Irish Win Another Close One, 6-4 at Purdue
Greene's Pinch-Hit Double Highlights Big Day for Bottom of Irish Batting Order
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior lefthander Wally Widelski worked
into and out of trouble over seven innings while sophomore Allen Greene
came off the bench to deliver a game-winning double in the top of the
eighth as Notre Dame won for the 15th time in its last 17 games, 6-4, in
non-conference baseball action Tuesday at Lambert Field.
Notre Dame (24-13) jumped ahead with four runs in the second before Purdue
(14-20) tied the game with an unearned run in the third and three runs in
the sixth (one of which was unearned).
Widelski (1-0) scattered six hits and four walks over seven innings,
while allowing four runs (two earned) and striking out three Purdue
batters. Senior Mike Balicki picked up his first save of the season, after
setting down the side in the eighth and ninth (with two K's).
Senior righthander Jeremy Buck took the loss, after surrendering a one-out
single to senior DH Mike Amrhein and a walk to sophomore catcher Jeff
Wagner in the eighth.
Notre Dame's usually potent #2 through #4 hitters (senior centerfielder
Randall Brooks, Amrhein and Wagner) combined to go just 2-for-12 vs. the Boi
lermakers while the #6-#9 spots produced five of the team's six RBI.
Sophomore shortstop Paul Turco--who opened the season as the Irish starter
befor enduring an early slump--returned to his starting position for just
the second time in 17 games, after junior Todd Frye was hit in the mouth on
a bad-hop ball during pregame infield practice (the injury required
stitches at a nearby hospital, with Frye's status to be updated on
Wednesday). Turco responded to his opportunity in the #8 spot, going
1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI and run scored.
Greene, Notre Dame's usual leftfielder, did not start Tuesday's game after
going 0-for-10 earlier in the week in the Rutgers series. But the
switch-hitter came through in the eighth, stepping in at the plate for
starting leftfielder Dan Leatherman (a lefthanded hitter) after the hosts
had replaced Buck with junior lefthander Brian Joros. With Amrhein on
second base and Wagner on first, Greene liftted the first pitch he saw from
Joros down the rightfield line, plating Amrhein on a two-out,
The Irish added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, after a leadoff
single by senior third baseman J.J. Brock, a sacrifice bunt by senior
rightfielder Pat O'Keefe and a run-scoring, line-drive double down the
rightfield line by Brooks.(to virtually the same spot Greene placed his
clutch hit an inning earlier). Brooks followed moments later with a diving
catch on a leadoff flyout by Mike Rothstein, with Brooks running forward
and diving to his right as the ball tailed away in the crosswind.
Notre Dame struck for four runs in the second, with freshman second
baseman Brant Ust igniting five straight Irish hits on a one-out single
through the left side. Leatherman (batting in the #6 spot) kept things
going with a single to center and freshman first baseman Jeff Felker
stroked an RBI single into right-center before Turco pulled a single down
the leftfield line for a 2-0 lead. Brock then capped the flurry with a
two-run double into the leftfield corner.
Purdue scored an unearned run in the third, after Widelski threw the ball
away trying to start a 1-6-3 double play. The Boilers then pushed across
three runs in the sixth. Bill Bennett drew a leadoff walk and Anthony
Greico singled to left field before a sacrifice bunt by Rod Metzler and
another walk, by Robb Ramacher, loaded the bases with one out. Widelski
came through with his breaking ball, striking out Rothstein, but Ryan Cole
then drilled a shot into right field, with O'Keefe's bobble allowing
Ramacher to score the unearned, game-tying run all the way from first.
Wagner went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 15 games,
while Amrhein saw his season batting average drop to .444 after a 1-for-5
day (Amrhein now has hits in 34 of 37 games this season). Ust's 2-for-4 day
pushed his season batting average to .386.