Notre Dame Rallies For 15-8 Baseball Win

March 9, 2002

ROUND ROCK, Tx. - Kris Billmaier's RBI double in the eighth proved to be the game-winner Saturday and the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish rallied with a 15-8 win against the USC Trojans in second-day action at the 2002 Express College Classic at the Dell Diamond. The Fighting Irish had their leadoff hitter reach base safely in all nine innings.

Notre Dame improved to 5-4 overall while USC dropped to 7-8 in a wild affair. Winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour played havoc all afternoon as USC committed a season-high six errors.

Martin Vergara threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings to record the win for Notre Dame, allowing three hits while walking three and striking out three. Brandon Viloria finished the game with two no-hit innings for his first save of the season.

The Trojans took a 5-2 lead in the third when right fielder Travis McAndrews hit a grand slam to right, his first home run of the season. Notre Dame answered with two in the fourth when center fielder Steve Stanley hit an RBI double and second baseman Steve Sollmann scored on a Brett Bannister wild pitch.

The game took a serious turn in the bottom of the fourth when USC center fielder Brian Barre was credited with a double to left after a collision between Notre Dame shortstop Matt Edwards and left fielder Matt Bok. Edwards suffered a broken right leg as play was suspended for 36 minutes. He was taken to a local hospital and his status is unknown at press time.

USC had an 8-4 lead, but Notre Dame rallied again with three runs in the sixth. With runners at first and second, designated hitter Matt Macri hit a ground ball to USC third baseman Jon Brewster. Brewster's throw to second went into right field, scoring Stanley and moving Javier Sanchez to third. Third baseman Paul O'Toole hit an RBI double, scoring Sanchez and first baseman Ken Meyer hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate O'Toole.

Notre Dame scored two in the eighth and completed the scoring with six runs in the ninth.

The Trojans conclude play in Round Rock tomorrow against Creighton on Sunday (March 10) at 10 a.m. The game will be broadcast live on www.usctrojans.com.

ND       011-203-026 --- 15-14-3USC      014-300-000 --- 8-8-6

WP - Vergara (1-1) LP - Butler (1-1) S - Viloria (1)Niesel, Vergara (4), Viloria (8) and Bushey.Bannister, Campos (5), Butler (7), Wentworth (9) and Concepcion.T - 3:53 ATT - 400

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