Junior Sam Elam (Mesquite, Texas) made his first since May 6, 2007 against Seton Hall. In that start against the Pirates, he lasted just 0.2 innings and was charge with four earned runs on no hits. Elam walked three, uncorked two wild pitches, hit a batter and struck out one.
Today, the southpaw allowed just two earned runs on seven hits, three of which never left the infield, in 6.0+ innings of work. Elam fanned a career-high tying nine and walked four. The nine strikeouts were tied for the most in Elam's career (he fanned nine in a nine inning, one hitter against Purdue on April 18, 2007).
The nine punch-outs also tied freshman Steve Sabatino (Lockport, Ill.) for Notre Dame's season-high.
The outing for Elam was his longest since that Purdue appearance.
Notre Dame loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning but failed to score. The Irish entered the game hitting .429 with the bases loaded (15-for-35). Junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) and sophomore Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.) popped out and grounded out to end the threat.
The Irish again loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) ripped a hotshot down the third base line, but Wolverine third baseman John Lorenz made a sparkling diving stop, stepped on third base and gunned down Tate at first for an inning ending double play. Notre Dame is just 2-for-its-last-10 with the bags packed.
Notre Dame had runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but again was unable to plate a run. Senior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) flew out to left field, neither runner advanced, and sophomore David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) grounded into an inning ending double play.
The Irish stranded seven runners, including four in scoring position, over the first five innings of Wednesday's opening game. Notre Dame was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position over the span. In fact, the Irish had 12 at-bats with runners on base and advanced just four times before the two-run sixth inning.
The Irish had the leadoff batter reach first base to open four of the first six innings. Notre Dame again put a pair of runners in scoring position on Mills' bunt single and Doyle's double to open the sixth. Junior Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.) finally came through with a productive out, driving in Mills from third base with a sacrifice fly. Senior Evan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) came through with a clutch, two-out RBI single to tie the game, 2-2.
Notre Dame did plate a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, but still stranded two more runners on base and both were left in scoring position. The Irish stranded 10 in the game, including six in scoring position. Notre Dame went 2-for-10 in the opener with runners in scoring position. The Irish also went 1-for-5 with a runner on third base and less than two outs.