After losing their series at home last weekend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team was back on the road this weekend visiting the Pittsburgh Panthers for another conference series. Notre Dame managed to win the first two games of the series before falling in game three, coming away with the series win but not the sweep.
Game 1: Notre Dame 10 (16-11, 6-7) - Pittsburgh 8 (13-14, 4-7)
Win: Will Mercer, ND (2-0)
Loss: Jack Sokol, PITT (3-2)
Save: Sammy Cooper, ND (2)
Notre Dame hit the ground running in the first inning, scoring six runs for the lead straight away. Vinny Martinez started the scoring by singling with two runners on for the early lead. Back to back singles from DM Jefferson and Estevan Moreno brought home Martinez for a 3-0 lead. Danny Neri completed the first inning scoring with a three run home run. Pittsburgh wasn’t ready to call it quits though, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Jack Penney added one to the Irish lead in the second inning with a solo home run but Pittsburgh got it right back in the bottom half, The score was 7-3 after two innings. After a scoreless third inning Notre Dame finished up their scoring with four more runs in the fourth inning. Jack Penney picked up another RBI with a sacrifice fly and with TJ Williams on base after a single Zack Prajzner hit a two run home run making it 10-3.
Pittsburgh kept fighting back and in the seventh inning they brought four runs home to make the game much closer at 10-7. They added on more run in the ninth inning but Sammy Cooper came into the game from the Irish bullpen and shut the door for the final two outs of the game, earning his second save of the season.
Game 2: Notre Dame 11 (17-11, 7-7) - Pittsburgh 2 (13-15, 4-8)
Win: Aidan Tyrell, ND (6-1)
Loss: Kyle Mosley, PITT (0-4)
The second game of the series started completely different from game one, staying scoreless until the third inning when Notre Dame brought home the first run of the game. Danny Neri singled and advanced to second base on a sacrifice. Jack Penney then scored Neri on a base hit for the 1-0 lead.
In the seventh inning Notre Dame extended the lead on a two RBI double from Zack Prajzner. Pittsburgh got one back in the bottom of the seventh but Notre Dame added it right back in the top half of the eighth when DM Jefferson scored on a wild pitch. In the ninth inning Notre Dame broke things open in the ninth inning scoring seven runs. Nick Juaire, Estevan Moreno, TJ Williams, and Carter Putz all added RBI base hits of their own in the final frame. Pittsburgh added one run in the bottom half but the Irish had already put the game out of reach.
Game 3; Notre Dame 5 (17-12, 7-8) - Pittsburgh 9 (14-15, 5-8)
Win: Nash Bryan, PITT (5-2)
Loss: Sammy Cooper, ND (2-1)
Notre Dame opened the scoring again in the third inning. Brooks Coetzee hit a ground ball to third base but reached on a throwing error that scored two runs. Pittsburgh tied the game in the sixth inning with two runs of their own and Notre Dame regained the lead in the seventh inning. Carter Putz doubled with the bases loaded to bring home two runs and Nick Juaire followed with a single to add one more. After stepping up in the first two games of the series the Irish bullpen wasn’t able to hold the lead in the final game of the series, with Pittsburgh scoring one run in the seventh inning and six more in the eighth to secure the win and avoid the sweep.