The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team finished off a busy week that saw them play five games in five days, going 2-3 over that stretch. They opened with a road game in East Lansing on Tuesday, where they came away with an 8-7 win against the Michigan State Spartans before returning home and losing 2-0 to the Northwestern Wildcats on Wednesday.
The Irish had Thursday off before traveling to Raleigh where they played a weekend series against the #2 North Carolina State Wolfpack. Notre Dame managed to win the first game of the series on Friday 12-8, but inclement weather forced a doubleheader to be played Saturday and NC State swept both games, taking the series.
Notre Dame 8 (14-18) - Michigan State 7 (9-20)
Notre Dame opened the scoring with three runs in the second inning. Four straight singles plated the first Irish run before David LaManna came up to bat with two runners on. LaManna doubled, driving in Eric Gilgenbach and Daniel Jung for a 3-0 lead.
Gilgenbach scored again in the fourth on a LaManna sacrifice fly to give the Irish 4-0 lead. Later in the inning, Cole Daily homered to right field, a solo shot to make it a 5-0 game.
Notre Dame added one more in the fifth inning when Matt Vierling scored on a Niko Kavadas double. They scored two more in the sixth when Vierling hit a double of his own. The Irish held an 8-0 lead when it was finished.
Michigan State made things interesting in the seventh inning, when their offense went to work to the tune of seven runs. It took several Irish errors, two Spartan home runs, and three pitchers, but Notre Dame made it out of the inning with an 8-7 lead intact.
The bullpen shut the door the rest of the way and Notre Dame held on for the win 8-7. Irish starter Zack Martin threw 6.0+ innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking only one. Cole Kmet came in and pitched the final 0.2 innings to earn his sixth save of the season.
W: Zack Martin, ND (1-0)
L: Mike Mokma, MSU (1-2)
S: Cole Kmet, ND (6)
⚾️ HIGHLIGHTS— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) April 10, 2018
Check out the top moments from today's 8-7 victory over Michigan State! pic.twitter.com/VnIq0NdZPu
Northwestern 2 (9-17) - Notre Dame 0 (14-19)
After exploding for eight runs a day earlier against Michigan State, the Notre Dame bats went quiet on Wednesday against Northwestern.
Northwestern scored a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Jack Claeys and a run in the second on a sacrifice fly, and that is all anybody would get. Northwestern held on for the 2-0 win.
W: Anthony Alepra, NU (1-0)
L: Charlie Vorsheck, ND (0-2)
S: Richard Fordon, NU (2)
Notre Dame 12 (15-19, 6-10) - NC State 8 (26-7, 11-5)
NC State jumped on Notre Dame early in this one, scoring three runs in the first inning on a solo home run, sacrifice fly, and Notre Dame error. The Wolfpack were up 3-0 when it was finished.
Notre Dame answered back immediately, scoring a run each in the second and third innings on solo home runs by Eric Gilgenbach and Nick Podkul.
The Wolfpack padded their lead in the bottom half of the third inning, answering Notre Dame’s two runs. Evan Edwards scored on a double after reaching on an error, and later in the inning Brock Deatherage hit a three run home run to give NC State a 7-2 lead.
The Irish answered back immediately in the fourth with six runs to take an 8-7 lead. Cole Daily hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to give Notre Dame their third run of the day and Jake Johnson grounded out and drove in Gilgenbach to make it a 7-4 game. Later in the inning Matt Vierling followed with a three run home run to tie the game before Niko Kavadas hit his first career home run to take the lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, NC State tied the game at eight with an RBI single from Josh McLain.
David LaManna and Cole Daily stepped up for the Irish in the seventh with an RBI double and single to take an 11-8 lead. Gilgenbach hit his second home run of the game in the ninth and Notre Dame held on for the 12-8 win. Notre Dame hit five home runs in the game, the first time they had done that since May 2015. The win was Notre Dame’s first this season against a top 5 team and their fifth against a top 10 team.
W: Anthony Holubecki, ND (2-1)
L: Kent Klyman, NCSt (3-1)
S: Cole Kmet, ND (7)
NC State 12 (27-7, 12-5) - Notre Dame 2 (15-20, 6-11)
NC State jumped out to an early lead with an RBI single in the first inning from Patrick Bailey. Notre Dame responded in the top of the third with an RBI single from Matt Vierling.
NC State took the lead right back with two runs in the bottom of the third, scoring on RBI singles from Evan Edwards and Terrell Tatum. NC State added three more in the fifth inning and took a 6-1 lead. Irish starter Tommy Sheehan allowed an RBI double and a sacrifice fly before giving way to the bullpen. A Stephen Pitarra RBI single drove in the third run of the inning.
Eric Gilgenbach drove in a run with a single in sixth to make it a 6-2 game but that was all Notre Dame would get. NC State scored five runs in the sixth and another in the eighth and won the game 12-2.
W: Brian Brown, NCSt (5-0)
L: Tommy Sheehan, ND (1-4)
NC State 13 (28-7, 13-5) - Notre Dame 5 (15-21, 6-12)
Brock Deatherage opened the scoring for NC State in the bottom of the second with a two run home run. The Wolfpack added another on a wild pitch and had a 3-0 lead early.
Nick Podkul responded for Notre Dame with an RBI single in the top of the third before NC State put up six more runs in the bottom of the inning. NC State opened the third inning with a walk and two run home run to take a 5-1 lead before adding four more runs on a string of base hits for a 9-1 lead.
Notre Dame added two runs in the fourth on RBI doubles from Daniel Jung and David LaManna and two runs in the fifth on a home run from Niko Kavadas. Jung drove in another run on a single in the seventh and made it a 9-5 game.
The Wolfpack connected for a big inning again in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs against the Irish bullpen, and put the game out of reach with a 13-5 lead.
W: Michael Bienlien, NCSt (3-2)
L: Cameron Junker, ND (0-4)
S: Joe O’Donnell, NCSt (7)
Notre Dame travels to Indianapolis Thursday for a game against the #10 Indiana Hoosiers, their fourth straight against a top 10 team. They come back home on Friday for a weekend series against the Virginia Tech Hokies.