ND's offense explodes in 10-1 win over Jackson

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Notre Dame's Jimmy Obermark, left, forces out Jackson's Michael Mouser at second base during the second inning Wednesday at Notre Dame. (Elizabeth Dodd)

Notre Dame hit a pair of two-run homers as it won the SEMO Conference title.

Notre Dame senior Ryan Bass admitted he has been struggling some at the plate, but he made a bold prediction to his teammates before a home game against Jackson on Wednesday.

"I used to go to Jackson and so I know pretty much the whole team over there," Bass said. "Before the game I was talking and I was like, 'I'm going to hit one out today.'

"Nobody was really taking me seriously. And first pitch I saw, I jumped all over it."

Bass smashed a fastball from Caleb Hosey over the fence in left field in the second inning to give the Bulldogs a lead that they never would relinquish.

Notre Dame teammates congratulate Wesley Glaus on a two-run home run against Jackson during the third inning Wednesday. (Elizabeth Dodd)

The bottom of the Bulldogs lineup really showed its muscle. Bass, the No. 9 hitter, and Wesley Glaus, the No. 8 hitter, each stroked two-run homers. Pitcher Colton Young, meanwhile, remained dominant on the mound as he gave up just one hit over five innings. Notre Dame cruised to a 10-1 victory over rival Jackson to win the SEMO Conference.

"Wesley and Bass could probably both bat three and four on other teams," Young said.

The Bulldogs remained perfect, improving to 16-0, while Jackson dropped to 8-10.

"They hit the ball well today," Jackson coach Rob French said about Notre Dame. "More importantly, we put a lot of guys on base for them to drive in. And those eight and nine [hitters], when you throw them the ball belt high, they're going to hit it a long way. ... All the way up and down the lineup they hit the ball."

Bass, who initially was placed on the waiting list at Notre Dame and transferred there after attending Jackson for one day his freshman year, has two homers, nine RBIs and a .289 batting average this spring. Still, he has not been too impressed with the way he has been swinging the bat.

Notre Dame's Jake Pewitt makes it safely back to first as Jackson's Andy Winkleblack waits on the pickoff throw during the third inning Wednesday at Notre Dame.

"Sloppy so far," said Bass, who hit in the No. 8 spot last year. "I need to do a little better hitting, be a little more focused. But it will come."

Bass' homer gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead and Wesley Glaus' blast was part of a five-run rally in the third that gave Notre Dame a 7-1 advantage.

Glaus joked that Bass' bold pregame prediction about homering is nothing new for the boisterous senior.

"I think he did [call the home run], but Bass is always talking stuff, so there's no telling," Glaus joked. "He says that every game. It's always something with Bass."

Glaus has been impressive with the bat this year after mostly being a defensive specialist at first base last year. Glaus, a junior, has one homer, 13 RBIs, and a. 305 batting average. He already has surpassed the number of at-bats he had all last year during the regular season.

Jackson's Josh Duncan fields a grounder during the first inning Wednesday.

"Up and down the lineup everybody can hit the ball," Glaus said. "Everybody is just crushing the ball."

Notre Dame entered the game with a .358 batting average and 12 home runs.

Austin Greer continued his strong hitting from the cleanup spot. He went 2-for-3, including smashing a two-run triple into the gap in right-center in the third inning.

"Pretty much the entire team can go long if they had to," Bass said. "We've got power and consistency all the way through. That's what makes us such a good team -- being deep in the lineup."

Young tossed the first five innings, giving up just one run. It came in the second, when Matt Crader tripled to deep center and took home on an errant throw.

Tanner Hiett tossed the final two innings, striking out three and allowing one hit.

Jackson committed three errors in the first four innings when Notre Dame scored all 10 of its runs.

"We made some errors today, especially at key points," French said. "We were putting guys on base ... and we were having a real hard time getting guys out."

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WP -- Colton Young, 6-0. LP -- Caleb Hosey, 3-3. HR -- Wesley Glaus (ND), Ryan Bass (ND). 3B -- Austin Greer (ND), Matt Crader (J). 2B -- Trenton St. Cin (ND). Multiple hits -- Notre Dame: Greer 2-3, St. Cin 2-3. Records -- Notre Dame 16-0, Jackson 8-10.

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