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    Fighting Irish

    April 22, 1997

    Michigan Uses Clutch Pitching, Unearned Runs to Hold Off Irish , 5-3

    COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Marlon Wright scattered six hits over the first seven innings while fellow senior righthander Brian Steinbach picked up the save in his first relief appearance of the season, as Michigan scored five unearned runs in the seventh and held on to defeat Notre Dame, 5-3, in a neutral-field game held before 5,350 fans Tuesday night at Old Kent Park (home of the West Michigan Whitecaps).

    Notre Dame (29-14) saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end, scoring once in the second before coming up short on a rally over the final three innings (when the Irish stranded five runners). Sophomore lefthander Chris McKeown (2-3) was the hard-luck loser, allowing nine hits and two walks over six and two-thirds innings, with two strikeouts. McKeown was credited with five unearned runs, after Notre Dame committed three errors in the top of the seventh.

    Michigan (24-17) received an unexpected boost from Wright, who was making just the seventh start of his career and had pitched just 10 innings previously this season. Wright (2-1) allowed just two runs (both earned) on six hits and two walks over the first six and two-thirds innings (with two K's).

    Steinbach--one of the top members of the UM weekend rotation--held the Irish to one run on one hit and a pair of walks over the final two and a third (with two K's).

    Notre Dame's #6-#9 hitters each collected hits (included two from #7 hitter Jeff Felker) but the heart of the Irish lineup (spots #2-#5) batted just 2-for-17, including 0-for-4 nights from top power hitters Mike Amrhein and Jeff Wagner, a 1-for-5 effort by Randall Brooks and a 1-for-4 game by Brant Ust (each member of that foursome had been hitting .410 or higher over the previous 22 games and .380 or higher for the season).

    The Irish entered the game with a potential record-setting .337 team batting average but went just 7-for-33 (.212) vs. the Wolverines, with the team batting avg. falling to .334 (two points above the record).

    Mike Seestedt reached on a one-out error in the top of the seventh, when Irish third baseman J.J. Brock let a grounder go through his legs. A Brian Bush single to center left runners at the corners before leadoff hitter Mike Cervenak hit a potential double-play ball to the left of the second base bag. Shortstop Todd Frye fielded the ball cleanly but bobbled the short scoop play, with Seestedt tying the game while Bush slid into second on the error and Cervenak pulled in safely in at first.

    Michigan then completed the double steal and Bobby Scales laid down a squeeze bunt. Second baseman Brant Ust covered first base on the play but couldn't hold onto the low throw from McKeown, as Cervenak followed Bush across home plate after the error on McKeown. Alcares moved Scales to third, on a single to center, and both players scored on Derek Besco's double over the head of rightfielder Pat O'Keefe. The Irish then caught a break, as Besco casually ran the bases after apparently thinking he had hit a home run. O'Keefe skipped a throw towards home plate and catcher Amrhein fired to Brock at third, who tagged Besco for the second out of the inning. Besco's twin brother, Bryan, followed with another double over O'Keefe, ending McKeown's night, and righthander Tom O'Hagan induced a groundout to end the error-filled rally.

    Notre Dame scored once in the bottom of the seventh but left the bases loaded. Ust led off with a double to right center before a two-out rally included a slow-rolling single to center by Frye (plating Ust), an infield single by Brock (bringing on Steinbach) and walk by O'Keefe. Brooks then worked to an 0-2 count and fouled off a pitch before grounding out to third base, ending the inning.

    Wagner reached with one out in the eighth, after first baseman Bryan Besco misplayed a popup, but Steinbach struck out Ust and Allen Greene to end the threat.

    Felker reached to lead off the bottom of the ninth, when his grounder took a lucky bounce over Besco's head. Frye then walked (after a full count) and the runners moved up on Brock's groundout. A flyout from O'Keefe allowed Felker to score but Steinbach again forced Brooks to ground out to third, where Cervanek bobbled the ball but was able to make the throw to narrowly nip Brooks.

