April 2, 2003
The Notre Dame offense closed its seven-game homestand with another impressive day while sophomore righthander Martin Vergara logged five solid innings as the 19th-ranked Irish posted their ninth straight win, 13-4 over Valparaiso, in another festive night of action Wednesday at Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (18-6) - which hit .371 as a team during the homestand - again erupted in the second inning, plating five runs for an early 5-1 cushion. The Irish also scored three runs in the second inning of Sunday's win over Georgetown and racked up nine second-inning in Tuesday's win over Detroit - with the opponents failing to score in any of those innings.
Vergara (1-0) scattered four hits and two walks over five innings, allowing just a first-inning run while posting six strikeouts - completing an impressive stretch by the Irish starting pitchers during the seven-game homestand (with a 1.42 combined ERA among the starters in those games).
Freshman DH Steve Andres and sophomore first baseman Matt Edwards both homered for the Irish, ending Notre Dame's homer-less streak at 12 games. The team's 15-hit attack also included triples from junior second baseman Steve Sollmann and freshman centerfielder Craig Cooper, a pair of doubles off the bat of junior catcher Javi Sanchez and a double by sophomore shortstop Matt Macri.
Sollmann hit 3-for-4 for his 15th multi-hit game of the season, with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Cooper also batted 3-for-4 from the nine hole, with three runs scored. Four others - Edwards (2 RBI), Sanchez (2 R), Macri (RBI, 2 R) and Andres (4 RBI, 2 R) - collected two hits each, with freshman third baseman Greg Lopez plating two runs in his first start in the 2-hole (1-for-4).
Homestand Notes: The team's 10 regulars each hit .260 or higher during the seven-game homestand, with nine at .300-plus, eight at .350-plus, six at .380-plus and five at .400-plus ... the top hitters during the homestand included: Sollmann (.533, 16-for-30, 12 R, 8 RBI, 3B, 3 2B, 2 BB, 0 Ks, 6-8 SB), Edwards (.435, 10-for-23, 5 R, 14 RBI, HR, 3 2B, 5 BB), Macri (.417, 10-for-24, 9 R, 4 RBI, 3B, 2B, 4 BB, SAC), Andres (.417, 5-for-12, 4 R, 7 RBI, HR, 3B, 2 BB, 2 HBP), Lopez (.400, 8-for-20, 3 R, 7 RBI, 2B, BB) and Sanchez (.381, 8-for-21, 11 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B, 4 BB) ... the .371 team batting average included a .521 slugging pct., with 18 doubles, six triples and two home runs ... the ND batters totaled more walks (30) than Ks (24) in the seven home games - with noteworthy situational hitting in batting with runners in scoring position (.398) and percentage of leadoff batters reaching base (.463) ... the ND pitchers had a similarly dominating homestand, with a 2.80 staff ERA in the seven games, a .223 opponent batting average (52 hits), 70 Ks and just 24 walks in 61 innings ... the starting pitchers combined for a 1.42 ERA during the homestand.
Valparaiso 1-0-0 0-0-0 2-0-1 - 4 9 0
Notre Dame 0-5-0 2-5-1 0-0-X - 13 15 0
Sean Pieckert (L, 1-3), Kyle Obenauf (5), Kyle Cummings (6), Jordan Smolar (7), Adam Paetznick (8) and Kyle Young (7).