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    Fighting Irish

    April 24, 1997

    Irish Top Toledo, 15-9

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Freshman lefthander Mark Lapinskas came through in the clutch with five and two-thirds innings of shutout relief while sophomore catcher Jeff Wagner hit a pair of two-run home runs to ignite a middle-inning comeback, as Notre Dame won a slugfest with visiting Toledo, 15-9, in non-conference baseball action Thursday at Eck Stadium.

    Notre Dame (30-15) improved to 18-2 at home this season but again had to overcome multiple deficits. Toledo (11-26)---which had 17 hits but stranded 12 runners--opened the game with a 5-0 lead and then surged back in front, 9-6, after a four-run top of the fourth. But Wagner's first two-run shot highlighted a four-run sixth for Notre Dame before his second blast (in the seventh) was followed by a solo home run from freshman Brant Ust, pushing the Irish to a 13-9 lead.

    Lapinskas became the latest Notre Dame hurler to come through in recent weeks for the injury-depleted Irish pitching staff, which currently has six different pitchers sidelined due to injury. After logging just six innings previously this season, Lapinskas nearly matched that vs. the Rockets, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out eight Toledo batters.

    The Irish--guilty of 107 errors this season--started Ust at shortstop for the first time this season while sliding junior Todd Frye over to second. Ust, who played shortstop in high school, started the first 16 games of the season at third base before switching with senior J.J. Brock (who had been at second early in the season).

    Eight Irish starters combined for 15 hits, including five players with multiple hits. The #7-#9 hitters continued to pull their weight on a combined 6-for-12 day (plus 6 RBI, 4 runs), with Frye (3-for-4) and senior third baseman J.J. Brock (2-for-4) each collecting three RBI and scoring a run. Senior centerfielder Randall Brooks went 1-for-2 before leaving the game with shin splints.

    Notre Dame ended a rare 32-inning homerless slump, with the team now averaging a home run for every 32 at-bats this season. Wagner recorded his fourth two-home-run game of the season and now has 14 total home runs during the '97 campaign, six shy of Frank Jacobs' Notre Dame record (20 in 1991).

    Toledo jumped on senior lefthander Wally Widelski, scoring four times in the first after collecting six hits. The Rockets tacked on another run in the second before the Irish awoke for six runs in the bottom of the inning.

    Wagner walked to open the bottom of the second and scored all the way from first on Allen Greene's one-out double to left-center. Jeff Felker followed with a single to left and Frye's infield single moved Felker to third while scoring Greene. Brock kept things going with a single to left and leadoff man Pat O'Keefe walked to load the bases before Brooks slapped a two-run single to center. The runners then moved up on a double steal, with O'Keefe scoring on Amrhein's groundout.

    Toledo chased Widelski in the top of the fourth, scoring three times on three hits before adding a fourth run (which was unearned) after Jon Skladanowski doubled off Lapinskas, scoring Mario Wallace (who had singled off Wideslki).

    Amrhein led off the bottom of the fifth vs. freshman righthanded reliever Casey Reader with a single through the left side of the infield before Wagner launched a shot over the leftfield fence. Ust then was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Greene also walked and both players moved up on a flyout from Felker. Frye then sent a first-pitch lineout to right field, with Ust tagging and scoring on the play, before Brock smacked a full-count offering into left field, plating Greene for a 10-9 lead.

    Amrhein also led off the sixth with an infield single and moved up on a wild pitch from junior righthander Zak Hayden, who then watched as the righthanded-hitting Wagner drilled a shot that quickly vanished over the fence in right-center field. Ust jumped on the very next pitch from Hayden, clearing the rightfield fence for his fourth opposite-field home run of the season and ninth overall.

    NOTES: Notre Dame's 15-for-38 night pushed the team's season batting average to .333, just ahead of the Notre Dame record (.332, set in 1989 and '92) ... the Irish team slugging pct. now stands at .522 (ahead of the record .519), including 47 home runs, 26 triples and 92 doubles (the team remains in the running for those records as well, which are 64, 41 and 125, respectively) ... Amrhein entered the night with just four hits in his last 18 bats but responded with a 3-for-5 game, boosting his average to .421 (he entered the day at .416, after being at .478 on April 10) ... Wagner's 2-for-4 night leaves him at .396 while Frye jumped to .344 for the season.

