The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team began the week on a positive note, with a win over the Chicago State Cougars before weather began to become a factor. The Irish had a midweek scrimmage against the South Bend Cubs cancelled before the Friday night matchup with the #6 Clemson Tigers was postponed to a Sunday doubleheader.
Notre Dame took game 1 on Saturday before dropping both ends of the doubleheader on Sunday.
Game 1: Notre Dame 5 (13-16, 5-8) - Clemson 2 (23-7, 8-5)
Notre Dame jumped on the board early in game one. Cole Daily led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Jake Johnson followed up with a two-run home run to give the Irish a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, with two runners on, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jordan Greene gave Clemson their first run of the game and cut the Irish lead in half.
Notre Dame answered back in the fourth when Niko Kavadas led off the inning with a walk. After advancing to third, Kavadas scored on a double from Daily and the Irish led 3-1.
Grayson Bird hit a home run for Clemson in the fifth to make the score 3-2 and the damage could have been worse if not for the arm of Eric Gilgenbach. Kier Meredith hit a triple to right center before the throw from Gilgenbach caught Meredith at the plate trying to tie the game on a sacrifice fly.
Just a friendly reminder...Don't run on Gilgey!! ☘️ pic.twitter.com/cXST9Xgi8w— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) April 7, 2018
That was all Clemson would get on the day, but Notre Dame added two more before the game was over. Nick Podkul drove in a run in the seventh with a base hit and Daniel Jung hit a solo home run in the eighth to bring the final score to 5-2.
Scott Tully threw 6.0 innings for the Irish with six strikeouts for his fourth win of the season. Cole Kmet, who entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings for his fifth save of the season.
W: Scott Tully, ND (4-1)
L: Jacob Hennessy, CLEM (3-2)
S: Cole Kmet, ND (5)
Game 2: Clemson 6 (24-7, 9-5) - Notre Dame 3 (13-17, 5-9)
Clemson opened the scoring in the third inning with back-to-back home runs from Jordan Greene and Kier Meredith, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Greene struck again in the fourth when he singled home two runs to give Clemson a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Notre Dame starter Tommy Sheehan let the lead off batter, Seth Beer, reach on a hit by pitch. Beer came around to score on a Drew Wharton single and the Tigers went up 5-0. Clemson went up 6-0 in the sixth on a solo home run from Kyle Wilkie.
Notre Dame finally opened their scoring in the seventh when doubles from Eric Gilgenbach and Bryce Gray gave the Irish their first run of the game.
Gilgenbach doubled again in the ninth, and back-to-back singles from Cole Daily and Jake Johnson brought Gilgenbach around to score. Nick Podkul then doubled home another run for the Irish to make the score 6-3, but that’s all Notre Dame would get.
W: Brooks Crawford, CLEM (3-1)
L: Tommy Sheehan, ND (1-3)
Final from Frank Eck Stadium: pic.twitter.com/HkwFykIdeu— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) April 8, 2018
Game 3: Clemson 5 (25-7, 10-5) - Notre Dame 2 (13-18, 5-10)
Clemson was on the board first again in game two of the doubleheader. In the first inning, a Chris Williams RBI single gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Clemson struck again in the fifth with three singles and a throwing error by Irish catcher David LaManna, ending the inning with a 3-0 lead.
Nick Podkul led off the sixth inning with a single for Notre Dame and Eric Gilgenbach followed up with a double. An Alex Kerschner groundout and Eric Gilgenbach sacrifice fly brought both Podkul and Gilgenbach home and cut the Irish deficit to 3-2.
Clemson added two insurance runs in the eighth inning to put this one away. Seth Beer led off the inning with a double before coming around to score, and a double play with no out allowed the final Clemson run to come in to make it a 5-2 lead.
Irish starter Cameron Junker worked a career high 4.2 innings with 7 strikeouts, another career high, but Notre Dame struggled for offense in what was a low scoring weekend all around in South Bend.
W: Jake Higginbotham, CLEM (4-1)
L: Cameron Junker, ND (0-3)
S: Ryley Gilliam, CLEM (5)
Notre Dame has midweek matchups on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing and the Northwestern Wildcats in South Bend. They travel to Raleigh, NC this weekend for a conference matchup with the North Carolina State Wolfpack.