff double. Wagner advanced to third on an errant pickoff try by Fischer and Ust earned a base on balls before Greene singled off the glove of Casal, plating Wagner. Fischer then struck out Felker but senior third baseman J.J. Brock delivered a two-run single up the middle, with second baseman Sanabria making a lunging attempt on the play.

    Indiana Tech scored the game's first run in the second, when leadoff man Angel Martinez singled, took second on a passed ball, moved to third on Paul Howell's single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hill.

    The Warriors pushed across four more runs in the third, with three of the runs being unearned after a pair of Irish errors. Casal walked to open the third and moved up on Sabrania's groundout. Casal then took third on a wild pitch before Gabriel Arroyo's grounder went through the legs of junior shortstop Todd Frye, with Casal running on the play and scoring easily.

    Dameon Smith and Martinez both singled to keep the rally going. Jared Hoffman then grounded back to the mound but Lapinskas threw the ball into centerfield, allowing Martinez to reach second while Smith went on to score. Howell extended the inning with a walk, loading the bases and ending Lapinskas' day. Hill capped the scoring with an RBI groundout off junior lefthander Pat Davis.

    Notes

    • The Irish again received a balanced offensive effort, with seven players all collecting two hits ... Notre Dame's 14 hits vs. the Warriors gives the Irish 14 games with 10-plus hits in the current 17-2 run.

    • Notre Dame continues to have five batters hitting .360 or better for the season, compared to just one Irish player who topped .345 last season (when Brooks hit .396). The current averages: Amrhein (.444), Wagner (.390), Ust (.386), Brooks (.361) and Brock (.360).

    • Amrhein's 2-for-5 day left him three pct. points below the Irish single season batting record (.447 by Edwin Hartwell in 1993).

    • Notre Dame's 14-for-40 day (.350) boosted the team season batting average to .332, which would rank third-best in Irish baseball history and fall just short of the record (.332, in 1989 and '93). The 23 total bases collected by the Irish in Thursday's game pushed the team's slugging pct. to .526, which would best the Irish record (.519) set by the potent 1993 team.

    • Felker's home run helped the Irish avoid their first three-game home run slump this season. Notre Dame has gone without a home run in two consecutive games just four times all season, while collecting a total of 41 long balls. With at least 16 regular season games remaining (plus postseason), the Irish maintain a solid chance at becoming the third team in Notre Dame history to blast more than 60 home runs in a season. The current squad is averaging a home run every 31.76 at-bats (the third-best ratio in team history).

    • The Irish pitching staff allowed only three earned runs in Thursday's game and has given up just 10 earned runs in the last 37 innings (a 2.43 ERA during that span).

    Indiana Tech 7 (23-21)                                       Univ. of Notre Dame 8 (26-13)
    Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A         Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A
    ----------------------------------------------------         ----------------------------------------------------
    Brad Casal 3b.............  5  1  0  0    1  3  3  2         Pat O'Keefe rf............  4  0  0  0    0  2  3  0
    Ivan Sanabria 2b..........  5  1  0  0    0  0  2  2         Dan Leatherman ph/rf......  1  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
    Gabriel Arroyo ss.........  4  1  1  1    1  0  1  1         Randall Brooks cf.........  5  1  2  0    0  0  0  0
    Dameon Smith c............  4  1  2  1    0  0  7  2         Mike Amrhein dh...........  5  0  2  1    0  0  0  0
    Angel Martinez dh.........  5  2  2  1    0  0  0  0         Jeff Wagner c.............  5  3  2  0    0  1  3  1
    Jared Hoffman 1b..........  4  0  0  0    1  1  9  1         Brant Ust 2b..............  4  2  2  1    1  0  3  3
    Paul Howell lf............  4  0  2  0    1  0  2  0         Allen Greene lf...........  4  1  2  3    1  1  1  0
    Tyson Hill cf.............  4  1  1  2    0  0  2  0         Jeff Felker 1b............  5  1  2  1    0  1 19  0
    Jeff Gaddis rf............  2  0  0  0    1  0  1  0         Todd Frye ss..............  3  0  0  0    0  1  1  5
    Jason Burke ph............  1  0  1  1    0  0  0  0         J.J. Brock 3b.............  4  0  2  2    0  1  0  7
    Aaron Simpson rf..........  1  0  0  0    0  0  1  0         Mark Lapinskas p..........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1
    Ken Fischer p.............  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  2         Pat Davis p...............  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
    Jason Bullinger p.........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  2         Steve Szczepanski p.......  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1
                                                                 Tom O'Hagan p.............  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1
    Totals.................... 39  7  9  6    5  4 28 12         Totals.................... 40  8 14  8    2  7 30 19
    
