The #4 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team was coming off a nine game win streak when they traveled to Durham, NC for three game ACC series with the Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils pitching staff was able to stifle the Irish bats throughout the three games though, and Duke came away with the sweep of the Irish.
Game 1: Notre Dame 5 (21-6, 8-5) - Duke 15 (14-20, 4-12)
Win: Jonathan Santucci, Duke (1-1)
Loss: Will Mercer, ND (0-1)
Duke came out swinging the bats early in the game and jumped on the Irish right from the beginning, scoring six runs in the first three innings. Notre Dame finally got their first runs across in the fifth inning when Danny Neri singled to drive in Jack Zyska. Spencer Myers then came up with the bases loaded and drove in two, followed by a fielder’s choice from Jack Brannigan to bring home the fourth Irish run of the inning.
Duke was back at work in the sixth inning, scoring two more runs to extend the lead. Notre Dame struck back in the seventh with a sacrifice fly from Spencer Myers for his third RBI of the day, but Duke put the game out of reach in the eighth inning with seven more runs.
Game 2: Notre Dame 3 (21-7, 8-6) - Duke 4 (15-20, 5-12)
Win: Jimmy Loper, Duke (3-1)
Loss: Alex Rao, ND (1-1)
Notre Dame opened the scoring in game two in the second inning when Brooks Coetzee hit a two run home run after an infield single from Carter Putz. Duke scored two runs in the fourth inning to tie the game before Notre Dame added another run in the sixth. Brooks Coetzee’s bat was at it again, once more driving in Putz, this time on a sacrifice fly.
Duke tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and neither team could score in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. The tenth inning went by scoreless but Duke managed to plate a run in the eleventh inning to win the game in a walk off.
Game 3: Notre Dame 2 (21-8, 8-7) - Duke 6 (16-20, 6-12)
Win: Luke Fox, Duke (2-5)
Loss: Austin Temple, ND (3-1)
Duke started the offense early in game three, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. They never looked back. They added three more runs in the fourth inning and one each in the fifth and sixth for a 6-0 lead. Notre Dame’s offense was quiet until the top of the ninth inning when they managed two runs on a single from Jack Zyska, but that was all they would get and Duke held on for the win.
Notre Dame have two more midweek matchups, this time against the Valparaiso Beacons and Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, both at home in South Bend. After the midweek games they have a conference series against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, also at home in South Bend. They will look to start another win streak back in Frank Eck Stadium.