Feb. 25, 1998

Notre Dame Baseball Wins Home Opener, 7-5, over Central Michigan

Greene, Porzel Smack Two-Run Shots; Tamayo Impressive in Relief

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior centerfielder Allen Greene and freshman leftfielder Alec Porzel both hit two-run home runs while freshman righthander Danny Tamayo shut the door over the final four-plus innings as the University of Notre Dame emerged with a 7-5 victory over Central Michigan in back-and-forth action Wednesday afternoon at Eck Stadium.

The game was the earliest home opener for Notre Dame since 1990 and served as a makeup game for the Feb. 15 game that was rained out at the University of New Orleans. Tamayo (1-1) picked up the victory in relief of classmate Aaron Heilman., striking out seven CMU batters while allowing just one unearned run and two hits over four and-one-third innings. Heilman was touched for four runs (all earned) on 10 hits over the first four and two-thirds innings, with four strikeouts.

CMU (0-1) outhit the Irish 12-9 but stranded eight baserunners. Senior righthander Sage Jackson took the loss in relief, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk during the fourth through seventh innings.

Both teams held the lead twice during the first six innings, with CMU scoring first in the second inning when Nick Phillips singled, stole second, advanced on a flyout and scored on Matt Keim's single to center.

The Irish surged ahead with three runs in the bottom of the second, after a leadoff single from sophomore DH Larry Zimont, a fielding error by the third baseman Kiem, an RBI groundout by Todd Frye and a two-out, two-run homer to left field by junior centerfielder Allen Greene.

CMU chipped away with a run in the third and two in the fifth. Rick Hollern singled to open the third before scoring on a single to left by Jake Sanborn. Hollern then hit a one-out double in the fifth and scored on Greg Jones' single to left-center. Jones then stole second and moved to third on a groundout before scoring on Sanborn's single to left, for a 4-3 CMU lead.

The Irish reclaimed the lead in the sixth, after a leadoff infield single by Zimont and the first career home run for freshman leftfielder Alec Porzel, a shot over the leftfield fence that gave the Irish a 5-4 lead.

Notre Dame tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth, behind a leadoff double by sophomore third baseman Brant Ust, a run-scoring double by Porzel, a single by Frye and a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Dan Leatherman.

CMU tried to rally in the ninth, taking advantage of a wild pickoff throw by Tamayo. Hollern's one-out double plated pinch-hitter Scott Pieratt but Tamayo caught Jones looking at strike three and included Shaun Gragg into a game-ending groundout.

Zimont remains Notre Dame's top hitter for the season (.407), followed by Ust (.324), senior catcher Jeff Wagner (.300) and Greene, who also homered in Sunday's game at the University of Miami.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (0-1)  0-1-1       0-2-0       0-0-1       --      5   12  1
NOTRE DAME (3-6)        0-3-0       0-0-2       0-2-X       --      7   9   3

Gardner, Jackson (4), Roberts (8) and Gragg. Heilman, Tamayo (5) and Wagner.
WP - Tamayo (1-1). LP - Jackson (0-1).
Home Runs: ND - Greene (2nd inning, one on, 2nd of season), Porzel (6th inning, one on, 1st of season).
Doubles: ND - Ust, Porzel; CMU - Hollern 2, Phillips.

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