    Score by innings:                       R  H  E
    -----------------------------------------------
    Indiana Tech          014 000 110 0  -  7  9  2
    Univ. of Notre Dame   000 103 300 1  -  8 14  3
    -----------------------------------------------
    Note: 1 out, 0 runner(s) LOB when the game ended.
    E - Brad Casal, I. Sanabria, Rand. Brooks(6), Todd Frye(15), M. Lapinskas(1).
    LOB - Warriors 10, Irish 7.
    2B - Tyson Hill, Mike Amrhein(6), Jeff Wagner 2(16), Brant Ust(8), Allen
    Greene(12). 3B - Jason Burke, Rand. Brooks(4).
    HR - Jeff Felker(2).
    CS - Brant Ust(2).
    SH - Dameon Smith, Todd Frye(5). SF - Tyson Hill.
    Indiana Tech           IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF        Univ. of Notre Dame    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF
    -----------------------------------------------------        -----------------------------------------------------
    Ken Fischer.........  6.0  12   6   4   2   6  27  30        Mark Lapinskas......  2.1   5   5   1   2   2  13  16
    Jason Bullinger.....  3.1   2   2   2   0   1  13  13        Pat Davis...........  0.2   0   0   0   0   0   2   2
                                                                 Steve Szczepanski...  3.0   0   1   1   1   1   9  11
                                                                 Tom O'Hagan.........  4.0   4   1   1   2   1  15  18
    Winner - Tom O'Hagan 1-0.  Loser - J. Bullinger 1-2.  Save - None.
    WP - Ken Fischer, M. Lapinskas(1). PB - Dameon Smith, Jeff Wagner(2). BK -
    Tom O'Hagan(1).
    HBP - by Szczepanski (I. Sanabria).
    Start: 5:00   Time: 3:06   Attendance: 102
    Szczepanski faced 1 batter in the 7th.
    Ken Fischer faced 2 batters in the 7th.

