The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team traveled to Indianapolis for a midweek game against the #8 Indiana Hoosiers. In what was dubbed a color rush (Notre Dame in their all greens, Indiana in their all reds) matchup between the intrastate foes, Indiana came up on top 3-0 in a relatively quiet affair.
Notre Dame followed that up with a weekend series against the Virginia Tech Hokies back at home in South Bend. The Irish dropped a lopsided affair Friday night before winning the final two, including a walk off on Saturday, to take the series.
Virginia Tech 9 (17-21, 7-12) - Notre Dame 1 (15-23, 6-13)
Cole Kmet started the game for Notre Dame, the first start of his career, and performed admirably considering his role in the bullpen so far this year. Virginia Tech scored a run each in the third and fourth innings, both on sacrifice fly's. They added a third run off Kmet on a bunt single in the fifth and his night ended after 4.2 innings and three runs. Even Brian Kelly was there to see Kmet make his first start!
Proud to see Cole Kmet in his first start tonight for Notre Dame Baseball.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) April 20, 2018
Go Irish! pic.twitter.com/VcmVMiTg7u
Virginia Tech opened things up in the sixth off of the Irish bullpen. An RBI single from Jack Owens and a three run home run from Joe Freiday gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead. They added two more in the eighth inning for a 9-0 lead.
Notre Dame pulled one back in the ninth with a pinch hit RBI from Jared Miller, but that was all they would get and it wasn’t nearly enough, as they fell 9-1.
W: Ian Seymour, VT (3-2)
L: Cole Kmet, ND (0-4)
Notre Dame 8 (16-23, 7-13) - Virginia Tech 7 (17-22, 7-13)
Cole Daily led off the game for Notre Dame with a walk and came around to score on a double play by Nick Podkul. Virginia Tech tied the game in the second on back-to-back singles before taking a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a Luke Horanski home run.
In the bottom of the fourth Alex Kerschner tripled home Matt Vierling to tie the game again at 2. In the fifth, a groundout from Podkul again drove in Daily and gave Notre Dame a 3-2 lead. Notre Dame took a 5-2 lead in the sixth on RBIs from Bryce Gray and Cole Daily.
Virginia Tech came back in the ninth inning, scoring three to tie the game. Michael Fernandez started things with a single that drove in two before a sacrifice fly tied it up and sent the game to extra innings. Scott Tully worked a career high 8.1 innings with five strikeouts for Notre Dame on the mound, but didn’t get a decision once the Hokies tied the game.
In the twelfth inning Virginia Tech jumped out to a 7-5 lead. With the bases loaded, Cole Daily misplayed a ground ball that allowed two runs to score.
Notre Dame answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Jake Johnson scored on a fielder’s choice to make it a 7-6 game before Eric Gilgenbach came up with the bases loaded. Gilgenbach singled, driving in two and giving the Irish an 8-7 win.
W: Anthony Holubecki, ND (3-2)
L: Nic Enright, VT (1-2)
Notre Dame 6 (17-23, 8-13) - Virginia Tech 5 (17-23, 7-14)
Notre Dame jumped to the lead early in the rubber match. With one out in the first Jake Johnson singled and Nick Podkul doubled. Matt Vierling reached on an error that scored Johnson and Niko Kavadas hit a sacrifice fly that scored Podkul and gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead.
Virginia Tech struck back in the third and managed to take a 3-2 lead. Zach Kokoska hit an RBI single to make it a 2-1 game and Tom Stoffel did the same to make it 2-2. Luke Horanski followed up with another RBI single for a 3-2 Hokie lead.
Notre Dame took the lead back in the fifth, starting with back-to-back solo home runs from Nick Podkul and Matt Vierling. With the bases loaded and two outs, Spencer Myers drove in Niko Kavadas with a single to make it a 5-3 lead.
The Irish extended the lead an inning later when Podkul drove in Cole Daily with a two out single for a 6-3 lead and what proved to be the winning run.
Two unearned runs in the ninth for the Hokies made it a 6-5 lead for Notre Dame before Andrew Belcik came in and shut the door, earning the save.
W: Cameron Brown, ND (2-0)
L: Nic Enright, VT (1-3)
S: Andrew Belcik, ND (2)
Notre Dame plays host to the Valparaiso Crusaders Wednesday, postponed from Tuesday because of inclement weather in South Bend. The Irish welcome the Boston College Eagles to town for a weekend series, including their annual Strikeout ALS game on Saturday, April 28.