The final series of the early season road trip for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team was a tough one, a visit to the #4 ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons for an ACC matchup. A double header on Saturday was swept by Wake Forest, with Notre Dame doing enough in game one to hang around before losing a lopsided game two. They were able to take the positives into the third game on Sunday and avoid the sweep, coming away with one win out of three.
Game 1: Notre Dame 1 (8-7, 1-3) - Wake Forest 4 (17-2, 3-1)
Win: Rhett Lowder, WF (4-0)
Loss: Jackson Dennies, ND (0-2)
Save: Camden Minacci, WF (5)
Wake Forest was the first team to score in game one, scoring once in the bottom half of the second inning on a solo home run. Notre Dame responded the next half inning with a run of their own in the top of the third. Danny Neri led off the inning for Notre Dame with a double before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a single from Estevan Moreno.
That was all Notre Dame would be able to bring home though and Wake Forest came away with the win scoring a single run in each of the 4th, 5th, and 8th innings.
Game 2: Notre Dame 3 (8-8, 1-4) - Wake Forest 12 (18-2, 4-1)
Win: Sean Sullivan, WF (3-1)
Loss: Matt Bedford, ND (1-2)
Game two of the double header got out of hand quick, with Wake Forest scoring eight runs in the first four innings. The game was pretty much out of reach already when Notre Dame scored their first run in the fourth inning. Nick DeMarco led off the inning for Notre Dame with a hit by pitch and later scored on a double from Zack Prajzner.
Notre Dame was already trailing 12-1 in the ninth inning when the highlight of the game came for them, the first career home run from Tony Lindwedel. The home run brought the score to the way it ended, 12-3.
Tony Lindwedel with his first career home run! #GoIrish☘️ pic.twitter.com/gyTbr0JjRn— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 18, 2023
Game 3: Notre Dame 3 (9-8, 2-4) - Wake Forest 1 (18-3, 4-2)
Win: Jack Findlay, ND (3-0)
Loss: Josh Hartle, WF (4-1)
Save: Will Mercer, ND (1)
In game three all of Notre Dame’s offensive damage came in single run innings, and it was their pitching that really won the day for them. Jack Findlay started the game and pitched 5.2 innings of shutout baseball while striking out 10 with no walks. Blake Hely and Will Mercer followed Findlay and each threw 1.2 innings. In total Irish pitchers struck out 16 Demon Deacons and allowed only one run and four hits.
In the second inning a double from Carter Putz and single from Jack Zyska combined to bring home the first run for Notre Dame. They added a second run in the third inning when DM Jefferson led off with a single and later scored on a Brooks Coetzee single. Notre Dame added one more in the sixth inning, this time with Coetzee scoring on a fielder’s choice. Wake Forest scored one run in the 8th inning but couldn’t complete the comeback.
T3 | An RBI single from Coetzee gives the Irish the 2-0 lead!#GoIrish☘️ pic.twitter.com/Ylda108c7X— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 19, 2023
Notre Dame finally opens their home schedule this week with a midweek game against the Valparaiso Beacons. They then welcome the Louisville Cardinals to South Bend for a weekend series, another ACC set.