    Play-by-play

    Indiana Tech inning 1
    Brad Casal struck out. I. Sanabria flied out to lf. G. Arroyo singled to center field. Dameon Smith flied out to rf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 1
    Pat O'Keefe struck out. Rand. Brooks grounded out to p. Mike Amrhein doubled to right field. Mike Amrhein advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jeff Wagner struck out. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 2
    A. Martinez singled down the lf line. A. Martinez advanced to second on a passed ball. J. Hoffman struck out, out at first c to 1b. Paul Howell singled to left field; A. Martinez advanced to third. Tyson Hill flied out to rf, SF, RBI; A. Martinez scored, unearned. Jeff Gaddis grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 2
    Brant Ust singled to right field. Allen Greene walked; Brant Ust advanced to second. Allen Greene advanced to second; Brant Ust out at third c to 3b, caught stealing. Jeff Felker fouled out to 3b. Todd Frye grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 3
    Brad Casal walked. I. Sanabria grounded out to p; Brad Casal advanced to second. Brad Casal advanced to third on a wild pitch. G. Arroyo reached on an error by ss, RBI; Brad Casal scored. Dameon Smith singled to center field; G. Arroyo advanced to second. A. Martinez singled to left field, RBI; Dameon Smith advanced to second; G. Arroyo scored, unearned. J. Hoffman reached on a fielder's choice; A. Martinez advanced to second on an error by p; Dameon Smith scored on the error, unearned. Paul Howell walked; J. Hoffman advanced to second; A. Martinez advanced to third. Pat Davis to p for M. Lapinskas. Tyson Hill reached on a fielder's choice, RBI; Paul Howell out at second 3b to 2b; J. Hoffman advanced to third; A. Martinez scored, unearned. Jeff Gaddis reached on a fielder's choice; Tyson Hill out at second ss to 2b. 4 runs, 2 hits, 2 errors, 2 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 3
    J.J. Brock popped up to 2b. Pat O'Keefe struck out. Rand. Brooks flied out to rf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 4
    Szczepanski to p for Pat Davis. Brad Casal popped up to 2b. I. Sanabria lined out to ss. G. Arroyo grounded out to p. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 4
    Mike Amrhein flied out to lf. Jeff Wagner doubled to right center. Brant Ust doubled down the lf line, RBI; Jeff Wagner scored. Allen Greene struck out. Jeff Felker singled to left field; Brant Ust advanced to third. Todd Frye struck out. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 5
    Dameon Smith flied out to rf. A. Martinez grounded out to ss. J. Hoffman grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 5
    J.J. Brock singled to left field. Pat O'Keefe reached on a fielder's choice; J.J. Brock out at second 1b to ss. Pat O'Keefe out at second c to 2b. Rand. Brooks singled to center field. Mike Amrhein flied out to cf. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 6
    Paul Howell fouled out to 1b. Tyson Hill grounded out to ss. Jeff Gaddis walked. Brad Casal struck out looking. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 6
    Jeff Wagner doubled to left center. Jeff Wagner advanced to third on a fielding error by 2b. Brant Ust walked. Allen Greene singled to third base, RBI; Brant Ust advanced to second; Jeff Wagner scored, unearned. Jeff Felker struck out. Todd Frye grounded out to p, SAC, bunt; Allen Greene advanced to second; Brant Ust advanced to third. J.J. Brock singled to right center, 2 RBI; Allen Greene scored; Brant Ust scored. Pat O'Keefe grounded out to 2b. 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 7
    I. Sanabria hit by pitch. Tom O'Hagan to p for Szczepanski. G. Arroyo popped up to 1b. I. Sanabria advanced to second on a balk. Dameon Smith singled to center field, advanced to second on an error by cf, RBI; I. Sanabria scored. A. Martinez grounded out to 2b; Dameon Smith advanced to third. J. Hoffman grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 7
    Rand. Brooks tripled to right center. Mike Amrhein singled to center field, RBI; Rand. Brooks scored. J. Bullinger to p for Ken Fischer. Mike Amrhein advanced to second on a passed ball. Jeff Wagner reached on an error by 3b. Brant Ust reached on a fielder's choice; Jeff Wagner advanced to second; Mike Amrhein out at third p to 3b. Allen Greene doubled down the lf line, 2 RBI; Brant Ust scored; Jeff Wagner scored, unearned. Jeff Felker grounded out to 1b unassisted; Allen Greene advanced to third. Todd Frye grounded out to 3b. 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 8
    Paul Howell grounded out to 3b. Tyson Hill doubled to right field. Jason Burke pinch hit for Jeff Gaddis. Jason Burke tripled to center field, RBI; Tyson Hill scored. Brad Casal struck out looking. I. Sanabria grounded out to ss. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 8
    A. Simpson to rf for Jason Burke. J.J. Brock struck out. Leatherman pinch hit for Pat O'Keefe. Leatherman grounded out to ss. Rand. Brooks flied out to rf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 9
    Leatherman to rf. G. Arroyo walked. Dameon Smith grounded out to 3b, SAC; G. Arroyo advanced to second. A. Martinez grounded out to 3b. J. Hoffman intentionally walked. Paul Howell singled to pitcher; J. Hoffman advanced to second; G. Arroyo advanced to third. Tyson Hill grounded out to p. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 9
    Mike Amrhein lined out to cf. Jeff Wagner flied out to lf. Brant Ust grounded out to p. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Indiana Tech inning 10
    A. Simpson grounded out to ss. Brad Casal grounded out to 3b. I. Sanabria grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 10
    Allen Greene grounded out to 2b. Jeff Felker homered to right field, RBI. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

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