by Notre Dame Sports Information
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The seventh-ranked Notre Dame baseball team had another offensive explosion in a rubber match to defeat NC State 11-2 Sunday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium to clinch another conference series win. The Irish (18-7, 16-7 ACC) are still the only team in the ACC not to drop a conference series this season. Notre Dame has won seven conference series this season, the most in a season since 2006.
“Proud of our guys today,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “To watch them rebound the way they did after Saturday’s performance was impressive. Top to bottom, all the way through the lineup and all around the diamond, there were a few things we could have done better but all in all it was an impressive performance and NC State is a good team.”
The offense got started early with three runs in the first inning to jump out in front. Then in the middle innings, the Irish scored in each of the final four innings to increase their lead. The biggest inning was the seventh when they plated four runs to jump into double figures. It is the sixth time the Irish have scored in double digits this year and three of those games were in rubber matches.
On the mound, the Irish used a trio of pitchers that scattered some hits and kept the Wolfpack (16-13, 9-12 ACC) from making a ton of damage on the scoreboard. Aidan Tyrell pitched four innings and allowed just one run. Tanner Kohlhepp picked up the win after two innings of scoreless relief. Joe Sheridan closed the door for the final three innings to earn his third save on the year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Defense turned to offense in the first inning for the Irish. With the bases loaded for the Wolfpack, Spencer Myers made a play at the wall to get the final out of the inning and get the Irish out of the jam.
In the bottom of the inning, Myers led the inning off with a single and moved to third on a perfectly timed hit and run with Niko Kavadas at the plate. Carter Putz singled through the right side to score Myers for the opening run of the game. Brooks Coetzee added to that tally with a double down the right field line that scored Kavadas and Putz and put the Irish up 3-0 after the opening frame.
The scored stayed 3-0 until NC State broke through in the top of the fifth with a solo shot from Tyler McDonough. The home run chased Irish starter Tyrell and Kohlhepp came on from the bullpen. Kohlhepp got out of the inning without any damage and the Irish ended up getting the run back in the bottom half of the inning.
Myers led the inning off with a double and made it to third with two outs and Putz coming to the plate. Putz laced a 1-1 pitch to the wall in left to easily score Myers and Putz ended at second for a double and his second hit of the game. After five innings, the Irish held a 4-1 lead.
The Irish added on to their lead in the very next inning with a crooked number up on the scoreboard. Coetzee was stealing home on a squeeze play and the ball got away from the catcher allowing him to score easily. Then with two outs in the inning, Zack Prajzner got a hold of a ball and sent it over the wall in left for a solo home run. It was his third homer of the season and the Irish led 6-1 after six.
The Irish broke the game open in the seventh with four runs scored. Cole came home on a throwing error by the catcher and then Brannigan launched a three-run home run over the scoreboard to give the Irish a 10-1 advantage.
Kavadas put the final exclamation mark on the win with his 13th home run of the season in the eighth. He led the inning off with a solo blast to center for the final run of the game.
STATS OF THE GAME
- The Irish won their seventh ACC conference series with the win, the most since they joined the league. It is the most conference series wins in a season since they had 7 back in 2006.
- The Irish are still the only team in the ACC to not drop a conference series this season.
- Notre Dame improves to 4-0 in rubber matches and are 6-0 coming off a loss
With Notre Dame’s midweek matchup against Butler getting canceled, the Irish will be back in action on the road as they head to Boston College next weekend. The Irish kick off the series against the Eagles Friday night at 5:30 p.m. ET and the entire series will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.