South Florida rallied from a 5-2 early deficit and scored 11 runs in a two-inning stretch to help them beat the Irish 13-10 Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The loss sends Notre Dame to 11-10 overall and 1-1 in the Big East. The rubber match between the two teams is set for Sunday. First pitch in South Bend is set for 1:05 PM.
The Irish got off to a red hot start. Notre Dame took a 5-2 lead after two innings of play. In the first, A.J. Pollock's sacrifice fly scored Brett Lilley to tie the game up at 1-all. The Irish took the lead in the second when they plated four runs on three hits. Notre Dame was also helped out by two South Florida errors. It wasn't the prettiest defensive contest. Both teams committed three errors. In the second, Jeremy Barnes, Ryne Intlekofer and Danny Dressman all had RBI hits while Ross Brezovsky scored when he stole home.
Unfortunately for Notre Dame, South Florida exploded in the sixth and seventh innings. The Bulls scored 11 straight runs to turn a three-run deficit into a 13-5 advantage. The Irish had to use five pitchers to get through the stretch. Notre Dame starter Wade Korpi was relieved in the sixth after hitting a batter and allowing a double. The junior left-hander lasted five innings, surrendering four hits and four runs, two of them earned. Joey Williamson (1-2) took the loss for the Irish. Williamson recorded just one out and allowed three runs on two hits.
Notre Dame did try to muster a comeback. In the bottom of the seventh, Brezovsky lined an RBI single to cut the deficit to 13-6. In the eighth, the Irish scored four more runs to make it 13-10 Bulls. Pollock, Dressman and Mike Dury all contributed RBI hits in the frame. In the ninth, Notre Dame had the winning run at the plate but Pollock struck out and Dressman grounded out to second base to end the contest. The Irish swatted 14 hits on the afternoon. Lilley, Pollock, Dury, Brezovsky and Barnes all had two hits for Notre Dame.