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    Irish Baseball Monday Report Card

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior A.J. Pollock
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior A.J. Pollock
    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 30, 2009

    Overall Record: 15-10, 2-4 BIG EAST
    Last Week's Record: 2-3, 1-2 BIG EAST

    Recent Results:
    March 24 - Notre Dame 14, Central Michigan 8 - Notre Dame, Ind.
    March 25 - Oakland 6, Notre Dame 5 - Notre Dame, Ind.
    March 27 - Notre Dame 5, Pittsburgh 4 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
    March 28 - Pittsburgh 15, Notre Dame 7 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
    March 29 - Pittsburgh 14, Notre Dame 11 - Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Upcoming Games:
    March 31, 6:05 p.m. (CT) - Notre Dame vs. Michigan State - Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
    April 1, 5:05 p.m. (CT) - Notre Dame vs. Toledo - Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
    April 3, 5:05 p.m. (CT) - Notre Dame vs. Villanova - Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
    April 4, 1:05 p.m. (CT) - Notre Dame vs. Villanova - Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
    April 5, 1:05 p.m. (CT) - Notre Dame vs. Villanova - Frank Eck Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.

    Star Watch:

    Name	        Avg.   AB   R   H   HR   RBI   TB   SLG%   BB   HBP   OBP   SB-ATT
    A.J. Pollock	.404   99   28  40  4    26    62   .626   11   1     .456  12-16
    Greg Sherry	.388   80   20	31  0    10    35   .438   11   2     .473  0-0
    David Mills	.354   79   19  28  0    15    30   .380   17   0     .459  5-8
    Jeremy Barnes	.348   92   25  32  4    29    58   .630   17   1     .450  4-7
    Golden Tate	.337   92   16  31  0    7     38   .413   8    1     .396  4-4
    

    Name ERA W-L App GS CG SV IP H R-ER BB-SO BAvg. Cole Johnson 2.75 3-0 6 5 1 0 36.0 22 13-11 16-25 .180 Ryan Richter 1.00 2-0 4 0 0 0 9.0 8 3-1 4-6 .229 David Mills 1.04 1-0 6 0 0 0 8.2 6 2-1 3-6 .200 Steve Sabatino 3.77 1-0 3 3 0 0 14.1 9 6-6 12-13 .191

    Player of the Week Nominee:
    A.J. Pollock - Junior - Outfielder - Hebron, Conn.

    Date   Opponent       Score   AB   R   H   RBI   2B   3B   HR   BB   SB-A   AVG
    3.24   Central Mich.  W, 14-8 5    3   4   3     0    0    1    0    2-2    .800
    3.25   Oakland        L, 5-6  5    1   1   1     1    0    0    0    0-0    .500
    3.27   Pittsburgh     W, 5-4  2    2   2   0     1    0    0    2    0-0    .583
    3.28   Pittsburgh     L, 7-15 5    1   2   0     0    0    0    0    0-0    .529
    3.29   Pittsburgh     L, 11-145    2   2   2     0    0    1    1    0-1    .500
           Totals		      22   9   11  6     2    0    2    3    2-3    .500
    

    Junior A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn) is on absolute tear over the last 15 games and last week was no different. The centerfielder batted .500 (11-for-22) with nine runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and six RBI last week. Pollock not only posted slugging percentages and on-base percentages of .864 and .560 over the five games, but he also swiped two bases. Pollock opened the week with a 4-for-5 effort against Central Michigan. He scored three runs, drove in three, stole two bases and belted a home run. Pollock finished the week with four multi-hit games, including each of the three games at Pittsburgh last weekend. Over Notre Dame's last 15 games, Pollock is hitting .448 (26-for-58) with 21 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBI. Pollock continued his errorless defense, recording nine putouts without an error. He has yet to commit an error on 66 fielding chances this season.

