April 2, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - While the South Bend Silverhawks defeated the University of Notre Dame, 5-3, in the first ever "Battle of the Bend" Wednesday night, the night went far beyond a simple baseball game. A crowd of 2,337 fans at Coveleski Stadium came out to not only watch the two teams, but donate all the proceeds to support Niemann-Pick Type C disease and Cancer research.
The Irish played a total of 33 different players, including nine pitchers. In fact, most of the Notre Dame everyday lineup was out of the game by the fifth inning which gave a number of people an opportunity to play.
Freshman Joe Spizzirri entered the game with a bases loaded, one out jam and promptly got a strikeout and ground out to escape the threat. Senior Justin Gingerich, a transfer from Bethel College, tossed a scoreless inning of relief as did sophomore Andrew Scheid.
Freshman Brian Dupra started for the Irish and struckout each of the first three Silverhawks. He worked 2.0 innings and allowed one earned run on two hits. Dupra eventually struckout four. Freshman Ryan Sharpley tossed the third inning and allowed one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts, including a punch-out of former Irish player, former South Bend mayor and Indiana Governor, and current South Bend Silverhawks' owner Joe Kernan.
Freshmen Evan Danieli and Todd Miller each worked a scoreless inning. Junior Brett Graffy was victimized by a pair of Notre Dame errors in his 0.2 innings (inning was halted on the 30-pitch count). Graffy was charged with two runs, both unearned, on one strikeout and two walks.
As a staff, the Irish limited the Silverhawks to three earned runs on seven hits. They fanned nine, but also walked five.
Offensively, Notre Dame had seven hits. Freshmen Matt Scioscia ripped a two-run double and Cameron McConnell added an RBI double. Sophomore David Mills, junior Jeremy Barnes and freshman David Casey added the other hits. Sophomore Bill Warrender chipped in with a stolen base.
The Irish return to BIG EAST action this weekend with a three-game series against rival Rutgers. First-pitch for Friday night's opener is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Junior David Phelps will take the mound for Notre Dame.