The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team continued their run of games in the state of Florida over the weekend, taking on the #7 ranked Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee. Notre Dame looked to regain form after being swept by Saint Joseph’s during the week in the Snowbird Tournament, but it wouldn’t happen. The Irish were able to take game 1 of the series over the Seminoles but dropped the final two, falling to 8-10 overall on the year and 2-4 in ACC play.
Game 1: Notre Dame 8 (8-8, 2-2) - Florida State 7 (14-4, 1-3)
Notre Dame opened the scoring in the third inning of the game. Spencer Myers and Jake Johnson led off the inning with back-to-back singles before a sacrifice bunt and walk to Nick Podkul loaded the bases. Matt Vierling was able to connect for a grand slam, his second home run of the season, and give Notre Dame a 4-0 lead early.
Take a closer look at @matt_vierling's grand slam that gave the Irish the lead for good on Friday!#GoIrish ☘️ pic.twitter.com/eSPpIdi4et— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 17, 2018
On the mound meanwhile, Scott Tully was dealing early, retiring the first five Seminoles he faced and keeping the #7 team in the country off the board until the third inning. In the third, it was some bad defense that finally got the Seminoles a run. With a runners on first and second, Mike Salvatore laid down a sacrifice bunt and an errant throw allowed the run to score, making it 4-1 Irish.
In the fourth Florida State put another run on the board with a solo home run by Drew Mendoza, making it 4-2 Notre Dame. That score would hole until the seventh inning.
In the seventh, with two runners on and two outs in the inning, Jake Johnson connected for a home run to right field, his first of the season. With the next batter, Nick Podkul connected for his second of the year, this time to left field. The back-to-back home runs gave the Irish an 8-2 lead.
BACK-TO-BACK JACKS!!! Podkul joins the fun with his second homer of the season, making this an 8-2 Irish lead!!#GoIrish ☘️ pic.twitter.com/2jtXnPI5kZ— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 16, 2018
The Seminoles added five runs over the next two innings, with a two run home run in the seventh and a three run home run in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough. Cole Kmet threw a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season and an 8-7 Irish win.
The Notre Dame victory gave them their third win of the season against a top-10 team. It was also the first time since 2002 that Notre Dame beat Florida State in Tallahassee.
W: Scott Tully, ND (2-1)
L: Cole Sands, FSU (4-1)
S: Cole Kmet, ND (2)
HIGHLIGHTS— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 17, 2018
Check out the top moments of tonight's win over No. 7 @FSUBaseball! #GoIrish ☘️ pic.twitter.com/2jY6BN1CbA
Game 2: Florida State 6 (15-4, 2-3) - Notre Dame 4 (8-9, 2-3)
The scoring started in the third inning again in game 2, but this time it was Florida State that struck first. After a single and a walk, Cal Raleigh drove in two with a single, giving the Seminoles a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Cole Daily rounded the bases on an inside the park home run that cut the lead to 2-1. In the fifth, Jared Miller singled to left that drove in the second Irish run and tied the game at 2.
We see you, @cdaily6!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 17, 2018
Get another look at Daily's inside-the-park homer, the first by an Irish player since Feb. 25, 2017! ☘️ pic.twitter.com/Q4rbH8Chfe
Florida State scored a run each in the sixth and seventh to take a 4-2 lead before Notre Dame struck back in the eighth. A fielder’s choice drove in a run and cut the lead to 4-3, but it was short lived. A Florida State home run scored two and made it a 6-3 lead.
Matt Vierling connected in the ninth inning for his second home run in as many days, but it wasn’t enough, as Notre Dame fell 6-4.
W: Drew Parrish, FSU (2-0)
L: Anthony Holubecki, ND (0-1)
S: Clayton Kwiatkowski, FSU (1)
Game 3: Florida State 7 (16-4, 3-3) - Notre Dame 5 (8-10, 2-4)
Florida State opened the scoring again in game 3 with a second inning home run off the bat of Reese Albert. Notre Dame answered in the third. With a runner on and one run already in, Cole Daily doubled to left to give the Irish the lead. A Nick Podkul sacrifice fly would make it 3-1 Irish before the inning ended.
In the bottom of the third a sacrifice fly would cut the Notre Dame lead to 3-2 and a fielder’s choice in the fourth would tie it at 3.
With runners on the corners for Florida State in the fifth, a Jackson Lueck single gave the Seminoles a 4-3 lead. A bases loaded walk to Matt Vierling in the top of the seventh tied the game again at 4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Florida State would capitalize on a Notre Dame error and wild pitch to take a 7-4 lead.
In the ninth, Nick Podkul homered to cut the deficit to 7-5. For the second straight game Notre Dame homered while trailing in the ninth and for the second straight game it wasn’t enough, as Florida State held on for the 7-5 win to take the series.
W: Clayton Kwiatkowski, FSU (2-0)
L: Tommy Vail, ND (2-2)
S: Conor Grady, FSU (1)
Final from Tallahassee: pic.twitter.com/1Wko0y5V8A— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 18, 2018
Notre Dame opened their home season Tuesday with a 5-3 loss to the Northern Illinois Huskies. They have their first home series of the season this weekend, March 23-25 against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.