    Pitcher of the Week Nominee:
    Cole Johnson - Sophomore - RHP - Hudson, Ohio

    Date   Opponent      Score   GS   IP   H   R-ER   BB-SO   WP   HBP   W-L   SV   ERA
    3.27   Pittsburgh    W, 5-4  *    9.0  7   4-2    2-4     1    2     1-0   0    2.00
           Totals		     1	  9.0  7   4-2    2-4     1    2     1-0   0    2.00
     
    Sophomore Cole Johnson (Hudson, Ohio) allowed just two earned runs in his first career complete game victory to lead the Irish past Pittsburgh, 5-4, in BIG EAST baseball action on March 27. He was the first opposing pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game at Trees Field since May 13, 2006. Johnson kept the high powered Pittsburgh attack grounded for much of the afternoon. The Panthers entered the contest hitting .321 as a team and averaging 8.5 runs per game. In fact, Pittsburgh was even more impressive over its first four home games, plating nearly 10 runs a game, but Johnson was in control from the opening pitch. The right-handed hurler, who improved to 3-0 on the season, scattered seven hits, issued just two walks and struck out four. Johnson became the first Notre Dame pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game since David Phelps went the distance against Villanova on May 23, 2007. With Notre Dame holding a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Panthers took advantage of a pair of Irish errors, plated two unearned runs and had the tying run in scoring position, but Johnson escaped the jam with the Irish still clinging to a one run lead, 5-4, and proceeded to retire the final seven Panthers of the game.

    Weekly Recap:
    The Notre Dame baseball team hit a bit of a road block this past week. The Irish split a pair of non-conference games at home against Central Michigan (14-8) and Oakland (5-6) before dropping two of three games at red-hot Pittsburgh. Notre Dame took the opener over the Panthers, 5-4, before dropping the final two games of the series, 15-7 and 14-11. The Irish are now 15-10 overall and 2-4 in the BIG EAST.

    Notre Dame racked up a season-high 20 hits and rallied from a 6-3 deficit to fly past Central Michigan, 14-8, last Tuesday night. The 20 hits were not only a season-high, but tied for the third most in the Dave Schrage era.

    Junior A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) led the offensive barrage for Notre Dame. The centerfielder went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, three RBI and his third home run of the season. Pollock also chipped in two stolen bases. Freshman Ryan Richter (South Bend, Ind.) picked up the victory in relief for the Irish. The southpaw, who improved to 2-0 on the year, tossed 3.0 scoreless innings and limited Central Michigan to just a pair of hits. He struck out four and walked two.

    Sophomore Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.), junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) and sophomore Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.) all registered three hits. Tate stole a base and scored two runs, while Mills scored three runs and drove in one and Sherry scored a run and drove in three.

    Oakland used D.J. Jarrad's go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to secure a 6-5 victory over Notre Dame last Wednesday night.

    After Notre Dame tied the game, 5-5, with a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, Oakland regained the lead, 6-5, in the top of the eighth inning off freshman Joe Spano (Verona, N.J.). Brett Geschke drew a one-out walk, Notre Dame's eighth as a pitching staff. Tim Ryan then pinch ran for Geschke. Spano rebounded with a huge strikeout of Justin Wilson before being removed for junior closer Steve Mazur (Round Rock, Texas).

    Tim Ryan promptly stole second and third base before coasting home on Jarrad's two-out RBI single.

    The Irish did mount threats in the eighth and ninth inning. Sophomore Matt Scioscia (Westlake Village, Calif.) opened the eighth with a single. Senior Ryan Connolly (Binghamton, N.Y.) pinch ran for Scioscia. Freshman Tommy Chase (Cohasset, Mass.) followed with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to move Connolly into scoring position.

    Junior Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.) was called to pinch hit for freshman Alex Robinson (Dallas, Texas), but Ashdown was pulled for senior Evan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) after the Grizzlies pulled Andrew Estes for Matt LaMothe.

    Connolly was then gunned down trying to steal third base on his own. Sharpley eventually walked, but LaMothe struck out Mills to end the inning.

    Junior Matt Grosso (Hebron, Conn.) drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, but was retired when senior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) grounded into a fielder's choice. LaMothe fanned sophomore David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) to end the game and register his first career save (LaMothe serves as the Oakland Saturday starter).

    Estes picked up the win and improved to 2-0. He allowed a hit and no earned runs in 0.2 innings of work.

    Spano (0-1) was credited with the loss. The southpaw allowed three runs, only two earned, on two hits in 3.2 innings. He fanned a pair, but also walked three.

    Grosso and Casey were the only two Irish players with more than one hit. They both went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Grosso added an RBI.

    Notre Dame sophomore Cole Johnson (Hudson, Ohio) allowed just two earned runs in his first career complete game victory to lead the Irish past Pittsburgh, 5-4, Friday afternoon.

