The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team, ranked as high as #3 in the various national rankings, opened ACC conference play this weekend with a series against the NC State Wolfpack. Notre Dame opened the series with a comeback win in extra innings on Friday before winning on Sunday as well to complete the sweep after Saturday’s game was cancelled due to weather.
Game 1: Notre Dame 8 (10-1, 1-0) - NC State 4 (9-5, 0-1)
Win: Jack Brannigan, ND (1-0)
Loss: Chris Villaman, NCSt (1-2)
For the first time this season, Notre Dame found themselves behind early after NC State scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. They added two more runs in the bottom of the third, only one of which was earned after an error. All four runs were surrendered by Aidan Tyrell, who threw 4 innings with four strikeouts as well. It was his worst outing in the young season, but was strong enough to keep the Irish in the game.
The score stayed 4-0 until Notre Dame finally plated several runs in the seventh inning. Carter Putz led off the inning with a solo home run, his second of the season. Jack Brannigan later came around to score on a wild pitch before Brooks Coetzee scored on a single from Zack Prajzner, bringing the Irish within one run.
After a double play from Brooks Coetzee in the bottom half of the seventh, keeping the score to one run, Notre Dame tied the game in the eighth inning. Jared Miller led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a single from Jack Brannigan. That tie score held through nine innings and beyond, keeping the score tied until the twelfth.
In the twelfth Notre Dame went to work and put the game out of reach. Zack Prajzner hit a solo home run in the top half of the inning to break the deadlock and give the Irish the lead. They added three more runs in the inning, all after NC State errors allowed the inning to extend. Jack Brannigan, after coming in to finish the eleventh inning, finished off the twelfth without allowing any runs to the Wolfpack to close the game out.
✅ 8 unanswered runs— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 12, 2022
✅ Go-ahead home run in extras
✅ Strikeout to close the game
Friday's game had it all, check out all the highlights from the 8-4 comeback win over #17 NC State!#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/uHhlsobvCO
Game 2: Notre Dame 11 (11-1, 2-0) - NC State 4 (9-6, 0-2)
Win: John Michael Bertrand, ND (4-0)
Loss: Matt Willadsen, NCSt (0-1)
Save: Austin Temple, ND (1)
In game two it was Notre Dame’s turn to strike early, scoring three runs in the first inning. With two runners on base Carter Putz singled to right field and drove in Jared Miller. Ryan Cole then scored on an error and Putz came around to score on a groundout from Brooks Coetzee.
In the third inning Notre Dame added to the lead. Jared Miller led off the inning with a single and advanced to third with a stolen base and passed ball before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Putz. John Michael Bertrand was on the mound for Notre Dame and controlling the game until the fifth inning, his last of the game. He gave up three runs in the inning but got out of a jam with a strike out with the lead run at the plate to finish the inning.
Notre Dame added tow insurance runs in the eighth inning, with Brannigan and Putz scoring on an error. They then broke the game open in the ninth inning with five more runs. Three came around to score on wild pitches and one on a groundout, with the big hit of the inning a triple from TJ Williams that drove in Spencer Myers. NC State added a run in the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough and Notre Dame held on for the win and condensed series sweep.
Notre Dame has their first home game of the season on Tuesday when they welcome the Valparaiso Beacons to South Bend. They then continue ACC play over the weekend with trip to Louisville, KY to play the Louisville Cardinals in a three game series.