May 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior C Joe Hudson (Odessa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit H.S.) continued his recent tear at the plate as he collected his second straight three-hit contest, but Notre Dame dropped a 7-4 tilt to in-state foe Valparaiso Wednesday evening at Frank Eck Stadium.
Hudson went 3-for-4 with three singles. He collected his 17th multi-hit game of the season. Hudson went 3-for-4 in last night's victory over Butler. He has recorded three hits in a game on six separate occasions this year.
Notre Dame had its leadoff batter reach base in six of the first seven innings, but only managed two runs (solo tallies in the third and fifth) over that span. In fact, the Irish had a leadoff base runner seven different times and had at least one base runner in every inning, but their struggles with runners in scoring position continued.
Notre Dame went 2-for-9 (.222) in such opportunities. The Irish are now 13-for-56 (.232) with runners in scoring position over the last five games. Notre Dame registered 11 base hits, but went just 3-for-21 (.142) with runners on base.
Conversely, Valparaiso went 7-for-18 (.389).
Notre Dame freshman starting RHP Kyle Rubbianccio (Manalpan, N.J./Manalpan H.S.) (0-1) was charged with the loss. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed four runs on five hits while also walking four.
Valparaiso hurler Will Robinson (3-2) earned his third win after throwing 5.0 innings and giving up six hits, two runs and walking three.
It was a pitchers duel early, but Notre Dame (23-21) was able to scratch across a run first when sophomore 3B Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.) picked-up an RBI single in the third inning, but with the bases still loaded and one out sophomore 1B Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) grounded into an inning-ending twin killing.
Notre Dame has struggled with the bases loaded all year. The Irish are just 19-for-74 (.256) with the sacks packed, while their foes are 17-for-37 (.459).
Valparaiso (23-20) though would break the game open in the fourth when it registered four hits and a walk, all with two outs, to plate four runs.
Jagielo, meanwhile, collected his second RBI of the evening to bring the Irish deficit down to 4-2 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth.
After Notre Dame retired the first Crusader batter in the seventh, which was the seventh straight sat down in order, Valparaiso had five straight batters reach base and were able to plate three runs to stretch its lead to 7-2.
Notre Dame tried to mount a come back in the ninth as the first three batters all singled and were able to score twice with freshman SS Kevin DeFilippis (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) and freshman DH Ryan Bull (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie H.S.) each picking-up an RBI, but the final three batters were all retired in succession to end the threat.
Notre Dame will begin a three-game road trip Friday when it takes on BIG EAST foe Villanova (26-20, 8-10) at 3:45 p.m. at Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. In-game updates will be available on Twitter at @NDBaseball and Facebook at NDBaseball, and fans can listen to all the action locally on 103.1 FM and on the Internet at UND.com.