Wildcats Drop Series Opener at Notre Dame, 3-1
April 3, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Junior Brian Streilein (Staten Island, N.Y.) recovered from a rocky first inning to pitch a six-hitter on Friday evening but Villanova (14-13, 1-6 Big East) was stymied offensively in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame (17-10, 3-4 Big East) at Frank Eck Stadium.
Streilein (3-4, 5.93 ERA) surrendered back-to-back doubles in the first inning that plated three runs but then allowed just five more batters to reach base the rest of the game. He wound up allowing six hits with three walks and three strikeouts, while the two doubles in the first inning were the only extra-base hits he allowed.
Despite not having anyone reach base until the fourth inning, the Wildcats outhit the Fighting Irish, 7-6. Down 3-0 going to the ninth inning, Villanova loaded the bases with one out but scored just one run as Notre Dame hung on for the win. The Wildcats stranded six runners and hit into three double plays against Fighting Irish starter Cole Johnson (4-0, 2.40 ERA), who also pitched a complete game.
Johnson allowed seven hits, walked a batter and hit a batter while striking out five. He retired the first nine batters to face him before allowing at least one runner on base in each of the final five innings. Senior Wes Borden (State College, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to account for the lone Villanova run.
Senior Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) singled leading off the ninth and with one out classmate Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) walked ahead of a single by senior Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) that loaded the bases. After the sacrifice fly by Borden left runners at first and second with two down, Johnson ended the game with a groundout in the infield.
Cotter and Rosati had two hits apiece for the Wildcats and McFolling reached base twice with a hit and a walk.
Notre Dame got off to a fast start in the bottom of the first inning when Golden Tate singled to lead off the frame. With one out, Streilein walked Pollock and allowed doubles to David Casey and Jeremy Barnes. He came back to strike out Evan Sharpley on a called third strike and induced a groundball to end the inning with no further damage.
This weekend's three-game series was scheduled to continue with games on Saturday and Sunday, but bad weather forecast for Sunday will force a doubleheader Saturday to complete the weekend. The teams will begin play at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and play two nine-inning games. There will be approximately 30 minutes in between games. Lefthander Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.) and righty Chris Pack (Darien, Ill.) pitch on Saturday for Villanova.
NOTES: The time of tonight's game was just 1 hour, 41 minutes ... It was the second time in Streilein's career he has pitched a complete game in under two hours ... Last season he pitched against Western Michigan in Bradenton, Fla., in a game completed in 1 hour, 50 minutes ... Streilein has a 2.20 ERA in his last two starts (16.1 innings pitched, four earned runs) ... The Wildcats are making their first trip to South Bend since 2005 ... That season a three-game series at Frank Eck Stadium also featured a Friday night game followed by a doubleheader, although the 2005 twin-bill did not take place until two days later on Monday, as a late April snowstorm dropped accumulating snow in the area ... The second game of the doubleheader resulted in a 7-7 tie after 10 innings due to Villanova's travel arrangements ... The Wildcats have never won at Frank Eck Stadium.