The Irish lost to Texas State 6-0 in San Antonio at Wolff Stadium. It was the last contest of the weekend as Notre Dame starts the season at 1-2 under new head coach Dave Schrage. The Irish will next compete on February 23rd in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The opponents in the three-day stretch are UNC-Wilmington, TCU and Coastal Carolina. After practicing almost exclusively indoors prior to the trip to San Antonio, Notre Dame finally got a chance to get outside and play a game. The results could have been better but the experience was vital.
"It was a great feel to get on the field and play a game," Schrage said. "We needed to get outside and do something after spending so much time indoors. Yesterday was good for us. We had two ballgames but came up on the short end in one off them. Today, we were a little tired. I thought we were too anxious at the plate."
The Irish pounded out 14 hits in the victory over Prairie View A&M. The tide turned against Texas State (8-2). In the 18 innings of play against them, Notre Dame was only able to muster together four hits. The Irish did not record a single hit after the fourth inning. Texas State plated a run in the second inning and that's all they would need to sweep both games from Notre Dame.
Even when they did record a hit, nobody could drive the runner home. In the third inning, sophomore Ryan Connolly nailed a one-out double down the left field line. But freshman Michael Wright fouled out to third base and Brett Lilley grounded out to end the scoring threat. In the fourth, Ross Brezovsky's single sent Jeremy Barnes to second but Barnes was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
Sam Elam (0-1) took the loss. The sophomore left hander pitcher went just 2.2 innings, allowing three runs on two hits while also walking two. Schrage replaced Elam with Brett Graffy after Elam hit a Texas State batter. Graffy allowed two runs in 4.1 innings of work. The positive pitching news was Dan Kapala, who is coming off an injury, pitching two innings of one-run ball. If Kapala can stay healthy, the pitching depth will improve. Schrage's first weekend as head coach is over and he knows it'll take some time to know what type of cards he's been dealt.
"It's going to take a couple of weeks," Schrage said about learning the identity of the team. "You have to know your personnel and become familiar with them. We just have to get out and play some baseball. Our first nine games are challenging and the quality of teams in this stretch is high. We have to keep teaching and stay positive."