Baseball Splits Pair To Start 2009

The Notre Dame baseball team opened up with a win and a loss this weekend in Florida. The Irish lost a game to Ohio State on Friday before picking up a win against Illinois on Saturday. Notre Dame takes on Purdue on Sunday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish baseball team split its first two games of the 2009 season on Friday and Saturday in Florida.

Notre Dame dropped a 2-0 decision to Ohio State in the season-opener on Friday in Dunedin before coming back to grab a 14-7 victory over Illinois in Bradenton on Saturday.

Against the Buckeyes, sophomore Brian Dupra was tagged with the loss despite scattering six hits and allowing just two runs in 6.1 innings of action in his first start with Notre Dame. Dupra struck out two and walked one.

Golden Tate and Billy Boockford had two hits apiece with A.J. Pollock and David Mills accounting for the rest of the Irish offensive attack. The Irish left eight runners on base and came up empty in five at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Matt Grosso and Jeremy Barnes knocked home runs as the Irish got their first win of the season against the Illini. Illinois led 7-5 heading into the seventh inning before Grosso's two-run homer and Barnes' three-run dinger helped the Irish take the lead with an eight-run frame.

Tate came through in the second game as well with three hits and three runs while Mick Doyle had a trio of hits to go with two runs and two RBI. Cameron McConnell added two hits and three RBI for the Irish.

Eric Maust started for the Irish, but did not figure in the decision as he allowed three earned runs on four hits in five innings. Notre Dame's Cole Johnson earned the victory with three innings of one-run ball in relief. Illinois opened the game with three unearned runs in the top of the first inning.

Maust retired 11 of 12 Illinois batters after the first before giving up a three-run triple in the fifth that gave the Illini a 6-3 lead.

Notre Dame will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Purdue in Clearwater.


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