Irish Avoid Sweep

After dropping a pair of 4-3 games to Cincinnati, Notre Dame needed to find a way to salvage the series on Saturday. The Irish were in danger of falling to 1-7 in the Big East and four games below .500 on the season. The Bearcats took a 3-2 lead in the second inning and were in position for the sweep. But the Irish responded with an offensive outburst that put the game away.

Notre Dame scored five runs in the third inning and Jeremy Barnes totaled four hits in helping the Irish beat Cincinnati 9-5 on Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame improves to 14-16 on the season and 2-6 in league action. They return home on Tuesday to open up a 12-game home stand. The first opponent is IPFW and first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.

The Irish took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Ryan Smith and Mike Dury both drove home runners. Smith was the main RBI guy on Saturday with three runs batted in. Dury added two himself.

Cincinnati quickly erased the deficit by scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-2 advantage off of Kyle Weiland. Notre Dame's right-handed sophomore usually comes out of the bullpen to close contests out but head coach Dave Schrage selected him to start. Weiland went three innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.

The Irish had an answer of their own which put them on top for the rest of the game. Notre Dame plated five runs in the top of third to take a 7-3 lead. Danny Dressman tied it up with a sacrifice fly to score A.J. Pollock. Barnes delivered a RBI single to score Ross Brezovsky to give Notre Dame the 4-3 advantage. Dury powered a RBI double to tack on another run and Smith came through with RBI sacrifice fly. Michael Wright's RBI single finished the third inning damage as the Irish pounded out seven hits in the frame. Notre Dame never trailed again. Cincinnati's Michael Hill (3-2) took the loss and allowed all seven runs in the second inning. Hill lasted just 1.2 innings.

The Irish got some solid bullpen help to finish out the final six innings. Joey Williamson (2-2) relieved Weiland and got the win, pitching four innings while allowing one unearned run on three hits. Williamson struck out four but also walked four. Jess Stewart took over in the eighth and pitched the final two innings for his first save of the year. Stewart didn't surrender a hit but did walk two while striking out three.

***The Notre Dame Sports Information Department contributed to this report. Top Stories