March 1, 2008
SANTALUCES, Fla. - Junior All-American candidate David Phelps (Hazelwood, MO) dominated Mount St. Mary's over 7.0 scoreless innings to lead the Irish to a 5-0 victory in college baseball action from the Papa John's Palm Beach Challenge Friday night. Notre Dame improves to 2-2 on the season, while the Mountaineers drop to 0-6.
Phelps, who struggled in his season-opening start last weekend against Liberty, limited Mount St. Mary's to just four hits (two of which were of the infield variety) and no runs over his 7.0 innings of work. He struck out 10 and issued just one walk. Phelps has fanned 10 or more on four different occasions over his career. He allowed just two runners into scoring position and whiffed a pair of batters in each of the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Phelps has now tossed 7.0 or more scoreless innings in four different starts over his career. He evened his record for the year at 1-1 and lowered his earned run average from 11.57 to 4.63.
The Irish took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning following sophomore designated hitter Billy Boockford's RBI double that plated senior catcher Sean Gaston (Brownsburg, IN) who led off the inning with a walk.
Notre Dame pushed its lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning. Freshman Golden Tate (Hendersonville, TN) opened the frame with a double down the right field line and moved to third base when junior first baseman Casey Martin (Chesterton, IN) reached when Mount St. Mary's shortstop Drew Counselman dropped a pop up. After Boockford executed a sacrifice bunt, freshman third baseman Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, IL) drove in Tate with an RBI ground out and senior shortstop Brett Lilley (North Canton, OH) followed with an RBI single.
The three-run cushion was more than enough for Phelps and the rest of the Irish pitching staff. Senior right-handed hurler Tony Langford (Fort Worth, TX) and junior righty Kyle Weiland (Albuquerque, NM) each tossed perfect innings of relief. Langford struckout one and Weiland fanned the side.
Notre Dame's pitching staff struck out 14 on the night. The 14 strikeouts are the most for the Irish since they fanned 14 against USF on May 23, 2006 in the BIG EAST Tournament.
Boockford and Tate each finished the night with two hits apiece. Boockford went 2-for-2 with a RBI and Tate went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Lilley went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI, including a sacrifice fly.
Notre Dame returns to action tomorrow with games against St. Bonaventure (11:30 a.m.) and Boston College (4:00 p.m.) at the Papa John's Palm Beach Challenge in Santaluces, Fla. Both games can heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.