Feb. 18, 2017
By Michael Scholl
SAN ANTONIO -- The University of Notre Dame baseball team was in need of a big start and Peter Solomon delivered. The junior struck out nine in six innings, leading the Irish to a 12-10 victory over Incarnate Word at the Alamo Irish Classic.
Solomon's nine strikeouts were one off a career high. The junior allowed six hits, with one extra-base hit, and walked three. The first three hitters in the Irish lineup - Jake Johnson, Kyle Fiala and Matt Vierling - had three RBI each to pace the team offensively. Johnson and Connor Daily each scored three times.
Vierling's homer was the first of the season by the Irish and spotted Notre Dame to a 1-0 lead.
After UIW tied the game in the second, Notre Dame retook the lead with a pair in the second. Patrick McDonald led off the game with a single before Daily completed the sacrifice bunt to move him up to second. The Cardinals pitcher allowed Johnson to reach on a throwing error, moving McDonald to third. Fiala singled home McDonald for the first run of the frame. After a Vierling strikeout, Jake Shepski doubled down the right field line to score Johnson and make it 3-1 Irish.
Notre Dame started to pull away thanks to a four-spot in the fourth. Connor Power started the action with a leadoff double, but the next two Irish hitters were retired. Daily then singled home Power, Johnson followed with another single to keep the pressure on and Fiala drilled a double to right center to score Johnson and Daily. Vierling completed the frame with a single through the left side to score Fiala.
- Head coach Mik Aoki altered the lineup for the first time this season, giving Johnson and McDonald their first starts of the year. Power saw his first start behind the dish, while Ryan Lidge started at first after playing the first two games at catcher.
- Daniel Jung made his collegiate debut, pinch hitting for Power in the fifth. He finished 1-2 at the plate with a double and played first base (Lidge moved behind the dish).
- Anthony Holubecki saw his first collegiate action, relieving Solomon in the 7th. The Elburn, Illinois, product allowed two runs in an inning of work.
Notre Dame's Sunday opponent at the Alamo Irish Classic is still to be determined with games to be played at Nelson Wolff Stadium and UIW's Sullivan Field. Regardless, both games are scheduled for Noon ET and the Notre Dame contest can be heard live on 103.1 FM in South Bend and on WatchND.
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.