Bats Silent for Irish

SOUTH BEND- David Phelps' strong start, supported by 10 runs of offense, got Notre Dame off to a good start in its weekend series with Georgetown. Head coach Dave Schrage talked after the win about taking advantage of playing at home and continuing the momentum. On Saturday afternoon, the opposite occurred as the Irish struggled to mount any type of offensive attack.

The Hoyas' Michael Gaggioli pitched eight strong innings and a three-run fifth inning was the difference in Georgetown's 6-1 victory over Notre Dame at Frank Eck Stadium. After clawing back to .500 on Friday night, the Irish once again fall below the even mark at 16-17. In conference play, Notre Dame is currently 3-7. Tomorrow is the rubber match between the two teams. The Irish will send out Kyle Weiland to the mound. The sophomore right-hander is 2-0 on the year with a 5.73 ERA. Weiland will face the Jimmy Saris (2-4, 3.27 ERA). On Saturday, the bats were silent and Georgetown pounded out 12 hits en route to the win.

"I'm very disappointed today," Schrage said. "We didn't hit the ball and I felt our approach at the plate was awful. We talked to the team about staying on top of the ball with the wind blowing in. We hit a lot of fly balls today."

The Hoyas (13-22, 3-8 in the Big East) got to Notre Dame starter Wade Korpi (1-5) in the fifth. Georgetown scored three runs in the frame to take a 3-0 lead. Joe Silvestri led off the inning with a ground rule double that bounced over the left field wall. The next batter, Mark McLaughlin, attempted a sacrifice bunt but Irish third baseman A.J. Pollock fielded it instead of letting it bounce foul. Pollock bobbled the ball and all runners were safe. Matt Bouchard plated Silvestri with a RBI single to make it 1-0.

The critical at-bat came three hitters later. The bases were loaded with two outs. Matt Harrigan came through with a two-run double down the right field line. The hot shot skipped past first baseman Mike Dury and Georgetown controlled a 3-0 advantage. That was Korpi's last hitter of the day. The junior left-hander lasted 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. None of the runs were allowed and it pushes the unearned total to 51 for the season.

"I thought Korpi did well at the beginning but he always seems to have that one bad inning," Schrage said. "We tried to set up a lefty-lefty match-up for him. He wasn't able to get the left-hander hitter out (on the two-run double). It's disappointing. He's 1-5. He's coming off a 7-0 season.

"I don't think he believes in his stuff right now. When he goes out there, he's not pitching with a lot of confidence."

Gaggioli (2-3) would not need a lot of offensive support. The junior left-hander was solid on Saturday, pitching eight innings of one-run ball. Gaggioli was not overpowering as he did not strike out a single batter on the day. But the Georgetown starter had few problems navigating the Notre Dame lineup.

The top two hitters for the Irish, Brett Lilley and A.J. Pollock, combined to go 6-for-8, providing base runners for a 3-4-5 combination that went 7-for-10 in Friday's win. But the same could not be said on Saturday. After Lilley and Pollock, the rest of the team collectively went 0-for-22.

"I was really disappointed with our approach," Schrage said. "We hit a lot of fly balls in batting practice. We talked to the team that it wasn't going to be a day to do that. It carried over into the game."

The only damage done was in the sixth inning when Dury lofted a RBI sacrifice fly to score Matt Weglarz, who reached earlier in the frame on an error. That cut the Hoyas lead to 3-1.

Georgetown put the contest out of reach in the eighth. The Hoyas scored three runs to extend the advantage to 6-1. All three runs were scored off of Joey Williamson. Silvestri, McLaughlin and Bouchard all provided RBI hits. Williamson lasted 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories