May 15, 2008
TAMPA - USF scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the final two coming on an error from junior Jeremy Barnes to steal the opening game of its BIG EAST series with Notre Dame, 5-4, from Red McEwing Field Thursday night. The Irish drop to 33-17-1 and 16-8, while the Bulls improve to 27-25 and 12-13.
Holding a 4-2 lead, the Irish went to junior closer Kyle Weiland in the bottom of the ninth inning. Weiland quickly retired Jonathan Koscso for the first out of the inning, but Mike Consolamango and Trey Manz followed with doubles to bring the Bulls with a run, 4-3. Both doubles came on 0-2 pitches.
Weiland then plunked the next two USF batters, including Addison Maruszak with two strikes to load the bases with one out. He quickly jumped ahead of Stephen Hunt, 0-2, and nearly struck him out with a backdoor breaking ball, but Hunt took the pitch for a ball and then hit a jam job to Barnes at second base. Barnes fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw sailed over the head of junior Casey Martin at first base into the Irish dugout allowing two runs to score to give the Bulls a 5-4 win.
Michael Anzivino picked up the victory in relief and improved to 1-1 on the season. He retired one batter. Weiland was charged with the loss. He surrendered three runs, only one earned, on two hits in 0.1 innings of work. He dropped to 2-2.
Junior David Phelps was dominant in eight innings of work. He allowed just one earned run on nine hits. He struck out seven and walked just one. Phelps did most of his damage with a devastating breaking ball that resulted in three strikeouts looking. ` The Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Notre Dame, which has had its fair share of errors and unearned runs, took advantage of a two-out USF error to extend the inning. Freshman Greg Sherry singled to right field to put runners on first and second. Senior Brett Lilley followed with an RBI single down the line and sophomore David Mills snapped a 0-for-12 skid with a RBI single back up the middle to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead.
The Bulls answered with an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the second and drew even, 2-2, on Joey Angelberger's team-high eighth home run of the season.
Notre Dame regained a two-run cushion on Sharpley's 12th home run of the year - a two-run shot in the top of the fifth inning. The blast was his 10th of the year to left field. Mills came around to score on the Sharpley blast after leading off the inning with a single.
Phelps found his form after the third inning home run and kept the Bulls off the scoreboard over the final 6.0 innings of the ball game. He limited USF to just five hits over the final six scoreless innings. Phelps only retired the side in order once, but allowed just two Bulls into scoring position.
Mills regained the form that had him threaten the .400 mark. The designated hitter went 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Lilley was the only other Irish player with a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Sharpley went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBI. He also added two walks. It was Sharpley's first two walk game of the season.
The Irish return to action Friday night with the second game of series with USF. First pitch is again slated for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.