Three-Run Sixth Lifts Notre Dame to 6-3 Win Over YSU

Josh North (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Josh North (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Cary, N.C. – Notre Dame reliever Michael Hearne held the Youngstown State baseball team to one hit in 7.1 innings, and the Fighting Irish scored three runs in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie in a 6-3 victory over the Penguins on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

Hearne entered with YSU up 3-1 and the bases full of Penguins with nobody out in the top of the second inning. He struck out Phil Lipari for the first out, and Nick DiNello was thrown out at the plate on Kurt Laver's fly out to right field to end the inning.

Notre Dame tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the second to tie the score at 3-3, and the only other runs of the game came in the Fighting Irish's three-run sixth.

Five different Penguins had hits, and Mike Accardi and Brent Gillespie had RBIs. Forrest Johnson had three hits, including a big two-run single in the sixth.

YSU starter Brendon Shoemake battled through four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks in four innings. Jared Wight pitched a scoreless fifth, but he allowed the first three batters in the sixth to reach and ended up suffering the loss.

Accardi singled to start the game and went to third on Lipari's one-out double. Matt Sullivan drew a walk from Notre Dame starter Ryan Smoyer, and Accardi scored on Gillespie's fielder's choice. Notre Dame tied the score when Kyle Fiala doubled and scored on a two-out error in the bottom of the first.

YSU's Jake Ross led off the second inning with a double, and the Penguins loaded the bases when Shane Willoughby walked and DiNello reached on a fielder's choice. Ross then scored on a throwing error, and Alex Larivee singled to plate Willoughby. That's when Hearne came in to strike out Lipari and get Matt Sullivan to fly into the double play that retired DiNello at the plate.

The Fighting Irish started the second with back-to-back singles, and Zak Kutsulis hit a one-out RBI single to make the score 3-2. Ryan Bull then scored on an error to tie the score, and Shoemake got out of the inning with a strikeout, his third of the frame, with the bases loaded.

Notre Dame stranded two runners in the third and two more in the fourth, and YSU's only hit in the final six innings came on Gillespie's two-out double in the fifth. The Fighting Irish left the bases loaded in the fifth off Wight in the fifth, but they finally came up with run-scoring hits in the sixth. Robert Youngdahl was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and he scored on Blaise Lezynski's RBI double. Wight walked a batter before handing the ball off to Josh North, who issued a sacrifice bunt and got a strikeout. He then surrendered the two-run single to Johnson that accounted for the game's final scoring.

Donnie Hissa relieved Hearne with one-out in the ninth and promptly walked Willoughby and DiNello. However, he got Accardi to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Youngstown State will play at North Carolina State on Sunday at 1 p.m.