Irish Split With Hoyas

Inconsistency continues to plague the Notre Dame baseball team as they split a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Irish had defeated Georgetown 24 straight times before falling 9-8 on a 12th-inning homerun in the second game.

Irish pitcher Tom Thornton was back in form in the early game. The junior lefty just missed a complete-game shutout, throwing 6 2/3 strong innings, before giving up a seventh-inning homer with two outs.

The Irish scored six runs on just six hits in the opener, but took advantage of their opportunities when it mattered—something they didn't do in the second game.

The Irish got on the board early in the first inning when Alex Nettey led of the bottom of the first with a single. Nettey was later knocked in when senior Matt Edwards lined an RBI single to left-center, scoring Nettey.

Notre Dame added three more in the bottom of the third, fueled by RBI singles from sophomore Sean Gaston and junior Craig Cooper.

Notre Dame plated another run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Mike Dury chipped in with another RBI.

Thornton cruised for most of the game, scattering six hits, and throwing just 97 pitches (70 for strikes), until the top of the seventh.

Hoya second baseman Parker Brooks took a 1-0 Thornton pitch and lifted it over the leftfield wall, scoring the only two Hoya runs of the game, and ending Thorton's shutout bid.

While Thornton was disappointed he allowed the homer, he was excited to get the win.

"It was a changeup, "said Thornton of the only bad pitch he threw all game. "It cut back across the plate. He got his hands through real quick.

"It's a little disappointing, but we won the game and need to keep it going."

But the Irish couldn't keep it going as they bumbled their way through the second game of the doubleheader.

Notre Dame stranded 23 runners in a 12-inning game, and ended up snapping a 24-game win streak against the Hoyas on a Ryan Craft homer in the top of the 12th.

Notre Dame wasted early homers by Alex Nettey and Matt Edwards, and continued their trend of inconsistent play with errors both in the field and on the mound, and some missed opportunities at the plate.

Notre Dame picked up two runs in the bottom of the first, fueled by a Matt Edwards homer.

Georgetown answered in the top of the third when Hoya Billy Quinn reached on a fielding error up the middle, and Ryan Craft reached on a single. Both players were knocked on an Andrew Clearly homer over the leftfield wall, giving the Hoyas the 3-2 lead.

The Irish answered in the bottom of the fourth, plating three runs, two of which came on junior Alex Nettey's first career homerun, while the Irish regained the 5-3 lead.

Notre Dame added another run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Hoyas came storming back in the top of the sixth.

Georgetown added five more runs on six singles, regaining the lead, 8-6.

The Irish fought back in the bottom of the eighth. One run had already scored when freshman Tony Langford reached on an error. Langford later advanced to second on a bunt single by catcher Sean Gaston. Langford rounded second on the Gaston single, and was caught leaning off the base on the play, recording the second out of the inning.

Junior Greg Lopez later doubled, scoring Gaston, and tying the game. Had Langford not been picked off, he would've been the deciding run and would've scored on the Lopez double.

The Langford mental error was just one of a number of missed opportunities the Irish had to score in extra innings, but the Hoyas finished the job in the 12th on the Craft homer, snapping the winning streak, and taking the second game of the doubleheader, 9-8.

"We were up 6-3 with the bases loaded and Matt Edwards up. One good swing and I though we would blow the game wide open," said Irish coach Paul Mainieri after the loss.

Edwards hit into a double play ending the inning, but that was just one of many missed opportunities for the Irish.

Mainieri did credit Thornton for a fine game, but was very disappointed in his team after the second game.

"Tom set the tone," Mainieri said. "Too bad we couldn't maintain that for the second game."

The Irish will return to Frank Eck Stadium on Saturday for another BIG EAST doubleheader with Seton Hall beginning at 12:05 pm.


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