The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team entered the weekend against the Boston College Eagles looking to keep their strong home record going, having played to a 12-1 record in South Bend on the season so far. The #12 ranked Irish dropped the first game of the series in a rare struggle from John Michael Bertrand, but the offense was able to pick him up in the final two games to earn the series win.
Game 1: Notre Dame 4 (26-10, 11-8) - Boston College 7 (17-26, 4-18)
Win: Joe Mancini, BC (3-3)
Loss: John Michael Bertrand, ND (6-1)
Save: Brendan Coffey, BC (4)
Boston College did all of their damage in game one in a two inning stretch, but it was enough to earn them the win. They started in the fourth inning, scoring four runs off of Bertrand with two home runs. Jared Miller singled home a run in the bottom half of the inning for Notre Dame but Boston College went right back to work in the fifth. Bertrand started the inning but couldn’t get an out before being replaced. The Eagles scored three more total in the inning for the 7-1 lead.
Notre Dame’s offense made an attempt at the comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. David LaManna started the inning with an RBI single. A balk brought home another run followed by a sacrifice fly. The offense couldn’t get any more though and dropped game one by a score of 7-4.
Game 2: Notre Dame 11 (27-10, 12-8) - Boston College 5 (17-27, 4-19)
Win: Alex Rao, ND (2-1)
Loss: Henry Leake, BC (2-2)
Notre Dame took a commanding lead in this game early, scoring eight runs in the first inning and never looking back. They started the game with three straight hits, scoring two runs before recording an out. After the first out they went back with five straight hits, scoring two more runs and loading the bases. Zack Prajzner saw that as an opportunity and connected for his first career grand slam to cap off the big inning.
Boston College tried to make things interesting in the fourth, scoring four runs in their own big inning. Notre Dame extended the lead in the fifth though to retake their command of the game when Jack Brannigan hit a two run home run.
The Eagles hit a home run in the top off the seventh inning but Brannigan scored again for Notre Dame in the bottom half to answer. Notre Dame pitching answered a rough outing in the first game by striking out 10 Boston College batters, with Austin Temple, Alex Rao, and Aidan Tyrell combining in the win.
Game 3: Notre Dame 16 (28-10, 13-8) - Boston College 10 (17-28, 4-20)
Win: Roman Kimball, ND (4-0)
Loss: Eric Schroeder, BC (0-5)
Save: Jack Brannigan, ND (2)
After splitting the first two, both teams came into the rubber game on Sunday looking to take the series, and like the first two games, it was the big inning that won the game again.
Notre Dame opened things up in the second inning, scoring two runs on a single from Ryan Cole. Boston College scored one in the fourth, but Notre Dame answered with two in the bottom half on a double from Carter Putz. The Eagles added another in the top of the fifth and Notre Dame answered again in the bottom half with one of their own on a double from Jack Brannigan.
Boston College broke out in the top of the sixth though, scoring six runs to take an 8-5 lead. Notre Dame answered with a big inning of their own though. The first three runners of the inning got on base and scored on a fielder’s choice and a single to tie the game. Later in the inning the bases were loaded for Jared Miller, who sent the ball over the right field wall for Notre Dame’s second grand slam in as many days. Notre Dame added two more home runs in the inning, an inside the park home run from Ryan Cole and a two run home run that cleared the fence from Jack Zyska. They scored 11 runs in the inning and held a 16-8 lead.
Boston College added tow more runs in the seventh inning off of Jack Brannigan, but he managed to held them off for the final three innings, setting career highs with 3.0 innings pitched and six strikeouts, to earn the save.
Notre Dame has a week off before their final four home games of the season. They have a midweek game against the Michigan State Spartans on May 10 before a series with the Pittsburgh Panthers May 13-15.