Feb. 15, 1998

Notre Dame Loses at New Orleans, 4-3 in 11, Downs Loyola 5-2; Sunday Rained Out

NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Orleans came back from three deficits while visiting Notre Dame stranded 12 runners--including eight in scoring position--as the Privateers rallied for a 4-3 victory in 11 innings Saturday afternoon at Privateer Park. The Irish bounced back hours later, using a three-run seventh inning to post a 5-2 comeback victory over Loyola (La.) University.

Sunday's scheduled game between Notre Dame and UNO was canceled due to rain. The Irish will attempt to add a game to their schedule later in the season. This marks the second straight season in which the Irish have suffered a rainout during the second week of the season. Last year, Notre Dame's games versus Memphis and Air Force were washed out at the Service Academies Classic in Millington, Tenn.

Notre Dame (2-3) returns to play next weekend for a three-game series at #4-ranked University of Miami (Feb. 20-22).

In Saturday's first game, UNO senior rightfielder Joe Cordo forced extra innings with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth before backup senior catcher Bryan Bruno won the game with a two-out double in his first at-bat of the season.

Junior righthander Jon Watson (1-0)--who also hit a solo shot in the seventh as the Privateers' DH-- picked up the victory after facing four batters in the top of the 11th, with two strikeouts and a walk. Irish freshman righthander Danny Tamayo (0-1) took the loss, allowing two hits and two walks over the final two innings, with one strikeout.

Irish junior righthanded starter Alex Shilliday had no decision, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings, with eight strikeouts. UNO sophomore righthander David Miller worked into the seventh, allowing two runs on eight hits and three walks (with three K's).

Notre Dame struck first in the second inning, following successive singles by freshman leftfielder Alec Porzel, sophomore rightfielder Jeff Felker and sophomore DH Larry Zimont, whose shot up the middle was his first of two RBI during the game. Felker and Zimont were left stranded after senior first baseman Dan Leatherman popped out attempting to bunt, senior shortstop J.J. Brock fouled out to the catcher and senior second baseman Todd Frye grounded into a fielder's choice.

Sophomore third baseman Brant Ust doubled to open the third and took third when junior catcher Jeff Wagner walked on a wild pitch. But junior centerfielder Allen Greene lifted a shallow flyout to left field and Wagner was doubled off first when Porzel popped out to the first baseman.

UNO tied the game in the fourth, when sophomore third baseman Buddy Wilker plated Chris Fishburn with a single to right-center. The Irish went back ahead in the seventh, behind a leadoff double to left by Leatherman, a sacrifice bunt by Brock and a run-scoring infield single from Frye. Watson's two-out blast to left-center re-tied the game in the seventh.

Felker reached on a one-out error by first baseman Frank Torre in the eighth and scored all the way from first when Zimont stroked a double to right-center. But reliever Hunter Gomez--who allowed just an unearned run and three hits over three and two-third innings--set down Leatherman with one of his six strikeouts before inducing Brock into a rally-ending groundout.

Sophomore righthanded Steve Szczepanski pitched the Irish through the eighth but served up Cordo's leadoff blast over the fence in left-center to open the ninth. Aaron Sapp followed with a single, bringing on sophomore Tim Kalita, who forced Watson into a groundout. Tamayo then took the mound and walked Gilbert Lanoix before popping up Mac Harer to force extra innings.

Both teams stranded runners in the 10th while the Irish wasted Leatherman's leadoff walk and stolen base in the 11th, when Watson caught Brock looking at strike three, Frye grounded out and Ust ending the rally with a strikeout.

Tamayo hit Chris Avans with a pitch to open the bottom of the 11th but struck out Sapp and induced Watson into a groundout. But Bruno's double to left field brought Avans home from second, ending the game.

Brock's six at-bats vs. UNO gave him 647 in his career, moving him past former classmate Scott Sollmann (643, 1994-96) into eighth place in the Irish record book.

In the second game, freshman righthander Aaron Heilman (1-0) picked up the victory in relief, allowing just one hit over four shutout innings. Junior righthander Brad Lidge, who left the game with a 2-1 deficit after five innings, struck out eight Loyola batters while allowing four hits.

Senior righthander starter Carl Servat took the loss, pitching into the seventh inning before yielding the game-winning rally.

Ust doubled to open the seventh and scored the tying run moments later after Wagner scorched a single into left-center field. Greene's triple down the right-field line plated Wagner before sophomore Jeff Perconte's second double of the game produced a 4-2 Irish lead. The Irish padded the lead in the eighth, when Ust singled, stole second and scored on Wagner's single to right.

The Wolfpack jumped ahead with two runs in the third, after Danny Suarez hit a two-out single, John Blauncher was hit by a pitch and Brian Olagues smacked a two-run double off the left-field wall.

Greene singled in the fifth and stole second before scoring on a double by Perconte.

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