    As good as Johnson was on the day, it took a spectacular defensive play from Tate to secure the complete game. Pittsburgh entered the bottom of the ninth trailing, 5-4, and was down to its final out when Joe Leonard stepped to the plate. The third baseman appeared as if he might have just hit a game tying solo home run or double off the short leftfield wall (290-feet), but Tate leapt and snagged the fly ball up against the wall to end the game.

    Johnson kept the high powered Pittsburgh attack grounded for much of the afternoon. The Panthers entered the contest hitting .321 as a team and averaging 8.5 runs per game. In fact, Pittsburgh was even more impressive over its first four home games, plating nearly 10 runs a game, but Johnson was in control from the opening pitch.

    The right-handed hurler, who improved to 3-0 on the season, scattered seven hits, issued just two walks and struck out four. Johnson became the first Notre Dame pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game since David Phelps went the distance against Villanova on May 23, 2007.

    With Notre Dame holding a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Panthers took advantage of a pair of Irish errors, plated two unearned runs and had the tying run in scoring position, but Johnson escaped the jam with the Irish still clinging to a one run lead, 5-4, and proceeded to retire the final seven Panthers of the game.

    Tate, Pollock, Barnes and junior Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.) all had two hits for Notre Dame. Tate went 2-for-5, while Pollock went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and two RBI. Barnes went 2-for-4 with a run scored, RBI and stolen base. Martin went 2-for-3 with a run scored, two RBI and first home run of the season - a solo shot that gave the Irish an early 2-0 lead.

    Pittsburgh used three-run home runs from Joe Leonard and Nathan Hood to knock off Notre Dame, 15-7, in BIG EAST baseball action from Trees Field Saturday afternoon.

    Notre Dame scored one run in the second, three in the fourth and one in the seventh, but as was the case all afternoon Pittsburgh answered with two in the second, four in the fourth and four in the seventh. In fact, the Panthers outscored the Irish 10-1 after the top of the fourth inning before Notre Dame plated a pair in the ninth.

    Notre Dame rookie left-handed hurler Dustin Ispas (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) struggled in his first career BIG EAST start. The southpaw was roughed up for five runs, all earned, on six hits in 2.1 innings of work. Ispas struck out two and walked two. Fellow freshman Will Hudgins (Richmond, Va.) also struggled on the mound. The righty was tagged for four earned runs on three hits in 2.2 innings. Mazur did not fare much better. He was knocked around for six runs, four earned, on four hits in 4.0 innings of work.

    Junior Billy Boockford (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), a two-way player in high school, made his Irish debut on the mound and retired the Panthers 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning.

    Sherry paced the Notre Dame attack. The third baseman went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Casey, sophomore Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.) and Pollock each added two hits apiece. Scioscia added a pinch-hit two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning.

    Notre Dame scored runs in seven of the nine innings and drilled four home runs, but it was not enough to overcome Pittsburgh's seven-run third and four-run fifth as the Panthers held off the Irish, 14-11, Sunday afternoon.

    The Irish did not go quietly in the top of the ninth inning. Martin walked and Sherry followed with a double, his third hit of the afternoon. Sophomore Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) then belted his first career home run - a three run shot off Pitt reliever Joe Leonard to cut the Panthers lead to 14-11.

    Junior Ryne Intlekofer (Moorpark, Calif.) then walked. After Grosso struck out, Mills singled to bring the tying run to the plate in Pollock, but the centerfielder popped out for the second out of the inning. Scioscia then absolutely hammered a 1-0 offering from Leonard that appeared headed to left field for an RBI single that would have brought Notre Dame within two runs, 14-12, but Pittsburgh shortstop Danny Lopez leapt and snagged the liner to end the game.

    Intlekofer and Sherry each had three hits for the Irish. Sherry went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two doubles. Intlekofer went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, including his first career home run - a solo shot that gave the Irish a 3-2 lead in the top of the second inning.

    Mills, Pollock, Barnes and Tate also chipped in with two hits apiece. Pollock went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, including a two-run bomb that gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Barnes added a solo home run, while McConnell drove in four.

    Notre Dame returns to action this week with a pair of non-conference games against Michigan State on Tuesday (6:05 p.m.) and Toledo on Wednesday (5:05 p.m.) at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish will then host Villanova for a weekend BIG EAST series.

    -- ND --
     

     

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