May 11, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Mike Rodriguez' single sparked a crucial
three-run eighth inning and senior righthander Darin Spassoff overcame a
rocky start to toss seven solid innings, as the No. 2-ranked University
of Miami baseball team rallied for a 5-3 victory over No. 24 Notre Dame,
in the first game of a two-game weekday series Tuesday night at Eck
Miami (36-11) saw the Irish jump out to an early 3-0 lead before
scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh. The Hurricanes-who turned
five timely double plays-then came through with two-out RBI hits from
Rodriguez, Greg Lovelady and Manny Crespo in the decisive eighth inning.
Notre Dame (39-12) pushed across two runs in the first inning
before seeing freshman DH Ken Meyer hit his first career home in the
second. Junior lefthander Tim Kalita had no decision despite seven
strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and four
walks over seven innings, with four strikeouts.
Junior righthander John Corbin (7-2) took the loss, yielding
three runs on four hits and one walk over the final two innings, with
Spassoff (2-0) was touched for three early runs but held the
Irish hitless during the third through sixth innings. Spassoff's
seven-inning, 71-pitch outing included three runs on five hits, one walk
and two hit batters, with two Ks and 11 groundouts.
Miami junior righthander Michael Neu gave up a leadoff single to
Ben Cooke in the eighth but forced Steve Stanley into a double play and
struck out Paul O'Toole swinging. Neu then struck out the side in the
ninth (on 12 pitches) for his 10th save of the season.
Walker opened the eighth with a leadoff walk and moved up on
Brian Seever's sacrifice bunt. Corbin then set down leadoff hitter and
All-American Bobby Hill on a full-count, called strike but Rodriguez
responded with an 0-1 single through the right-center, plating Walker.
Lovelady then brought Rodriguez all the way around with a
first-pitch double that rolled to the fence in left-center and Crespo
capped the big inning with an RBI single past diving third baseman
Notre Dame put two runs on the board in the first inning, after
the first four batters reached base. Stanley executed a bunt single to
the left side, with Spassoff slipping as he tried to field the ball.
O'Toole then laced a first-pitch, opposite-field single through the left
side and Alec Porzel followed with a first-pitch smash of his own. The
shortstop Hill made a diving stop but had no play as Porzel hustled down
the line, loading the bases.
Spassoff then hit Brant Ust with the next pitch and O'Toole
scored the second run when Matt Nussbaum hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Irish stretched to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, when
Meyer pulled a pitch that smacked off the leftfield foul pole.
Miami finally pushed across a run in the sixth, thanks to consecutive
errors from the left side of the Irish infield. Walker sent a leadoff
groundball to the shortstop Ust, who failed to come up with the backhand
stab. Seever then laid a sacrifice bunt down the left side but the third
baseman Bushey threw high to first base. The runners then moved on wild pitch and Hill walked on a full count before Rodriguez hit into a run scoring doubleplay.
The Hurricanes added another run in the seventh, when Crespo
singled through the left side, stole second and scored on Kevin Brown's
single to right field.
Nussbaum's hitting streak ended at 14 games while his strikeout
to end the game was his first K since his previous hitless game.
MIAMI 0-0-0 0-0-1 1-3-0 5 7 2
NOTRE DAME 2-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 3 6 3
Spassoff, Neu (8) and Lovelady. Kalita, Corbin (8) and O'Toole.