    The Irish jumped ahead in the second, when Greene singled and motored all the way home on a double down the rightfield line by Felker.

    NOTES: Amrhein's 0-for-4 night represented his first hitless nine-inning game of the season (he had previously gone without a hit in four seven-inning games) ... the Notre Dame pitching staff has allowed just 19 earned runs over the last 70 innings, for a 2.44 team ERA over that eight-game stretch ... on the flip side of that note, 16 of the last 35 opponent runs (over 45%) have been unearned, as a result of 19 Irish errors in the last eight games.

    Box Score

    Michigan 5 (24-17)                                      Univ. of Notre Dame 3 (29-14)
    Name (Pos)            AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A         Name(Pos)         AB  R H RBI  BB SO PO  A
    ------------------------------------------------        ------------------------------------------
    Mike Cervenak 3b......5  1  2  1    0  1  0  5          Pat O'Keefe rf....2  0  0  1    2  0  0  1
    Bobby Scales dh.......4  1  0  1    0  1  0  0          Randall Brooks cf.5  0  1  0    0  0  3  0
    Jason Alcaraz lf......5  1  2  0    0  0  1  0          Mike Amrhein c....4  0  0  0    0  0  5  1
    Derek Besco rf........4  0  2  2    0  0  3  0          Jeff Wagner dh....4  0  0  0    0  1  0  0
    Bryan Besco 1b........2  0  1  0    2  1 10  0          Brant Ust 2b......4  1  1  0    0  1  5  4
    Brian Kalczynski ss...4  0  0  0    0  0  1  2          Allen Greene lf...4  1  1  0    0  1  0  0
    Kirk Beermann 2b......3  0  0  0    1  0  1  1          Jeff Felker 1b....4  1  2  1    0  1 12  1
    Mike Seestedt c.......4  1  1  0    0  1  4  0          Todd Frye ss......2  0  1  1    2  0  0  5
    Brian Bush cf.........4  1  1  0    0  1  7  0          J.J. Brock 3b.....4  0  1  0    0  0  1  2
    Marlon Wright p.......0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1          Chris McKeown p...0  0  0  0    0  0  1  0
    Brian Steinbach p.....0  0  0  0    0  0  0  2          Tom O'Hagan p.....0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
    Totals..............35  5  9  4    3  5 27 11           Totals............33  3  7  3    4  4 27 14
    Score by innings:                      R  H  E
    ----------------------------------------------
    Michigan              000 000 500   -  5  9  1
    Univ. of Notre Dame   010 000 101   -  3  7  4
    ----------------------------------------------
    E - Bryan Besco(1), Todd Frye 2(18), J.J. Brock(19), C. McKeown(3).
    DP - Wolverines 1, Irish 3. LOB - Wolverines 7, Irish 8.
    2B - J. Alcaraz(6), Derek Besco(14), Bryan Besco(20), Brant Ust(10), Jeff
    Felker(3).
    SB - M. Cervenak(5), Brian Bush(6), Pat O'Keefe(5).
    SH - Bobby Scales(3). SF - Pat O'Keefe(1).
    Michigan         IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF    Univ. of Notre Dame   IP   H   R  ER  BB SO  AB BF
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Marlon Wright....6.2   6   2   2   2   2  25  27   Chris McKeown.......  6.2  9   5   0   2  2  29 32
    Brian Steinbach..2.1   1   1   1   2   2   8  11   Tom O'Hagan.........  2.1  0   0   0   1  3   6  7
    Winner - M. Wright 2-1.  Loser - C. McKeown 2-3.  Save - B. Steinbach (1).
    Umpires -
    Start: 7 PM   Time: 2:40   Attendance: 5350

