April 13, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Central Michigan scored four runs in the 7th and three in the 9th to pull away from a 3-1 game en route to a 10-4 victory, as the Chippewas became the first non-conference team ever to beat Notre Dame at Eck Stadium in consecutive years.
Notre Dame (17-15) grounded into two costly double plays and left eight men on base while seeing its three-game winning streak come to an end, just one night after pounding out 20 hits in a 14-2 win over Bowling Green.
Central Michigan (19-12) opened the game with a run and led throughout, scoring at least once on each of the five Irish pitchers.
Freshman lefthander Wade Korpi (3-1) suffered the loss despite a season-best eight strikeouts in the first five innings. Korpi allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks in his 86-pitch outing.
Sophomore lefthander Jayson Ruhlman pitched well enough to hold the lead (4 IP, 3 H, R, 4 BB, 2 Ks) before freshman righthander Andy Wingert (1-0) logged the next 4.1 innings to pick up the win (3 H, 3 R, BB, 4 Ks).
CMU - which beat the Irish in the 2004 home opener (4-1) - joined BIG EAST teams Boston College ('99, '00) and Pittsburgh ('02, '03) as the only visitors ever to beat Notre Dame at Eck Stadium in consecutive seasons. The previous non-conference team to beat a homestanding Irish squad in back-to-back seasons was Illinois, in '92 and '93 at downtown Coveleski Stadium.
Junior 3B Troy Moratti (3-for-3) led seven players who combined for 11 CMU hits while freshman third baseman Brett Lilley (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2B) accounted for nearly half of ND's seven hits.
The pivotal top of the 7th saw the visitors score four times on just three hits, plus a sacrifice bunt, a walk, two batters who were hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, and a sacrifice fly.
Notre Dame quickly scored twice in the bottom of the 7th for a 7-3 game. Ross Brezovsky drew a leadoff walk and Greg Lopez was hit by a pitch, with both runners then advancing on a wild pitch. Lilley later delivered a one-out single through the right side (plating his classmate Brezovsky, on an 0-2 pitch) and Matt Edwards added a sacrifice fly for his 45th RBI of the season and 172nd of his career (two shy of 7th place in ND history).
Notre Dame's probable pitching rotation for this weekend's series vs. Connecticut is the same as last weekend vs. BC (in order): sophomore RHP Dan Kapala, junior LHP Tom Thornton and sophomore RHP Jeff Manship.
Central Michigan (19-12) 1-0-0 2-0-0 4-0-3 - 10 11 0
Notre Dame (17-15) 0-1-0 0-0-0 2-0-1 - 4 7 1
Jayson Ruhlman, Andy Wingert (W, 1-0), James Ricchio (9) and Brian Campbell, Tyler Stovall (9).
Wade Korpi (L, 3-1), Scott Bickford (6), Mike Dury (7), Ryan Doherty (7), Tony Langford (9) and Matt Bransfield, Sean Gaston (6).
Triple: J.T. Jones (CMU).
Doubles: Brett Lilley (ND), Bransfield (ND), Jeff LaFavors (CMU).