Irish Pound Cleveland State for Two-game Sweep

The Notre Dame baseball team completed a two-game sweep over Cleveland State with a 13-3 victory over the Vikings on Saturday. Five Irish pitchers combined for the win, and freshman Ross Brezovsky had a career day to pace the Irish at the plate.

Sophomore Dan Kapala (4-1) took the mound for Notre Dame on Saturday and cruised in his five innings to pick up the win. Kapala allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits, while walking none to secure his fourth win of the season.

Kapala gave way to the bullpen in the sixth and Jeff Manship, Wade Korpi, Jess Stewart and Tony Langford each threw one impressive inning a piece to close out the game on the mound.

The Irish picked up a run in the first fueled by a Craig Cooper RBI fielder's choice grounder to give the Irish the early 1-0 lead.

Cleveland State battled back in the top of the third to tie the game on a Steve Chinn RBI triple.

But Cooper picked up two more RBI in the bottom of the third, this time with a single to regain the lead, and he later scored on a wild pitch to give the Irish the 4-1lead.

The Vikings plated another run in the top of the fourth to narrow the lead to 4-2, but the Irish answered for two more runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Irish broke the game open in the deciding fifth inning.

Catcher Steve Andres replaced Sean Gaston in the fifth and delivered with a two-run double down the right field line.

Freshman Ross Brezovky then cleared the bases on a three-run blast over the right field wall to increase Notre Dame's lead to 11-2.

Notre Dame picked up two more runs in the seventh and the eighth to total 13 runs on the day while pounding out 14 hits.

Brezovsky had a career day going 4-for-4 at the plate with his first homer of his career. Brezovsky also chipped in two RBI doubles, five RBI total, and also scored two runs on the day.

The Irish were also led by Alex Nettey (2-for-3, RBI), Matt Edwards (2-for-3, R), Craig Cooper (1-for-4, 3 RBI) and Steve Andres (1-for-2, 3 R, 2 RBI) at the plate.

Irish skipper Paul Mainieri seemed very pleased with his team after they struggled to defeat Cleveland State in a 13 inning game in the first game of the series on Friday night.

"I think our team is getting better," Mainieri said. "We're not a perfect team, but there's no teams out there that are perfect. I feel very good about where our team is. What are we, 13-1-1 in the second half of the season?

"We've got 13 ballgames left, and I feel good about where our team is. We know who we can count on in what roles, not only on the pitching mound, but in our lineup. It will be interesting to see what happens down the stretch."

The Irish have the week off for finals and then head to New York on Friday to face Big East leaders, St. Johns, in a three-game series over the weekend.

Mainieri said staying focused this week during finals week will be a huge hurdle for the Irish to clear before they leave for the important weekend series.

"You've got the biggest series of the year coming up, it's not even just the mental focus, but the physical part of it," Mainieri said. "We've had to work out an individual practice schedule for every player on the team around their exam schedule.

"We won't have the entire team together, not one time, before we head on the bus for Chicago next weekend to fly to New York. You're playing for, not all the marbles, but it's a huge series, and it might be the tell-tale of who wins the regular season title. That's a great challenge that we're faced with. We're just going to have to figure out a way to do it." Top Stories