    Play-by-play

    Michigan inning 1
    M. Cervenak singled to center field. Bobby Scales grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; M. Cervenak out on the play. J. Alcaraz reached on an error by ss. Derek Besco singled to right field; J. Alcaraz advanced to second. Bryan Besco walked; Derek Besco advanced to second; J. Alcaraz advanced to third. Kalczynski out at first 1b to p. 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 1
    Pat O'Keefe walked. Rand. Brooks flied out to cf. Pat O'Keefe stole second. Mike Amrhein grounded out to ss. Jeff Wagner flied out to rf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Michigan inning 2
    K. Beermann grounded out to ss. M. Seestedt grounded out to ss. Brian Bush grounded out to 1b unassisted. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 2
    Brant Ust grounded out to p. Allen Greene singled to right field. Jeff Felker doubled down the rf line, RBI; Allen Greene scored. Todd Frye flied out to cf. J.J. Brock grounded out to 3b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Michigan inning 3
    M. Cervenak singled to center field. Bobby Scales flied out to cf. J. Alcaraz hit into double play 1b unassisted; M. Cervenak out on the play. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 3
    Pat O'Keefe flied out to cf. Rand. Brooks lined out to 2b. Mike Amrhein grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Michigan inning 4
    Derek Besco grounded out to 2b. Bryan Besco struck out. Kalczynski popped up to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 4
    Jeff Wagner flied out to rf. Brant Ust flied out to rf. Allen Greene lined out to cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Michigan inning 5
    K. Beermann grounded out to 3b. M. Seestedt singled to center field. Brian Bush struck out. M. Cervenak reached on a fielder's choice; M. Seestedt out at second ss to 2b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 5
    Jeff Felker struck out. Todd Frye walked. J.J. Brock grounded out to 3b; Todd Frye advanced to second. Pat O'Keefe flied out to cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Michigan inning 6
    Bobby Scales popped up to 2b. J. Alcaraz doubled down the lf line. Derek Besco flied out to 1b. Bryan Besco walked. Kalczynski flied out to cf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 6
    Rand. Brooks singled to left center. Mike Amrhein grounded into double play 2b to ss to 1b; Rand. Brooks out on the play. Jeff Wagner struck out looking. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Michigan inning 7
    K. Beermann flied out to cf. M. Seestedt reached on an error by 3b. Brian Bush singled to center field; M. Seestedt advanced to third. M. Cervenak reached on a fielder's choice, RBI; Brian Bush advanced to second on an error by ss; M. Seestedt scored, unearned. M. Cervenak stole second; Brian Bush stole third. Bobby Scales reached on an error by p, SAC, RBI; M. Cervenak advanced to third, scored on an error by p, unearned; Brian Bush scored, unearned. J. Alcaraz singled to right field; Bobby Scales advanced to second advanced to third. Derek Besco doubled to right field, out at third rf to c to 3b, 2 RBI; J. Alcaraz scored, unearned; Bobby Scales scored, unearned. Bryan Besco doubled to right field. Tom O'Hagan to p for C. McKeown. Kalczynski grounded out to ss. 5 runs, 4 hits, 3 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 7
    Brant Ust doubled to right center. Allen Greene flied out to lf. Jeff Felker lined out to cf. Todd Frye singled to center field, RBI; Brant Ust scored. J.J. Brock singled to shortstop; Todd Frye advanced to second. B. Steinbach to p for M. Wright. Pat O'Keefe walked; J.J. Brock advanced to second; Todd Frye advanced to third. Rand. Brooks grounded out to 3b. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

    Michigan inning 8
    K. Beermann walked. M. Seestedt struck out. Brian Bush grounded into double play 3b to 2b to 1b; K. Beermann out on the play. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 8
    Mike Amrhein grounded out to p. Jeff Wagner reached on an error by 1b. Brant Ust struck out. Allen Greene struck out. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    Michigan inning 9
    M. Cervenak struck out. Bobby Scales struck out looking. J. Alcaraz grounded out to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 9
    Jeff Felker singled to first base. Todd Frye walked; Jeff Felker advanced to second. J.J. Brock grounded out to p; Todd Frye advanced to second; Jeff Felker advanced to third. Pat O'Keefe flied out to cf, SF, RBI; Jeff Felker scored. Rand. Brooks grounded out to 3b. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

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