March 29, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior closer Kyle Weiland picked up his 20th career save, tying the Notre Dame school record, as the Irish salvaged the second game of a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader, 4-3, against Cincinnati Saturday afternoon. The Irish improved to 13-8-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference, while the Bearcats dropped to 11-10 and 3-2.
Weiland (Albuquerque, N.M.) retired the first two Cincinnati batters in the ninth inning before surrendering a two-out hit to Mike Spina. After pinch runner Adam Calez stole second base and Josh Harrison walked, Weiland got pinch hitter Dustin Alvey to ground weakly to first base to end the game.
Notre Dame senior Wade Korpi (Lake Worth, Fla.) picked up his fourth consecutive victory and improved to 4-1. The four straight victories ties his longest such streak as an Irish pitcher. The southpaw scattered eight hits over 6.1 innings of work. Korpi struckout five, walked four and allowed just a pair of earned runs. He worked into the seventh inning for the third straight start and fourth time in his last five outings.
With the Irish clinging to a 4-2, a runner on base and one out in the seventh inning, sophomore Steven Mazur (Round Rock, Texas) relieved Korpi and quickly retired the next two Bearscats to keep the Irish advantage two runs.
Mazur did allow a run in the top of the eighth inning, but struckout the side, including Tony Campana with the tying run in scoring position to set up the save situation for Weiland. Mazur tossed 1.2 innings and yielded an earned run on two hits. He fanned four and did not walk a batter.
The Irish were limited to just six hits in each of the two games of the doubleheader. Sophomore Billy Boockford (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI single. Senior Ross Brezovsky (Naples, Fla.) went 1-for-1 with a run scored, walk and sacrifice fly. Freshman Greg Sherry (Mendam, N.J.) went 1-for-3 with an RBI single.
Notre Dame took advantage of a pair of Cincinnati errors to plate three runs in the bottom of the second inning. After Brezovsky reached with a two-out single, senior Sean Gaston (Brownsburg, Ind.) reached base when Bearcat second baseman Josh Harrison booted a routine ground ball. Boockford followed with a RBI single before freshman Sherry laced a single back up the middle to plate Gaston. Boockford moved to third base and raced home to make it 3-0 when Cincinnati right fielder Cameron Satterwhite misplayed Sherry's base hit.
Cincinnati climbed within a run, 3-2, in the top of the fifth inning thanks to three Korpi walks (the first two Bearcat batters of the inning) and a Jamel Scott RBI single.
Notre Dame added a key insurance run in its half of the sixth inning. Junior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) led off the inning with a double and came around to score on Brezovsky's RBI sacrifice fly.
Michael Hill (2-2) picked up the loss for Cincinnati. The righty went 5.0+ innings and allowed four runs, just one of which was earned, on six hits. He struckout three and walked one. Billy Welsh tossed the final 3.0 innings and did not surrender a hit.
The Irish and Bearcats return to action Sunday afternoon with the third and final game of the series. First-pitch at Frank Eck Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Sophomore Eric Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) will take the mound for Notre Dame.