    Box Score

    University of Toledo 9 (11-26)                                      Univ. of Notre Dame 15 (30-15)
    Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A                Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A
    ----------------------------------------------------                ----------------------------------------------------
    Thomas Johns rf...........  6  1  1  0    0  2  2  0                Pat O'Keefe rf/cf.........  4  1  0  0    2  2  2  0
    Ron Warga 2b..............  6  3  5  0    0  0  1  2                Randall Brooks cf.........  2  0  1  2    0  0  1  0
    Jason Bloomer cf..........  6  1  1  1    0  1  2  0                 Justin Scholl rf.......... 3  0  0  0    0  2  1  0
    Bill Bronikowski dh.......  3  2  2  3    2  0  0  0                Mike Amrhein dh...........  5  2  3  1    0  0  0  0
    Greg Cancilla 3b..........  5  1  4  3    0  1  1  2                Jeff Wagner c.............  4  3  2  4    1  0 13  0
    Mario Wallace lf..........  4  1  2  1    0  1  1  0                Brant Ust ss..............  4  2  1  1    0  1  0  5
     Jeremiah Przybylski ph.... 1  0  0  0    0  1  0  0                Allen Greene lf...........  4  3  2  1    1  1  2  0
     JoJo Aulet lf............. 0  0  0  0    0  0  1  0                Jeff Felker 1b............  4  2  1  0    1  1  8  0
    Jason Stuecher ss.........  4  0  1  0    1  1  2  2                Todd Frye 2b..............  4  1  3  3    0  1  0  0
    Jon Skladanowski 1b.......  4  0  1  0    0  2  6  0                J.J. Brock 3b.............  4  1  2  3    0  0  0  0
     Jon Kempf ph.............. 1  0  0  0    0  1  0  0                Wally Widelski p..........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1
    Mike Ernst c..............  4  0  0  0    0  2  8  0                 Mark Lapinskas p.......... 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
     Kraig Enders ph........... 0  0  0  0    1  0  0  0
    Eugenio Melendez p........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
     Casey Reader p............ 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
     Zak Hayden p.............. 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
     Dan Boszor p.............. 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0
    Totals.................... 44  9 17  8    4 12 24  6                Totals.................... 38 15 15 15    5  8 27  6
    
    Score by innings:                      R  H  E
    ----------------------------------------------
    University of Toledo  410 400 000   -  9 17  2
    Univ. of Notre Dame   060 043 02    - 15 15  4
    ----------------------------------------------
    E - Gr. Cancilla(9), Skladanowski(1), Brant Ust(14), Allen Greene(4), Jeff
    Felker(5), W. Widelski(2).
    LOB - Rockts 12, Irish 7.
    2B - Thomas Johns(2), Bronikowski(9), Skladanowski(2), Allen Greene 2(14).
    3B - Gr. Cancilla(1).
    HR - Bronikowski(5), Jeff Wagner 2(14), Brant Ust(9).
    SB - Ron Warga(8), Pat O'Keefe(6), Rand. Brooks(15), Brant Ust(3), Allen
    Greene(4), Todd Frye(4).
    SF - Todd Frye(2), J.J. Brock(4).
    
    University of Toledo   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF               Univ. of Notre Dame    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF
    -----------------------------------------------------               -----------------------------------------------------
    Eugenio Melendez....  2.0   5   6   6   2   0  11  13               Wally Widelski......  3.1  12   9   7   2   4  22  24
    Casey Reader........  2.2   4   4   4   2   4  11  15               Mark Lapinskas......  5.2   5   0   0   2   8  22  24
    Zak Hayden..........  1.1   4   3   3   0   2   8   8           
    Dan Boszor..........  2.0   2   2   0   1   2   8  10
    Winner - M. Lapinskas 1-0.  Loser - E. Melendez 1-2.  Save - None.
    WP - Zak Hayden(2).
    HBP - by Casey Reader (Brant Ust).
    Start: 6 PM   Time: 3:15   Attendance: 70
    

    Play-by-play

    University of Toledo inning 1

    Thomas Johns doubled to left field. Ron Warga singled to shortstop. J. Bloomer singled to left field, RBI; Ron Warga advanced to second; Thomas Johns scored. Bronikowski homered to left field, 3 RBI; J. Bloomer scored; Ron Warga scored. Gr. Cancilla singled to center field. M. Wallace singled to left field; Gr. Cancilla advanced to second. J. Stuecher grounded out to ss; M. Wallace advanced to second; Gr. Cancilla advanced to third. Skladanowski flied out to lf. Mike Ernst grounded out to ss. 4 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 1

    Pat O'Keefe grounded out to 1b unassisted. Rand. Brooks lined out to ss. Mike Amrhein grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 2

    Thomas Johns struck out looking. Ron Warga singled. J. Bloomer grounded out to 1b unassisted; Ron Warga advanced to second on an error by 1b. Bronikowski intentionally walked. Gr. Cancilla singled down the lf line, RBI; Bronikowski advanced to second; Ron Warga scored, unearned. M. Wallace struck out looking. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 2

