Pitching pushes Notre Dame into second-round game

Saturday, April 27, 2002

SCOTT CITY, Mo. -- Notre Dame rode solid pitching from sophomore Blake Urhahn to a 9-2 win over Scott City in the first round of the Red Devils Classic on Friday.

The Bulldogs, 10-2 and ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, were a late entry into the rain-delayed tournament originally scheduled for last weekend. They replaced New Madrid County Central, which was forced to drop out because of scheduling conflicts.

Notre Dame moves on to play at 11:30 a.m. today in Chaffee against either Woodland or Shawnee (Ill.), which played in Friday's late game.

Urhahn (3-1) was in control throughout as he allowed only two sixth-inning hits, struck out 10 and walked four. The complete game was the first by Notre Dame's pitching staff this season and the second time Urhahn has taken a no-hitter into the late innings. He also held Kelly hitless for five innings.

"When he starts to get command of his stuff, he's going to be a tough pitcher," Graviett said. "He's still struggling a little with his location, but he's good enough to get people out."

Scott City starter Steven Posey (1-2) had trouble finding the plate early as the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Posey walked the first two Notre Dame batters, Dustin Klipfel and Shane Kistner, then gave up consecutive RBI singles to Matt Wulfers and Scott Wittenborn. After loading the bases with a walk to Dustin Tatum, Posey walked Adam Ralls to force in the third run of the inning.

"They really didn't hit the ball that well either," said Scott City coach Mike Umfleet, whose team is 5-5. "When Steven (Posey) was throwing strikes, he kept them off the bases but he got in trouble with walks and that hurt us early."

Notre Dame managed only seven hits, but seven walks and three Ram errors helped the cause.

"We haven't been hitting the ball well the last few games," Graviett said, "so we need to find our bats again, but you've got to give credit to their pitchers, too."

Leading 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Notre Dame tacked on three insurance runs on a two-run double by Tatum and an RBI double by Ralls, who went 3-for-3 to lead the Bulldogs.

"That four-run lead was not a great cushion, especially remembering how they came back on us last time," Graviett said, "We talked to the kids all game about going the other way and we finally got two big opposite-field hits late that were big for us."

The game Graviett alluded to was the last contest between Notre Dame and Scott City. In that game, the Rams rallied to come from behind and force some late-inning heroics by the Bulldogs to pull out a 10-9 win.


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