The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team was in San Antonio over the weekend where they hosted the 20th annual Alamo Irish Classic. Coming off a series win at LSU last weekend the Irish, ranked #30 in the country by Collegiate Baseball, went 2-1 in round robin play, splitting a doubleheader with Saint Louis and Incarnate Word before beating Purdue and then falling to Purdue in the championship game.
Game 1: Notre Dame 7 (3-1) - Saint Louis 3 (1-4)
Notre Dame opened the Alamo Irish Classic with the front end of a doubleheader against the Saint Louis University Billikens.
Saint Louis opened the scoring in the third inning. Aaron Case led off the inning with a single off of Scott Tully before consecutive walks eventually brought him home, but Tully was able to limit the damage to just one run.
With two on in the fourth Saint Louis struck again. Andre Belcik came in to relieve Tully and quickly got Case to ground out, bringing home a run and giving Saint Louis a 2-0 lead.
Notre Dame answered back in the sixth. After a couple of hits and an error, Matt Vierling came up with the base loaded. Vierling singled home the first Irish run of the game cutting the lead to 2-1. Eric Gilgenbach, last weekend’s hero, came up to the plate with the bases loaded and just as he did against LSU, brought all four runs home with one swing of the bat. It was Gilgenbach’s second grand slam and fourth home run of the young season and it gave Notre Dame a 5-2 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
B6: GILGENBOMB ☘️ The Irish take a 5-2 lead! Belcik back to the mound! pic.twitter.com/H5oW3230Z4— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 22, 2018
Notre Dame extended its lead in the seventh with RBI singles from Spencer Myers and Niko Kavadas and Belcik was spectacular in relief, shutting down Saint Louis for 4.2 innings and eventually earning the win. Saint Louis would add a run in the ninth but it wasn’t enough, as this one went final 7-3.
W: Andrew Belcik, ND (1-0)
L: Miller Hogan, SLU (0-1)
Game 2: Incarnate Word 5 (3-2) - Notre Dame 3 (3-2)
Notre Dame opened game 2 of the doubleheader against the University of the Incarante Word Cardinals with Jack Sheehan on the mound, and the Cardinals jumped on him quickly. Mark Whitehead lead off the game with a double and eventually scored on a David Anaya sacrifice fly.
In the third the Cardinals added to their lead on another Anaya RBI. Sam Gutierrez reached base with a double before Anaya drove him in with a single and the Cardinals went up 2-0.
Notre Dame finally reached the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Cole Daily led off the inning with an infield single, and after a stolen base, was driven in by Spencer Myers with an RBI double to left field. Later in the inning, with runners on the corners, Notre Dame tied the game on an RBI single off the bat of Niko Kavadas.
The Irish took the lead in the sixth inning when Daniel Jung led off with a double. With two outs a Cole Daily base hit drove in Jung and gave the Irish a 3-2 lead.
Cole Kmet came in to pitch for the Irish and tossed 2.1 scoreless innings before it all unraveled in the ninth. After an RBI single tied the game, David Anaya took Kmet deep for a two run home run that gave the Cardinals a 5-3 lead. The Irish could not come back in the bottom half of the inning and the game ended by the same score.
W: Cody Allen, IW (1-0)
L: Cole Kmet, ND (0-1)
Game 3: Notre Dame 4 (4-2) - Purdue 2 (5-1)
Purdue opened the scoring in the first inning, opening with a walk and bunt single. An RBI single by Jason McGowan and a fielder’s choice by Nick Dalesandro gave the Purdue Boilermakers a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first.
Notre Dame responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Nick Podkul reached on a two out triple that extended his hitting streak to 12 games dating back to last season. Matt Vierling drove home in with an RBI single and Purdue was up 2-1 after 1.
The Irish tied the game in the third. Podkul again started things off with a base hit and a Niko Kavadas base hit advanced Podkul who scored on an error by right fielder Ben Nisle.
The tie score held until the bottom of the ninth when catcher David LaManna stepped up with a runner on. LaManna put the ball over the left field fence for his first collegiate home run, giving the Irish the 4-2 walk off win. LaManna also had four assists on the day, picking off a Purdue runner and catching several others attempting to steal.
WALK IT OFF LAMANNA!!☘️— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 24, 2018
The freshman blasts a walk off HR as the Irish defeat Purdue 4-2 ☘️ pic.twitter.com/DMspr1eTo2
W: Tommy Vail, ND (1-0)
L: Ross Learnard, PUR (0-1)
Game 4, Championship Game: Purdue 8 (6-1) - Notre Dame 7 (4-3)
Notre Dame and Purdue went head to head again in the Alamo Irish Classic Championship Game to close out the weekend. This game, however, would not go Notre Dame’s way.
The Irish opened the scoring in the first. Cole Daily led off the game with a single and Nick Podkul was hit by a pitch. After a double steal, an Eric Gilgenbach walk, and an error on Purdue catcher Nick Dalesandro, the Irish were up 2-0.
Dalesandro would get a bit of redemption in the top half of the second inning. He hit a solo home run that put Purdue on the board and cut the Irish lead in half.
Notre Dame answered right back in the bottom half of the inning and regained their two run lead. DH Alex Kerschner drove a double to left field to open the inning and David LaManna followed by driving him in with a base hit to center.
Cole Kmet came in to pitch for the Irish in the top of the fourth with two runners on base and promptly gave up a sacrifice fly and RBI single to tie the game at 3.
Notre Dame opened the sixth inning with a hit by pitch and walk, and with two runners on, Ryan Cole picked up his first collegiate hit with a ground rule double that scored two, giving Notre Dame a 5-3 lead.
The Irish loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh and Kerschner came through again, drawing a walk to bring in a run. A Trent Johnson wild pitch allowed Nick Podkul to score from third and gave Notre Dame a 7-3 lead.
The lead would hold until the ninth inning, when Purdue would rally. After loading the bases Matt Vierling gave up 3 runs, making it a 7-6 Irish lead. Cameron Brown and Shane Combs both came on in relief for the Irish in the ninth and both allowed a run. When the inning was over Purdue was up 8-7 and would hold on to win by the same score.
W: Cameron Williams, PUR (1-0)
L: Shane Combs, ND (0-1)
Notre Dame heads to Kissimmee, FL where they host the Kissimmee Irish Classic. Play begins Friday against Youngstown State.