Today Jeff Gordon got his 77th win by besting the field at Talledega. I actually had a shot to go to the race with a group from LaPorte, but declined. Part of me was sad that I was not there to see him pass Dale Earnhardt. The fans littered the track with whatever they did not want to take back to their trailers just because Earnhardt did not win. It was a good win for Gordon, and on Dale’s birthday no less. NASCAR fans who can enunciate are rejoicing today.
After the Notre Dame game I saw that traffic was terrible getting to the toll road so I decided to take highway 2 home. I saw that the Silverhawks were getting ready to start so I stopped to watch the game. The recent rainouts and coldouts have taken their toll, so I guess I made up for it by attending three sporting events in one day. After seeing two straight record crowds the few that came to ‘the Cove’ last night was disappointing. Just over 1,000 people were listed as being at the game, and I think that number must have included the grounds crew and the other employees. Those that were there saw a good game. The Silverhawks took an early lead, and when Clinton tied it up they immediately went back ahead. In the seventh the Lumberkings scored two runs to take the lead, but after the stretch South Bend scored three to take the lead for good. This was my 25th visit to Coveleski Stadium, and probably will not be the last visit this year. The weather was beautiful for a ball game, but the stands were still empty. I can only imagine that this will be the downfall of the team. They can only have empty stands for so many years before someone does move the team.
Immediately following the Blue/Gold game I went over to the baseball stadium to watch the Irish take on the Mountaineers. The record crowd saw the Irish explode for 17 runs. By the end of the game it was actually starting to get boring with all of the runs scored. Freshman A.J. Pollack had another big game for the Irish. He reached base all six times he was up. He went 3 for 3, and had three walks. He hit a home run and drove in six. Mike Dury hit his team leading seventh home run for the Irish as well. The team looks to be turning a corner. The Irish looked like the team I have seen the last couple of years that will strike early and often. Hopefully the last few games are showing a trend that will continue.
Lou Holtz won his first game back as Notre Dame’s head coach. This was a one game deal? Oh, well he won just the same. On a day when the focus was on the four Notre Dame quarterbacks a running back stole the show. Junior Jabbie is listed as the fourth running back on the depth chart, but looked like the number one back yesterday. He is pictured to the left breaking one of his big runs on the day. He was fast when he needed to be, and shifty when he needed to be as well. Of the four quarterbacks Sharpley looked the best, and he has not been practicing that much because of his commitment to baseball. Clausen has time to improve, but I would guess based on this one game he would be about third on the depth chart. Notre Dame won the game, and Holtz got a Gatorade bath for his troubles. 51,872 fans attended the game. This was over 10,000 more than last year, and expectations are not nearly as high this year. I got to the spring game over two hours early, and got one of the last spots in the lot across the street from Angela. From what I understand they were parking people in the general parking lots that are used for regular football games on the other side of campus. It just blows my mind how many people come to see the practice game. Many are probably like me that think that this may be the only time that I will be in the stadium this year. Notre Dame plays Purdue in Ross-Aide this year so I will probably not get into the Stadium for a regular game this year.
Last night I was at the first Polish-American night at U.S. Cellular Field. Festivities included Polka Bands pre-game, the anthem sung in Polish dress, members of the PNA throwing out the first pitch, and Pierzynski and Mackowiak hitting home runs. I don’t think that the last two were scripted, but they might as well have been. Pierzynski hit a three run shot to put the Sox up 3-0, and then Mackowiak added a two run shot to give the Sox a three run lead in the eighth. The Sox won the game 6-4. Vazquez pitched a good game, but he could never top what happened the night before. He did keep the Sox in the game until the ninth inning. He lost his no-hit bid early when Sammy Sosa hit career home run #692 in the second inning. He did not give up another hit until the sixth when he ran into trouble. Matt Thornton got the win, and Big Bobby Jenks came in and got the save in the ninth. I had a lot of fun with the Polish theme, and will try and get back next year. The Sox are having some good promotions, and seem to be doing the right things to keep the fans coming back. The Sox are now at .5oo, and now face Detroit who is leading the league. We will learn a lot the next couple of days.
I always try and make it to any major college sporting event involving Purdue and Notre Dame. Today I was glad that I made the time to get over to South Bend to see the Boilers take on the Irish. Both starting pitchers had great games. Elam for the Irish went 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. He walked a few, and needed a great play by Brett Lilley to keep a run from scoring, but pitched a great game. The lone hit against him was a weak single hit straight up the middle. Bischoff for the Boilermakers pitched a great game as well. He gave up a hit to the first batter in the ninth. The hit was similar to the one that broke up Elam’s no-hit bid. That little bloop hit took away his shot at a perfect game. At the begining of the week I had a feeling that I might see a no-hitter. I figured it would be Vazquez against the Rangers, but I had two shots foiled with less than four outs tonight. The Irish are now two games over .500, and the loss puts the Boilers at the same mark. This was my first Boiler game of the year. I was supposed to see the doubleheader against Indiana after my race on Saturday, but the weather once again stepped in to foil my plans. Notre Dame won the game in the tenth when Weglarz doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Dressman single. All of this was with two outs, and the frozen crowd praying for a miracle.
Edit: Something is wrong with blogger tonight, and my picture will not upload. If I have time I will fix that tomorrow.
Another Edit: Unless the Sox pitch back to back no-hitters, I will not see one tomorrow. Mark Buehrle just pitched a no-no for the Sox. All week long I have been talking about seeing a no-hitter with my dad. I guess we were one game too late in seeing one