In the early game, Chris Niesel (2-1) went the distance throwing seven innings, giving up six hits, two earned runs, nine strikeouts with only one walk. Niesel had pinpoint control and dominated through six innings before giving up two runs in the seventh. In the last 4 games Niesel is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA, striking out 38 while allowing only 3 walks.
On offense, the Irish were led by third baseman Matt Edwards who went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Kris Billmaier added three hits with two RBI. Steve Sollmann went 1-for-4 and added two runs.
Paul Mainieri was greeted with a plaque and a standing ovation after the first game for reaching the milestone of 700 wins. An enthusiastic--and large crowd considering the weather--cheered and applauded as Mainieri humbly accepted the award and made sure his team was included in the picture.
In the second game, the Irish managed 13 runs on 11 hits. Second baseman Steve Sollmann led the Irish with a 4-for-4 effort scoring four times. He added three RBI and stole three bases. Matt Edwards had four RBI (seven total on the day) and Javi Sanchez added three hits with one run.
John Axford (5-0) started the game and pitched six solid innings to get the win. He gave up three hits, two runs, and two earned runs with eight strikeouts. Axford struggled with his control early but dominated the end of his outing striking out the last four batters he faced.
The Irish will finish the three game series tomorrow at 12:05 PM Eastern at Eck Stadium. Irish Eyes will have a weekend recap of all the games up after Sunday's game.