The Irish baseball team ran into some bad luck to start their own tournament this weekend. Bad weather caused the Irish to arrive very late to the Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic with the team not arriving until 1 AM Saturday morning.
The bad luck continued into Saturday afternoon as Chris Niesel struggled for the first time of the year and was forced to leave the game after pitching only three innings. The bad luck also followed the Irish at the plate as the Irish failed to register a hit until the fourth inning.
The Irish were quickly down 5-0 after three innings but kept scratching and fighting for runs. They managed to score three runs in the bottom of the fourth only to allow the Salukis to take a 9-3 lead by giving up four runs in the top of the fifth.
But, Notre Dame refused to quit. They scored two runs in the 6th, three runs in the 8th, and tied the game in the ninth on a Steve Andres double to send the game into extra innings.
The Irish appeared doomed again in the top of the 10th giving up two runs to the Salukis. Notre Dame was down to their final out in the bottom of the 10th when two clutch singles by Matt Edwards and Javi Sanchez loaded the bases for Cody Rizzo. Rizzo took the first pitch into left field tying the game once again on a two-run single.
The Irish were fueled by clutch hits from many on offense including Javi Sanchez who was 4-for-six on the day. Andres, Sanchez, Rizzo, Edwards and Matt Macri all delivered big hits when faced with the final out. The Irish also had some strong pitching by senior Joe Thaman and freshmen Jeff Samardzija who shut down the Salukis long enough for the Irish to make their comeback.
The comeback kids will play another game today against Texas-San Antonio at 1:30 PM. Sophomore Tom Thornton (1-0) will be on the mound for the Irish as Notre Dame tries to improve their record to 8-0 on the season.
For more on the Irish victory click HERE
Notre Dame Sports Information contributed to this story.