April 21, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - Notre Dame simply could not muster anything off St. John's southpaw Kevin Kilpatrick as the Red Storm secured a doubleheader sweep with a 4-1 victory from Jack Kaiser Stadium Thursday afternoon. St. John's improved to 21-13 overall and 10-4 in the BIG EAST, while the Irish dropped to 14-20-1 and 5-9.
Kilpatrick, who improved to 3-2 on the season, used a variety of off-speed pitches to keep Notre Dame off-balance for most of the afternoon. He limited the Irish to one earned run on six hits in 7.1 innings of work. Fitzpatrick struck out five and walked one.
Matt Carasiti tossed the final 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to register his third save of the season.
Notre Dame, again, made it interesting in the ninth inning. Freshman 1B Trey Mancini led off the frame with a triple off the right field wall. After fifth-year senior RF Herman Petzold and sophomore PH Ricky Palmer struck out, senior SS Mick Doyle drew a walk to bring the tying runner to the plate in senior C Cameron McConnell. The catcher eventually drew a walk to load the bases and bring the go-ahead run to the plate for the second straight inning, but Carasiti struck out freshman PH Chris Reinhart looking to end the game.
Senior RHP Cole Johnson picked up the loss and dropped to 3-6 on the season. He went 5.0 innings and was charged with four earned runs on eight hits. Johnson struck out five and walked two. Run support continues to be an issue. Notre Dame has scored a grand total of 18 runs over Johnson's last nine starts. The Irish have scored one run or less in four of his 10 starts.
Mancini was the lone Irish player with more than one hit. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Senior DH Ty Adams went 1-for-3 with an RBI single.
Notre Dame finally seemed to figure out Kilpatrick in the eighth inning. Junior CF Alex Robinson laced a one-out double and sophomore 2B Frank DeSico followed with a single to centerfield, but Robinson was unable to advance after failing to read whether or not St. John's centerfielder Jimmy Brennan caught the ball.
Carasiti replaced Kilpatrick and promptly walked senior 3B Greg Sherry on four straight pitches. Freshman LF Eric Jagielo stepped to the plate as the go-ahead run, but Carasiti, who fell behind 2-0, got the freshman to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 twin killing.
St. John's wasted no time in grabbing a first inning lead. Brennan, who had three hits in the opener, singled up the middle to open the frame and moved into scoring position following Matt Wessinger's free pass. Johnson got Joe Panik to fly out, but Jeremy Baltz pulled an RBI double just inside the foul line to make it 1-0. Johnson evaded any further damage, stranding runners at second and third.
Notre Dame answered with a run of its own in the top of the second to tie the game, 1-1. Adams, making his first start since Feb. of 2008, singled in Mancini (who opened the inning with a base hit).
St. John's was gift-wrapped a run in the bottom of the third inning to grab a 2-1 advantage. With two outs and a runner at second base, Johnson got Paul Karmas to pop up to short left field. DeSico appeared to have a beat on the ball, but the wind carried the ball into short right field and it dropped just steps in front of Petzold (the Irish right fielder).
The Red Storm nearly benefitted from another miscommunication in the Notre Dame outfield in the fourth inning. Robert Case hit a routine pop up to short centerfield that somehow evaded both Robinson and DeSico, falling in for a base hit. After Johnson registered back-to-back strikeouts, Case swiped second base and scampered to third base when Hudson's throw, which sailed high of second base, was bobbled in centerfield. Johnson punched out Brennan to end the inning.
St. John's pushed its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning on Karmas' two-run double.
Notre Dame's bullpen continued to pitch well. The trio of junior RHP Will Hudgins, freshman LHP Anthony McIver and freshman RHP Sean Fitzgerald combined to throw 3.0 scoreless innings of relief. The trio allowed one hit. The Irish bullpen has now tossed 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
Notre Dame and St. John's return to action at noon on Saturday at Jack Kaiser Stadium. The game will broadcasted live on WHME Harvest 103.1 FM and will be available online at UND.com. Live stats will also be available on GameTracker.
As always, please visit UND.com regularly for full coverage of all Notre Dame athletics news and events.