The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team, who came into the weekend ranked as high as #1 in the country, were on the road for a conference series against the Louisville Cardinals. The Irish pitching, which has been strong all season so far, struggled over the weekend giving up 31 runs in three games and allowing Louisville to win all three.
Game 1: Notre Dame 11 (12-2, 2-1) - Louisville 16 (14-4, 1-0)
Win: Ryan Hawks, UL (3-1)
Loss: Caden Aoki, ND (0-2)
Notre Dame opened the scoring for the series in the top half of the first inning Friday night. Carter Putz drove in Spencer Myers on an infield single before Jack Zyska hit a two run home run for the early 3-0 lead. It didn’t last long though, as Louisville scored five runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a home run of their own.
The Irish tied the game in the third inning when a single from Jack Brannigan and a throwing error scored both Ryan Cole and Carter Putz. Louisville again wasted no time though, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead.
Notre Dame came back in the fifth inning to take the lead, but Louisville answered again to tie the game and then retake the lead. In the top of the fifth, Jack Brannigan singled to score Jared Miller. Brooks Coetzee followed that up with a single to score Zyska before David LaManna doubled home both Brannigan and Coetzee. Louisville scored one run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and then two more in the sixth to take the lead again. They broke the game open in the seventh inning with five more runs. Notre Dame added two in the eighth inning but the game was already out of reach and the Cardinals held on for the 16-11 win.
Game 2: Notre Dame 1 (12-3, 2-2) - Louisville 8 (15-4, 2-0)
Win: Evan Webster, UL (2-0)
Loss: Ryan McLinskey, ND (0-1)
John Michael Bertrand started on the mound for Notre Dame and was strong, as he has been all season so far. He pitched 6.1 innings and allowed only one run, the first of the game, before exiting the game in the seventh. Ryan McLinskey came on and finished the inning and after six and a half scoreless innings for both teams Louisville now had the lead.
Notre Dame tied the game in the eighth inning when Jack Brannigan led off with a solo home run. That didn’t last long though, as Louisville struck against the Irish bullpen, scoring seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to win game two.
Game 3: Notre Dame 5 (12-4, 2-3) - Louisville 7 (16-4, 3-0)
Win: Kyle Walter, UL (1-0)
Loss: Jack Brannigan, ND (0-1)
Save: Michael Prosecky, UL (6)
Louisville took the early lead in the final game of the series, scoring one in the bottom half of the first inning. Notre Dame took the lead in the fourth inning though, with Carter Putz scoring on a fielder’s choice before Jack Brannigan came home on a sacrifice fly from David LaManna.
The scored stayed that way until Louisville took the lead again with three runs in the sixth inning, but Notre Dame answered back in the seventh. The scoring started with a bases loaded walk from Ryan Cole to score LaManna. Notre Dame tied the game with a sacrifice fly from Jared Miller, scoring Zack Prajzner. They then took the lead on an infield single from Carter Putz that scored Spencer Myers. Louisville had another answer though, as they scored three runs in the eighth inning to retake the lead and this time Notre Dame couldn’t come back.
Notre Dame has their next four games at home, with the Northwestern Wildcats visiting South Bend Tuesday for a midweek game. They have they first home series of the season over the weekend, welcoming the Virginia Tech Hokies for three ACC games.