Irish Grab Home Opener

Notre Dame came back from two runs down to defeat Ball State 5-4 in the home opener on St. Patrick's Day.

Notre Dame scored twice in the seventh and once in the eighth to snatch a 5-4 victory from Ball State in the Irish's 2009 season opener on St. Patrick's Day at Frank Eck Stadium.

The win was Notre Dame's fourth straight and improves its record to 11-5 while the Cardinals drop to 9-8.

Cameron McConnell legged out an infield single with two outs in the eighth, allowing Jeremy Barnes to come home from third with the go-ahead run.

Closer Steve Mazur struck out two in the ninth after a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt had the tying run in scoring position. Freshman Dustin Ispas struck out five and allowed just four hits, but one of them was a three-run homer to Ball State's Kory Benbow in the sixth.

Freshman Will Hudgins earned his first career victory with 2.1 innings of hitless ball in relief of Ispas.

Golden Tate went 2-for-2 with a triple, two runs and a walk while McConnell and Greg Sherry each went 2-for-4.

Notre Dame will be back in action tonight when the Irish take on Valparaiso at 5:05 at Eck Stadium. Freshman Steve Sabatino will start for Notre Dame.


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