Baseball: WVU Dominates Notre Dame
By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Two three-run home runs by Jedd Gyorko and Justin Parks helped power the West Virginia University baseball team to a 19-3 victory over Notre Dame on Friday evening at Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
The Mountaineers (28-7, 11-2) scored 13 of their runs with two outs. Entering the contest, WVU was batting .273 in two-out situations, but continuously did most of its damage with an array of extra base hits to break open the game during the middle innings.
WVU’s 19-3 victory gives Notre Dame its worst home loss since playing at Frank Eck Stadium in 1994. Every WVU player reached base in the contest, highlighted by Tobias Streich’s 4-for-6 performance with three doubles and three RBIs.
"Our entire team played extremely well tonight," Coach Greg Van Zant said. "Right now we feel fortunate to get a big win like this in the first game of the series."
Gyorko posted a season-high five RBIs and added two hits, while Dan DiBartolomeo added three hits and an RBI. Parks went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and designated hitter Colin Durborow went 2-for-4 with one RBI to cap WVU’s multi-hit performers.
The Mountaineers tallied nine extra-base hits throughout the contest, and posted 15 hits altogether. They scored a plethora of runs in different innings, notching six runs in the seventh, four runs in the fourth and fifth frames and three runs in the first.
Starter Jarryd Summers (6-1) won his third consecutive start after tossing seven innings and giving up two earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. The sophomore from Sharpsville, Pa., mixed up his pitches well and avoided any momentum-killing at-bats against the talented Fighting Irish (20-14, 6-7).
"Notre Dame is an outstanding team, Van Zant added. "The next two games will be a challenge for us."
Reliever Andrew Saab threw the final two innings and induced two double plays to provide some effective work out of the bullpen. Saab gave up two hits and no runs against nine batters.
Notre Dame starter Cole Johnson (4-1) took the loss after enduring his worst outing of the season. Johnson gave up 11 earned runs on 10 hits in five innings pitched.
WVU started the game with three runs in the first inning. Parks led off with a single up the middle, then advanced on a passed ball by Notre Dame catcher Cameron McConnell. DiBartolomeo followed with another single up the middle, and Gyorko drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single into center field.
Two batters later, Streich drove a 1-2 pitch into the left center gap for a run-scoring double, making it 2-0. Grant Buckner then grounded out to the right side to bring Gyorko and give WVU a 3-0 advantage.
With two outs in the fourth, Durburow started WVU’s four-run frame with a line drive double to left center. Parks then walked, and DiBartolomeo hit a bloop double in between the shortstop and left fielder to score a run. Gyorko then hit his fourth home run of the year, a three-run shot, on a first-pitch fastball that landed in the bushes in right field to make it 7-1.
Parks hit his ninth home run of the season in the fifth, a three-run blast that sailed over the left field fence with two outs. Streich started the inning with a double down the third base line, and later scored on a wild pitch from Cole Johnson.
Buckner extended his hitting streak to 17 games in the seventh inning on a bunt single down the third base line. The Elkview, W.Va., native holds the second-longest hitting streak by a WVU player in 2009, trailing DiBartolomeo’s 23-game stretch that ended against Ohio on April 1.
The Mountaineers had another big frame in the seventh, scoring six runs to take a commanding 17-3 lead. Vince Belnome highlighted the inning with a two-out, three-run double to right field. Streich followed with an RBI single through the left side to score Belnome.
WVU remains in a tie for first place in the BIG EAST standings after USF defeated Villanova, 6-4, on Friday afternoon at Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
WVU returns with game two against Notre Dame on Saturday, April 18, at Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.