March 7, 2005
ROUND ROCK, Texas -
Texas State opened the game with four runs and used a balanced offensive attack to hold off Notre Dame the rest of the way, as the Bobcats defeated the Irish, 10-5, in final-day action at the Maxwell Auto Group Round Rock Classic.
Notre Dame (4-5) lost a fourth straight game for just the fifth time in the 11-year Paul Mainieri era but the Irish had several chances to get back in the game, with 15 stranded runners included two wasted bases-loaded situations. The Irish left 10 runners on base in their previous game, a 13-5 loss to 15th-ranked Texas A&M.
Texas State (12-5) - which defeated 18th-ranked Nebraska earlier in the tournament - received hits from all nine starters and RBI from six players, paced by a 3-for-6 game, 2-RBI game from senior second baseman Nolan Mast.
The Irish elected to start sophomore righthander Jeff Manship, who saw his first college action after missing all of the 2004 season due to an elbow injury suffered in the summer of '03. Manship was slated to throw just one inning and suffered the loss after allowing the four runs on three hits and two walks.
Notre Dame appeared to get Manship off the hook in the fifth, when sophomore DH Mike Dury sent a ball through the right side of the infield and two runners scampered home for a 4-4 game. But the first-base umpire ruled that the ball had grazed baserunner Craig Cooper, giving Dury first base but forcing Cooper out and holding the runners on the dead-ball situation.
With the bases loaded and the score reverted back to 4-2, righthander Travis Spencer then threw three straight balls but Ross Bresovsky fouled out the next pitch before grounding out to complete the stunning turn of events.
Notre Dame traditionally has fared well during Spring Break games but the Irish have gone just 4-5 in three appearances at the Round Rock Classic ('02, '04 and '05).
Junior centerfielder Craig Cooper
paced an 11-hit Irish attack by batting 3-for-5 with a run scored.
The Irish nearly answered the Bobcats in the bottom of the first, with Brett Lilley drawing a leadoff walk and moving up on a groundout and wild pitch before scoring on a Matt Edwards single. A walk by Cody Rizzo and a fielding error loaded the bases but junior righthander Ryan Bennett induced Mike Dury into a rally-ending groundout.
Texas State (12-5) 4-0-0 0-0-2 4-0-0 - 10 14 3
Notre Dame (4-5) 1-1-0 0-0-0 2-1-0 - 5 11 1
Ryan Bennett (W, 3-1), Travis Spencer (6), Chris Hill (7) and Dawid Bednarek.
Jeff Manship (L, 0-1), Wade Korpi (2), David Gruener (6), Scott Bickford (8) and Sean Gaston.
Triple: Cody Ross (TXST).
Doubles: Cody Rizzo (ND), Nolan Mast (TXST).