The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team continued their season opening road trip in South Carolina over the weekend with a series against the Presbyterian College Blue Hose. The Irish entered the weekend with a 4-2 record, looking to continue their strong start to the season. A late offensive surge to come from behind Friday night paved the way, and the bats kept hitting all weekend on their way to a sweep.
Game 1: Notre Dame 13 (5-2) - Presbyterian 5 (2-7)
Notre Dame got on the board first in the fourth inning. Zack Prajzner was the catalyst, driving in a run with an RBI single before later coming around to score himself on a sacrifice fly. Presbyterian responded in the fifth inning though, scoring three runs to take the lead.
The Irish regained the lead in the seventh with a big offensive inning, Nike Kavadas hit a three run home run to go ahead before adding two more runs on a Jack Alexander single. Presbyterian added two more runs, one each in the seventh and ninth, but Notre Dame scored six more runs between the eighth and ninth innings to seal the win.
Win: Tommy Sheehan, ND (3-0)
Loss: Kyle Benson, PC (0-1)
Game 2: Notre Dame 10 (6-2) - Presbyterian 4 (2-8)
The Notre Dame bats picked up right where the left off, scoring 4 runs in the first two innings. After Spencer Myers scored on an error, Niko Kavadas came up with a runner on base and hit a two run home run, his third home run in his last four at bats. Jack Alexander added to the Irish lead in the second with an RBI double. In the fourth inning, Jack Brannigan hit a solo home run to add to the lead.
Presbyterian added three runs of their own in the fourth inning, but Notre Dame added another in the fifth on a Ryan Cole RBI single. Notre Dame added four more runs in the eighth and ninth innings and held on for the win. Joe Boyle pitched in relief for Notre Dame, striking out 5 in only 2.1 IP to earn the win.
Win: Joe Boyle, ND (1-1)
Loss: Reagan Fowler, PC (0-2)
Game 3: Notre Dame 9 (7-2) - Presbyterian 0 (2-9)
The Irish again got things started in the first inning when Jared Miller doubled with the bases loaded, driving in three. Notre Dame added two more runs in the second for an early 5-0 lead. Notre Dame added five more over the course of the game, including a Niko Kavadas home run in the ninth, his fourth home run of the series.
Will Mercer made only his third career start for Notre Dame, setting career highs with 5 IP and 5 strikeouts along the way. After his 4 home run and 9 RBI performance over the weekend, Niko Kavadas was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week.
☘️ 4 home runs— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 3, 2020
☘️ 9 RBI
☘️ 1.125 slugging percentage@nikkavadas22 brought the power to South Carolina and was named one of @CBNewspaper's National Players of the Week!!
https://t.co/gStiFoNnk4#GoIrish ☘️ pic.twitter.com/IIwE9Jk7mV
Win: Will Mercer, ND (1-0)
Loss: Jake Rice, PC (0-2)
Notre Dame begins conference play next weekend when they travel to Chapel Hill, NC for an ACC series against the North Carolina Tar Heels on March 6-8.