    Jeff Wagner walked. Brant Ust flied out to rf. Allen Greene doubled to left center, RBI; Jeff Wagner scored. Jeff Felker singled to left field; Allen Greene advanced to third. Todd Frye singled to shortstop, RBI; Jef Felker advanced to third; Allen Greene scored. J.J. Brock singled to let field, RBI; Todd Frye advanced to second; Jeff Felker scored. Pat O'Keefe walked; J.J. Brock advanced to second; Todd Frye advanced to third. Rand. Brooks singled to center field, 2 RBI; Pat O'Keefe advanced to second; J.J. Brock scored; Todd Frye scored. Rand. Brooks stole second; Pat O'Keefe stole third. Mike Amrhein grounded out to 3b, RBI; Pat O'Keefe scored. Jeff Wagner grounded out to 3b. 6 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 3

    J. Stuecher singled to left field. Skladanowski struck out. J. Stuecher advanced to second on an error by ss, failed pickoff attempt. Mike Ernst flied out to cf; J. Stuecher advanced to third. Thomas Johns grounded out to p. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 3

    Casey Reader to p for E. Melendez. Brant Ust struck out looking. Allen Greene doubled to right center. Jeff Felker struck out. Todd Frye struck out. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 4

    Pat O'Keefe to cf. Just. Scholl to rf for Rand. Brooks. Ron Warga singled to center field. Ron Warga advanced to second on a throwing error by p, advanced to third. J. Bloomer struck out looking. Bronikowski walked. Gr. Cancilla tripled to right center, 2 RBI; Bronikowski scored; Ron Warga scored. M. Wallace singled to left center, RBI; Gr. Cancilla scored. M. Lapinskas to p for W. Widelski. J. Stuecher flied out to cf. Skladanowski doubled to left field, advanced to third on an error by lf; M. Wallace advanced to third, scored on an error by lf, unearned. Mike Ernst struck out. 4 runs, 4 hits, 2 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 4

    J.J. Brock lined out to ss. Pat O'Keefe struck out looking. Just. Scholl grounded out to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 5

    Thomas Johns struck out looking. Ron Warga fouled out to c. J. Bloomer grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 5

    Mike Amrhein singled to left field. Jeff Wagner homered, 2 RBI; Mike Amrhein scored. Brant Ust hit by pitch. Brant Ust stole second. Allen Greene walked. Jeff Felker flied out to cf; Allen Greene advanced to second; Brant Ust advanced to third. Todd Frye lined out to rf, SF, RBI; Brant Ust scored. J.J. Brock singled to left field, RBI; Allen Greene scored. Pat O'Keefe walked; J.J. Brock advanced to second. Zak Hayden to p for Casey Reader. Just. Scholl struck out. 4 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 6

    Bronikowski fouled out to 1b. Gr. Cancilla singled to left field. M. Wallace flied out to cf. J. Stuecher walked; Gr. Cancilla advanced to second. Skladanowski struck out. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 6

    Mike Amrhein singled to shortstop. Mike Amrhein advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jeff Wagner homered to right center, 2 RBI; Mike Amrhein scored. Brant Ust homered to right field, RBI. Allen Greene struck out looking. Jeff Felker fouled out to 3b. Todd Frye singled to left field. Todd Frye stole second. J.J. Brock grounded out to 2b. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 7

    Mike Ernst struck out. Thomas Johns grounded out to ss. Ron Warga singled to left field. Ron Warga stole second. J. Bloomer grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 7

    Dan Boszor to p for Zak Hayden. Pat O'Keefe struck out. Just. Scholl struck out. Mike Amrhein singled to third base, advanced to second on an error by 3b. Jeff Wagner flied out to lf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 8

    Bronikowski doubled down the lf line. Gr. Cancilla struck out. J Przybylski pinch hit for M. Wallace. J Przybylski struck out. J. Stuecher struck out. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    Univ. of Notre Dame inning 8

    JoJo Aulet to lf for J Przybylski. Brant Ust flied out to lf. Allen Greene reached on an error by 1b. Allen Greene stole second. Jeff Felker walked. Todd Frye singled to center field, RBI; Jeff Felker advanced to third; Allen Greene scored, unearned. J.J. Brock flied out to cf, SF, RBI; Jeff Felker scored, unearned. Pat O'Keefe reached on a fielder's choice; Todd Frye out at second ss to 2b. 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

    University of Toledo inning 9

    Jon Kempf pinch hit for Skladanowski. Jon Kempf struck out. Kraig Enders pinch hit for Mike Ernst. Kraig Enders walked. Thomas Johns flied out to lf. Ron Warga singled to right field; Kraig Enders advanced to third. Ron Warga advanced to second. J. Bloomer flied out to rf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

    Game Notes: Notre Dame now 18-2 at home this season.
    Ust makes first start at shortstop this season.

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