Notre Dame baseball bows out of tourney with pair of shutout losses

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Notre Dame's bats went deadly silent over 18 innings Sunday and because of it, the Irish are headed home. Drasen Johnson threw a three-hitter to help top seed Illinois beat Notre Dame 3-0 in an NCAA Regional Tournament first game Sunday. In the second game late Sunday, Wright State eliminated the Irish 4-0, two days after Notre Dame handed Wright State a 13-7 setback. To advance to the next round, Illinois needs to beat Wright State once in a potential two games in the double-elimination final Monday.  Johnson (10-3) threw 106 pitches, and allowed only one Notre Dame base runner after the fifth inning, a single by Ryan Bull. Adam Walton, Reid Roper and Ryne Roper drove in runs for the Illini (49-8). Ryan Smoyer (9-1) was the loser for the Irish, whose season ended at 37-23. Cavan Biggio and Bull each had two hits for Notre Dame. The Illini have won 18 consecutive home games, the longest current streak in the NCAA.  Illinois, 24-2 at Illinois Field this season, had a Big Ten-record 27-game winning streak from March 30 to May 20. Wright State's Jack Van Horn tossed eight shutout innings against the Irish and Mitch Roman drove in two runs and scored twice. Van Horn (4-2) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out six in his longest outing of the season for the Raiders (43-16). His longest previous appearance was four innings last week against Milwaukee. Andrew Elliott got three outs for the save. Brandon Bielak (6-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings for Notre Dame. Wright State defeated Ohio earlier Sunday, notching the school's first postseason win since 1994. 

Notre Dame's Lane Richards (4) throws out Illinois infielder Adam Walton on an infield grounder during the ninth inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in Champaign, Ill. Illinois defeated Notre Dame 3-0. (Bradley Leeb/The News-Gazette via AP)