Irish Blast Western Michigan

The home-opening win by Notre Dame over Cleveland State on Tuesday was a bit mild on the offensive side. The Irish did beat the Vikings 5-3 at Frank Eck Stadium. It was Notre Dame's fifth win in six games and it gave head coach Dave Schrage a victory in his first home opener. On Wednesday, Western Michigan forced the Irish to score a few more runs than five and they delivered.

Notre Dame pounded out 22 hits and had four innings of two runs or more en route to a 17-9 win over Western Michigan. It moves the Irish to 10-9 on the year and it's the first time since the opening game of the season that Notre Dame has been above .500. The 17 runs scored is also the most the Irish have scored this year. They'll play next on Friday against South Florida to kick off a three-game set over the weekend.

Notre Dame took a commanding 5-0 lead after three innings of play. A.J. Pollock homered with one out in the third to make it 2-0 Irish. After Danny Dressman singled and Mike Dury doubled down the left field line, Matt Weglarz singled to plate one run. Dury would score on a sacrifice fly by Ross Brezovsky and Brayden Ashdown's infield hit brought home another to complete the four-run frame.

Irish starter Sam Elam ran into trouble in the fourth. WMU plated three runs on three hits and cut the deficit to 5-3. That would be the last inning for Elam, who lasted four innings while allowing three runs on four hits and four walks.

Notre Dame put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth. The Irish scored eight runs on seven hits to increase the advantage to 13-3. Weglarz, Jeremy Barnes, Ryne Intlekofer, Brett Lilley and Pollock all contributed RBI's. Barnes, Intlekofer and Lilley all drove in two with their hits.

It was a hitter's paradise on Wednesday. Pollock, batting in the second hole, was a tear. The freshman went 5-for-6 on the afternoon with two RBI's and two runs scored. One spot above him in the leadoff role was Lilley, who went 4-for-5 with two RBI's and five runs scored. It's tough to beat any team when the top two hitters go 9-for-11 with four RBI's and seven runs scored.

They weren't the only ones tearing the cover off the ball. Dressman and Weglarz both went 2-for-3 with two runs scored apiece. Intlekofer also added two hits. Pitching-wise, Tony Langford (1-0) got the win out of the bullpen, pitching one scoreless inning.

***This report was helped greatly by the Notre Dame Sports Information Department. Top Stories