March 17, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The luck of the Irish was not on the side of Notre Dame baseball Saturday afternoon. Indiana State benefitted from a bad-hop, two-out single, walk and two-run triple in the top of the 10th inning to help the Sycamores rally past the Irish, 6-4, in third day action from the 2012 Irish Baseball Classic at Wolf Stadium.
Notre Dame dropped to improved to 10-6, while Indiana State captured its 10th consecutive game and improved to 15-4. The Irish have secured a berth into Sunday's championship game. The same two teams will meet one another at 11:00 a.m. CT on Sunday to decide the classic.
After junior 2B Frank DeSico (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius H.S.) delivered a clutch two-strike, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game, 4-4, the Sycamores answered in the top of the 10th inning.
Sophomore RHP Donnie Hissa (Iron River, Wisc./Maple Northwestern H.S.) retired the first two Indiana State batters on just two pitches and got ahead of Sycamore SS Tyler Wampler 0-2. Hissa then induced a routine ground ball right at Irish SS Jason McMurray (West Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling Catholic H.S.), but the ground ball took an awful hop just in front of McMurray and bounced off his chest for an unfortunate single. Wampler promptly stole second and Landon Curry followed with a walk before Koby Kraemer ripped a 0-1 offering deep into the left centerfield gap.
Notre Dame senior CF Alex Robinson (Dallas, Texas/First Baptist Academy) made an incredible effort, ranging all the way from straightaway centerfield, but was unable to make a spectacular catch. He did manage to get a glove on the drive, but the triple plated two and gave Indiana State a 6-4 lead.
Sophomore 1B Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) opened the bottom of the 10th with a single, but Sycamores closer Reggie Hochstedler got junior C Joe Hudson (Odessa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit H.S.), senior DH Tommy Chase (Cohasset, Mass./Boston College H.S.) and freshman PH Alex Carter (Winter Park, Fla./Orangewood Christian H.S.) to end the game.
Tyler Browning (1-0) picked up the victory in relief and Hochstedler registered his second save of the year. Browning allowed one earned run on two hits in 1.0 inning of work.
Hissa (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Irish. He surrendered two earned runs on two hits in 1.2 innings of work. Hissa fanned two and walked one.
Neither starter figured into the decision, but both pitched relatively well. Notre Dame junior RHP Adam Norton (Highland, Ind./Andrean H.S.) allowed four earned runs on 12 hits in 6.1 innings of work. He fanned five and did not walk a batter. Indiana State's Ryan Torgerson allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings. He struck out three without a walk.
After Torgerson retired the first nine Notre Dame batters, freshman LF Ryan Bull (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie H.S.) opened the fourth with a single and moved into scoring position following DeSico's sacrifice bunt. Sophomore 3B Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.) followed with a single and Mancini ripped a sacrifice fly to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
Notre Dame pushed its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hudson and Chase led off the fame with back-to-back singles. After junior RF Charlie Markson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc./Whitefish Bay H.S.) failed to execute a sacrifice bunt and struck out, Robinson followed with a single to left field. Hudson coasted to third base and raced home when Sycamore LF Kyle Burnam mishandled the ball. Two batters later, Bull dropped in a perfectly placed, bloop single just inside the left field line to score Chase.
Norton managed to keep Indiana State scoreless despite a number of scoring threats in the early innings. The Sycamores stranded eight, including five in scoring position, over the first five innings.
Indiana State finally broke through against Norton in the sixth inning. Jon Hedges and Ryan Walterhouse opened with consecutive singles. After Norton got a punch out, Wampler pulled a pitch just inside the third base bag and under Jagielo's glove for an RBI double. Curry followed with a perfectly executed safety squeeze to pull the Sycamores within a run, 3-2.
Notre Dame had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Robinson laid down a tremendous bunt, but was thrown out on a bang-bang play at first base to end the inning.
Indiana State tied the game, 3-3, with one out in the seventh on a towering home run off the bat of Jeremy Lucas. Burnam followed with a double that ended the afternoon for Norton.
Freshman RHP Cristian Torres (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA/Palos Verdes Peninsula H.S.) entered and allowed a base hit before Walterhouse gave Indiana State a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Bull, Mancini, Hudson and Robinson all had two hits apiece for the Irish. Bull went 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Mancini went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. Hudson and Robinson each went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Senior LHP Joe Spano (Verona, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.
Notre Dame returns to action on Sun., Mar. 18 at 11:00 a.m. CT against Indiana State in the 2012 Irish Baseball Classic title game. In-game updates will be available on twitter at @NDBaseball and facebook at NDBaseball while fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the internet at UND.com.