The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team had a big matchup this weekend. Fresh off a sweep of then ranked #8 Virginia Cavaliers, Notre Dame remained home for a series against the Florida State Seminoles and former head coach Link Jarrett. Florida State has struggled in their first season under Jarrett, currently sitting at the bottom of the ACC, but the reunion still made for an entertaining series of games. Despite playing through some harsh weather conditions Notre Dame was able to win two games and the series against their former coach.
Game 1: Notre Dame 2 (23-17, 11-11) - Florida State 3 15-25, 6-16)
Win: Jackson Baumeister, FSU (3-4)
Loss: Aidan Tyrell, ND (7-2)
Save: Doug Kirkland, FSU (2)
The offenses were both limited in game one but unfortunately for Notre Dame the Seminoles were able to score just enough to hold them off. Florida State scored first, plating two runs in the third inning. Notre Dame got one back in the fifth when Estevan Moreno hit a solo home run.
Both teams scored in the seventh inning, with Florida State getting an insurance run in the top half. Notre Dame answered with a run of their own on an RBI single from Moreno, but the insurance run the Seminoles got in the top half proved to be the difference and they won 3-2.
Game 2: Notre Dame 12 (24-17, 12-11) - Florida State 2 (15-26, 6-17)
Win: Blake Hely, ND (3-1)
Loss: Conner Whittaker, FSU (3-6)
Notre Dame’s offense again struggled early in game two and when Florida State took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning it looked like the Irish might drop the first two games of the series. The Seminoles were done scoring though, and the Irish were just getting started. Two big innings changed the game and series completely for Notre Dame.
The Irish offense broke out with six runs in both the fourth and eighth innings. In the fourth the first three runs scored on a Vinny Martinez home run. Brooks Coetzee hit and RBI double for another run before a single from Danny Neri scored the fifth run and Estevan Moreno came home and a throwing error.
The home run bats were back out in the eighth inning when Jack Penney got the Irish offense started again with a grand slam. Later in the inning the final two runs came home on a two run double from Brooks Coetzee. Blake Hely was excellent on the mound for Notre Dame all game, throwing 7 innings and recording eight strikeouts. Will Mercer pitched the final two innings without allowing a run.
Game 3: Notre Dame 12 (25-17, 13-11) - Florida State 8 (15-27, 6-18)
Win: Caden Spivey, ND (2-0)
Loss: Jamie Arnold, FSU (2-5)
After some schedule adjustments over the weekend to make sure all three games got in, the weather did not hold up on Sunday and the two teams finished the series as snow and sleet fell in South Bend. That didn’t stop either offense though as Florida State finally got things going with eight runs on the day. It wasn’t enough though, as the Irish bats took the weather to mean it was time to play home run derby, scoring 7 of their 12 runs on the day via home run.
Carter Putz and Vinny Martinez started things off for Notre Dame, each hitting solo home runs in the first and second innings. It didn’t take long for Florida State to respond though, scoring four runs in the third inning to take the lead.
In the fourth Notre Dame regained the lead with three runs of their own. This time it was Brooks Coetzee who hit a three run home run and gave Notre Dame the 5-4 lead. Florida State tied the game at 5 in the top half of the fifth inning but the Irish took it right back with two runs in the bottom half when Carter Putz hit his second home run of the game, a two run shot, for the 7-5 lead.
The Irish offense was at it again in the sixth inning and this time they put the game out of reach with five more runs. They were finished with the home runs, but a string of hits from Zack Prajzner, Carter Putz, and Brooks Coetzee brought home the final runs. Florida State scored one run in the seventh and one in the eighth but the Irish bullpen was able to hold them off to secure the win.
Notre Dame has another midweek game this week, playing the Bowling Green Falcons on Tuesday at home. They stay home for the weekend when the NC State Wolfpack visit Frank Eck Stadium for three games.