April 6, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore Brian Dupra was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The right-handed hurler tossed a three-hit shutout with no walks and a career-high tying six strikeouts to lead the Irish past Villanova, 4-0, in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium.
Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) also became the first Notre Dame pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in over two years. Former All-American David Phelps was the last to accomplish the feat, blanking South Florida 1-0 at Eck Stadium on March 23, 2007.
Dupra, now 3-3 on the season, needed just 108 pitches to finish off the Wildcats. The righty retired the first 14 Villanova batters on just 48 pitches before allowing a single with two outs in the fifth inning. Dupra proceeded to retire the next five before allowing a double in the seventh (which was the furthest any Villanova hitter reached on base the entire afternoon). He did surrender another double in the ninth, but that was it for the Wildcats.
Dupra was so dominant that he worked with a three-ball count just twice the entire afternoon and the first did not come until the fifth inning. He faced just four over the minimum on the afternoon (he also plunked one batter). Dupra's complete game effort without a walk was the first for an Irish pitcher since Tom Thorton's complete game no free pass outing against Southern Illinois on March 18, 2006.
Notre Dame returns to action on Tuesday night with the second annual Battle of the Bend exhibition against the South Bend Silverhawks - Single A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch at Coveleski Stadium is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.