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    Albany Upends Irish Baseball, 12-4

    FIGHTING IRISH Senior Ross Brezovsky.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Senior Ross Brezovsky.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 24, 2008

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    CLEARWATER, Fla. - Albany pounded out 15 hits en route to a 12-4 victory over Notre Dame in final day action from the Winning Inning Clearwater Classic Sunday afternoon. The Irish drop to 1-2 on the season, while the Great Danes improve to 1-2.

    Freshman Brian Dupra (0-1) picked up the loss and was charged with eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits over 3.0+ innings in his collegiate debut. The right-handed hurler walked three and surrendered a pair of home runs.

    Dave Noble (1-0) earned the victory in relief for Albany. The southpaw tossed 2.0 scoreless innings. Noble surrendered one hit and issued three walks.

    Senior Ross Brezovsky and freshman Golden Tate provided most of the offense for the Irish on the afternoon. Brezovsky went 3-for-4 with three singles, a walk and run scored. Tate went 3-for-4 with a RBI double and stolen base.

    Freshmen Ryan Sharpley and Evan Danieli each made their respective collegiate debuts out of the Irish bullpen.

    Danieli, who replaced Dupra with no outs in the top of the fourth, kept Albany at bay for the middle innings. The right-handed hurler worked three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the seventh. He issued a leadoff walk and after a sacrifice bunt Albany plated a run on a scoring single. Danieli would hit the next batter before being removed.

    Danieli tossed 3.1 innings of relief and was charged with three earned runs on three hits (two of the runs scored after he left the game.) He walked three and struck out three.

    Sharpley pitched 2.0 scoreless innings and allowed just an infield single. He fanned three and faced the minimum six batters.

    Freshmen Greg Sherry and Cameron McConnell also made their respective Irish debuts. Sherry picked up a single in his first career at-bat.

    Albany grabbed an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run. Brendan Rowland reached base to open the game on senior Brett Lilley's error at shortstop. After a walk, Dupra induced a double play, but Mike Konstanty followed with a RBI double.

    Notre Dame quickly answered with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. Josh Willimott retired the first two Irish batters of the inning, but Brezovsky followed with a single and reached second on a throwing error. Junior Jeremy Barnes and senior Sean Gaston each followed with RBI singles.

    Dupra was unable to hold the lead as the Great Danes exploded for five runs in the second and two more in the fourth inning. He worked into the fourth inning, but was removed following Ryan Gugel's two-run home run that pushed the Albany lead to 8-2.

    Notre Dame missed a great chance to really climb back into the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore Billy Boockford hammered a one-out double to center field and junior Evan Sharpley followed with an opposite field single to put runners at the corners with one out. Tate then ripped a double into the right field corner to bring the Irish within, 8-3. Lilley walked to load the bases for sophomore A.J. Pollock, but the right fielder grounded into an inning-ending fielder's choice as Sharpley was forced out at home.

    The Irish watched another opportunity slip by in the fifth. After Brezovsky singled for the third straight at-bat and Barnes walked to put two runners on with no outs, Gaston and Boockford each flew out before Sharpley grounded out to end the threat.

    The Great Danes would eventually plate four runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

    Notre Dame returns to action next weekend at the Papa John's Classic in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Irish will open tournament action against Mount St. Mary's on March 1. First-pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

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