Pitching Duel Goes Irish's Way

On Tuesday, Notre Dame staged a dramatic rally against Toledo. The Irish rallied from a five-run deficit in the fifth inning to eventually win 8-7 on Jeremy Barnes's scamper home on a wild pitch. On Wednesday, Notre Dame hosted in-state rival Purdue. Some more late-game heroics, combined with a fantastic pitching performance, carried the Irish to a victory.

Sam Elam pitched nine shutout innings of one-hit ball and Danny Dressman's single scored Matt Weglarz to give Notre Dame a 1-0 win over the Boilermakers in ten innings at Frank Eck Stadium. The victory is the Irish's sixth in seven games and moves their record to two games over .500 at 19-17. Two straight wins in the team's final at-bat gives Notre Dame a huge momentum boost heading into a home weekend series with West Virginia. The Irish are just 4-7 in conference play and taking care of business at home will help inch their way back to the top.

This was a pitcher's duel of the highest quality. Elam and Purdue starter Matt Bischoff staged one of the best battles a purist could imagine. Elam, a sophomore left-hander, threw nine innings, allowing only one hit. Elam did walk six but also struck out nine. The sophomore took a no-hitter into the eighth inning but Alex Jaffe broke it up with a two-out single. Bischoff's line was similar: nine innings pitched, one hit allowed, seven strikeouts and zero walks. Incredibly, Bischoff took a perfect game into the ninth inning but Barnes ended it with a leadoff single. Neither offense could support the pitchers' brilliant outings.

That is until the tenth inning. Tony Langford (2-0) relieved Elam and allowed the leadoff batter to reach on an error by himself. But Langford atoned for the mistake by retiring the next three batters to set the stage for Notre Dame's bottom of the inning.

Matt Jansen (0-1) relieved Bischoff and retired the first two batters in the tenth. But Weglarz doubled down the left field line to get the ball rolling. Weglarz went to third on a wild pitch as Mike Dury walked. It brought up Dressman to the plate, who drove in the first and decisive run of the contest with a RBI single to left field to give the Irish the victory.

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


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