Irish Suffer Disappointing Loss to Cleveland State

After pulling out a 15-inning win against the Ball State Cardinals on Tuesday, the Irish prepared to host Cleveland State with the intent of adding win number 34 for the season. Unfortunately for the home team, Cleveland State upset the plans by downing Notre Dame 12-5.

The Cleveland State Vikings, 10-20, came to South Bend Wednesday night to play a non-conference game against the eighth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Many of the Irish regulars took the day off on Wednesday and it showed as the Irish suffered through six errors on the night.

The Vikings started fast by scoring six runs in the first inning. Five of the runs were unearned as the result of three early Irish errors.

The Vikings' first batter, Steve Chinn, hit a wind-aided homerun. This was just the beginning of the hitting barrage as the Vikings had a total of 16 hits for the night which included two more homeruns.

In the second inning the Irish closed the gap as Steve Andres hit his sixth homer of the season. This three-run shot cut the lead to three but this would be the closest Notre Dame would get for the rest of the night.

Jess Stewart, 5-1, started for the Irish but only went two-thirds of the inning before being replaced by Mike Dury. Dan Kapala and Rico Bertucci also saw action on the mound tonight.

The Irish did have ten hits on the night, including back-to-back triples by Matt Macri and Matt Bransfield in the fifth inning but they ended up stranding nine runners for the evening.

Usually the Irish are a solid defensive team, but tonight they were guilty of six miscues and two passed balls that resulted a total of eight unearned runs.

Irish Eyes spoke with the classy, but subdued, Coach Mainieri following the loss to Cleveland State. "It wasn't a good night for the Irish, that's for sure," Mainieri said of the loss.

When asked about the emotional and overall effect of the previous night's 15-inning game he stated, "That's the thing about baseball, every day is a new day whether you win or lose, and at the end of the day, you have to turn the page and get ready to play the next day. Obviously we didn't do that for which I take full responsibility. I thought the players would be excited about playing on a nice warm day and a great win last night and a chance to run up a winning streak, but we just didn't play very well tonight."

Regarding the return of the injured Steve Sollmann, Mainieri said, "There is no timeline. We're hoping sometime soon, but we have to wait for the doctor's clearance."

Notre Dame returns to action Thursday night looking for win number 34 as a good Manchester College team travels to Frank Eck Stadium for a 5:00 pm game.


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