Five-run third inning dooms baseball in 8-3 defeat to Notre Dame in Clash at Comerica
A five-run third inning blew open a scoreless game Tuesday night as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish stormed past the Central Michigan baseball team, 8-3 at the Clash at Comerica in Detroit.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Michael Brettell (5-2) got the start for the Chippewas and was pulled after the third inning in which the first six batters reached base. The Fighting Irish (16-20, 7-11 ACC) scored on three RBI-singles and a bases loaded walk to go up 5-0, which dug CMU into a hole it could not recover from.
"(Brettell's) command just wasn't there," said head coach Steve Jaksa. "His ball got up and it happened all of a sudden. His first two innings were good and then all of a sudden he had trouble finding the zone a little bit. When he did the ball was up and they put good swings on it.
"We're going to be OK. We fought hard the whole game."
Central Michigan drops to 19-17 on the season and has lost three of its last five games after winning seven straight. The Chippewas, however, remain in first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division at 8-1.
Brettell finished the day with three strikeouts, three walks and five runs on six hits. Sophomore left-hander Jack Collins came on in the fourth inning and allowed three more runs off a 2 RBI-double and a fly out. Collins pitched three-consecutive scoreless innings following the fourth and was relieved by freshman Zach Kohn in the eighth inning, who finished the game.
Trailing 8-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Chippewas had the bases loaded with no outs and looked to repeat its dramatic, walk off comeback against Michigan State in 2015. However, CMU could only manage two runs off a sacrifice fly from sophomore Dazon Cole and a botched double play by Notre Dame to end the game.
"Dazon hit the ball back to the fence with the bases loaded and if that would have been ten more feet, that would have been nice," Jaksa said. "It didn't happen that way, but I thought he swung the bat really well and I thought some of our guys put some good swings on later in the game, so there were some good things that happened there."
UND starting pitcher Charlie Vorsheck held the MAC-leading Central Michigan offense to two hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings pitched. Vorsheck struck out six Chippewas and only walked one.
Senior Alex Borglin scored off a sacrifice fly from sophomore Daniel Robinson in the fourth inning to get CMU on the scoreboard. Junior Daniel Jipping stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with runners on first and second, but flew out to deep left field to end the inning.
The Chippewas were out-hit 10-6 on the night and left seven runners on base.
"I don't think we were all ready to play," Borglin said. "I think we might take it a little easier since it's non conference and it doesn't mean as much, but me, especially as an older guy, needs to tell the younger guys that it does mean a lot and every game matters. We'll be ready to go next week."
Central Michigan had faced MSU in all previous Clash at Comerica games and won two of the last three in dramatic fashion.
The Chippewas head to Bowling Green, Ohio Friday for the first of a three-game series with the Falcons. First pitch is at 3 p.m. CMU plays six of its next seven games on the road.