The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team opened their season this past weekend with a road trip to take on the UAB Blazers. Notre Dame survived a pitcher’s duel in the opening game before splitting the final two games with offensive outbursts to take the series win. It was the first wins under new head coach Link Jarrett and provided an excellent start to the new season.
Game 1: Notre Dame 4 (1-0) - UAB 2 (0-1)
The story of game one, especially early, was some excellent pitching by both teams. Tommy Sheehan started the game for Notre Dame and threw seven scoreless innings, striking out a career high nine strikeouts. Sheehan was awarded the ACC Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the game.
END 7 | Sheehan strikes out the side in the 7th and sets a career high with his 9️⃣th strikeout of the game!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 14, 2020
ND 2, UAB 0
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Notre Dame finally opened the scoring in the top of the seventh inning. With Niko Kavadas on second, Zack Prajzner singled to drive him in. Notre Dame added another run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth, all three on wild pitches. UAB scored twice in the eighth and had the tying run on in the ninth before Joe Boyle struck out the final two batters of the game for the win.
Win: Tommy Sheehan, ND (1-0)
Loss: Austin Bohannon, UAB (0-1)
Save: Joe Boyle, ND (1)
Game 2: Notre Dame 7 (1-1) - UAB 10 (1-1)
For all of the pitching in the first game of the series, game two was the complete opposite. Notre Dame opened the scoring in the first inning when Zack Prajzner hit a three run home run. UAB responded with a two run home run of their own in the bottom half of the inning before adding three more in the second for a 5-3 lead. They added one more in the fifth to extend the lead.
TOP 1 | IT IS OUT OF HERE!!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 15, 2020
Zack Prajzner hits a three-run to right home run to give the Irish an early 3-0 lead!!!
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The Irish responded in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game. Jared Miller doubled before coming around to score on an error. Brooks Coetzee singled and scored when Eric Gilgenbach hit a two run home run to tie the game at six. The tie was short lived though as UAB scored four of their own in the bottom half of the inning with a grand slam. Jack Zyska hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning for Notre Dame to cut the UAB lead to three but that is all Notre Dame would get.
MID 7 | WE ARE TIED!!!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 15, 2020
Eric Gilgenbach blasts a two-run homer to left after the Irish scored a run on Coetzee's single!!
ND 6, UAB 6
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Win: Austin Stump, UAB (1-0)
Loss: Dominic Cancellier, ND (0-1)
Save: Mac McCarty, UAB (1)
Game 3: Notre Dame 9 (2-1) - UAB 3 (1-2)
Notre got things started on the scoreboard for the third consecutive game, this time in the second inning. David LaManna doubled into the gap to score Brooks Coetzee and Eric Gilgenbach for the early lead. Notre Dame scored again in the third when Carter Putz doubled before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Niko Kavadas then brought him home with a sacrifice fly. UAB strung together a series of hits in the bottom half of the third to score three and tie the game.
Putz and Kavadas went to work together again in the fifth though. Putz started things off with a walk and Kavadas followed him with a two run home run to regain the lead. The Irish offense then blew the game open in the eighth inning, scoring four runs to seal the win. Carter Putz doubled to score Jack Brannigan and Spencer Myers before scoring himself on a throwing error by the catcher. Later in the inning Jared Miller doubled to score Zack Prajzner for the final run of the game.
TOP 5 | IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS GONE!!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 16, 2020
Niko Kavadas launches a two-run homer, his first of the season, to put the Irish back in front!!
ND 5, UAB 3
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Joe Boyle pitched the ninth inning for Notre Dame, striking out all three batters he faced on only 14 pitches. The Irish bullpen of Mitch Megias, Tommy Vail, and Joe Boyle combined to retire the final 17 batters they faced.
Win: Mitch Megias, ND (1-0)
Loss: Tyler O’Clair, UAB (0-1)
Notre Dame heads to San Antonio next weekend for the Alamo Irish Classic where they will play four games in three days, starting Thursday Feb. 20.