After a successful fall season in which the team went 4-1-1, the Irish were back in action this weekend (March 3rd and 4th). Due to inclement weather in South Bend, the team took their talents southeast, to Bishop Chatard High School where they hosted Indiana University for a three game series.
The 9-inning Game One was started on the mound by senior Danny Bicknell, who went 5.1 innings, surrendering 3 runs (1 earned) and striking out 6. This game was back-and-forth early on. The Irish trailed 3-2 when Bicknell was replaced by Andrew Conces (3.2 IP, 6 K, 0 R). The Irish struck in the bottom of the 7th, when freshman shortstop Jack Molumphy knocked in the tying run on a fielder’s choice and Zach Phillips scored the eventual game winning run on a wild pitch. Conces kept Indiana’s bats silent for the remainder of the game to pick up the W, by a score of 4-3.
In Game Two, the Irish took a 1-0 lead when Molumphy scored when Mike Massaro grounded into a fielder’s choice. Starting pitcher Dom Nunag (4 IP, 6 K, 2 ER) surrendered the lead back to Indiana in the 4th inning, 2-1. Senior Andrew Skomra gave the Irish two-thirds of an inning in relief before turning it over to Tim Eiden (2.1 IP, 3 K, 0 H, 0 R). The Irish went into the bottom of the 5th trailing 4-1, when they regained the lead 5-4. Phillips drove in the tying and go-ahead runs on a single to left field. From here, Eiden shut the door and the Irish hung on to win 5-4.
Sophomore transfer Sean Hager took the mound for the Irish in Game Three. He surrendered no runs and no hits over four innings, striking out six, but a high pitch count forced him to exit this game. Hager combined with freshman Kyle Cockrell (3 IP, 4 K) to shutout the Hoosiers in this one. Jens Rataczak knocked in the decisive run in the first inning of this contest, when he singled up the middle to score Joe Corcoran. The Irish blew this one open in the third inning, scoring five runs off of RBIs from Jamie Abrams, Tony Kestel, Joe Corcoran, and Andrew Rockamann. The Irish finished this series off with a 6-0 exclamation point victory.
With the series sweep of Indiana, the Irish improve to 7-1-1 on the year and 3-0 in the Great Lakes South Conference. Spring Break is next week, and then the Irish will be back in action at home against Purdue on March 24/25. Stay tuned!