The Notre Dame Titans continued to impress with their solid play, W 10-0 (5 innings) over Manchester

The Notre Dame Titans continued to impress with their solid play on the baseball diamond on Monday evening, as a complete-game two-hitter and a 2-for-3, two-RBI day from CJ Corns, along with a 3-for-3, three-RBI day from Tyler Speas and a 2-for-2 day from Grant Sparks, allowed Notre Dame to take home a resounding 10-0 victory over Manchester in five innings in a Division IV, Southeast II Sectional Final in Portsmouth on Wednesday evening.

For Drew Mader, the victory was a true glimpse of what his Notre Dame unit can be when it puts together a complete baseball contest.

“If we do the little things right, we believe that we can play with anybody that we have had on our schedule this year,” Mader said. “We’ve proven that time and time again. Coming in, Manchester was playing well. They’ve beat good teams, and they’ve lost to some good teams, just like us. We felt like we owed them one from 2014 when they came into our place and stole our thunder (in a Division IV, Southeast II Sectional Championship). (Wednesday evening) was the best that we’ve looked when you factor in the hitting one-through-nine, the fielding, and the pitching. It was a whole team effort and a great all-around baseball game played by us. Hopefully, we’re hitting on all cylinders right now going into the district tournament.”

Corns, who has been a standout on the hill throughout his Notre Dame career, fanned 10 batters and walked only two for a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his complete game performance.

“CJ Corns did a magnificent job on the mound,” Mader said. “He may not have been as efficient as he would’ve liked to have been, but going into the game, we knew that he would throw strikes. He competes for us on the mound, and today was no different than what we’ve come to expect from him. CJ gets on the mound and puts his heart and soul into every single pitch. I just tell him, ‘You’ve got to make sure that you have faith in all of your guys that surround you. Pitches are going to be hit. You can’t strike out every single kid. Just throw strikes, and we’ll be right there behind you.’”

Speas, who notched two doubles, a walk, and two runs scored in his 3-for-3, two-RBI day at the dish, led the Notre Dame offensive attack from the cleanup position. Sparks added a walk and a RBI in his 2-for-2 day at the dish, while Tyler Shaw and Trevon Turner each went 2-for-3 while combining for a double, a RBI and three runs scored.

Hunter Berry, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored, Drew Cassidy, who drove in a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies, and Sam Kayser and Cameron Rodriguez, who combined to draw four walks and score four runs, rounded out a complete Notre Dame effort as the Titans scored two runs in the first frame and four runs apiece in the second and fifth frames.

“The kids answered the call today,” Mader said. “In the field, and at the plate, they answered every single situation that we put them in. We preached about putting pressure onto our opponents by running the bases well, and the guys did that. To start the game and finish the game off on a high note is a good sign for us and any team. You always want to be hitting on all cylinders when it comes down to tournament time.”

With Wednesday’s sectional final in the books, Notre Dame will head back to Chillicothe in what will be another trip to the famed VA Memorial Stadium for the Titans. They’ll play Racine Southern in the Division IV, Southeast II District Semifinals next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“Going into Tuesday’s game, we know that Racine Southern is going to be a big matchup for us,” Mader said. “However, if we hit and field the ball as a team, then we can play with anybody that we’re faced with. It’s all about taking things one pitch at a time, one game at a time, and hopefully, one victory at a time. Hopefully, we show up ready to go. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

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