April 14, 2018
By Megan Golden
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The University of Notre Dame baseball team dropped its three-game series at No. 2 NC State after being swept in a doubleheader on Saturday at Doak Field. Following a dramatic come-from-behind win on Friday night, the Irish (15-21, 6-12) fell to the Wolfpack (28-7, 13-5) by scores of 12-2 in game one and 13-5 in the nightcap.
How It Happened: Game One
Josh McLain led off the bottom of the first with a single through the right side. McLain advanced to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a wild pitch. Irish starter Tommy Sheehan issued a two-out walk to Evan Edwards, and then Patrick Bailey knocked an RBI-single into center for a 1-0 NC State lead.
Notre Dame responded with two outs in the third. Jake Johnson walked, Nick Podkul singled, and Matt Vierling delivered an RBI-single to tie the game, 1-1.
In the bottom half of the third, NC State’s Brett Kinneman doubled and advanced to third on a passed ball. With nobody out, Will Wilson and Edwards hit back-to-back singles to drive in another Wolfpack run and regain a 2-1 lead. Terrell Tatum drove in NC State’s third run of the game with a two-out RBI-single.
The Wolfpack was back at it in the fifth, when Sheehan hit three batters and allowed an RBI-double and sacrifice fly. Brandon Knarr entered in relief of Sheehan and gave up a single to Stephen Pitarra that drove home another run to make it 6-1.
Notre Dame plated another run in the sixth on an Eric Gilgenbach single that scored Vierling and cut the deficit to 6-2.
NC State answered, smashing a three-run homer over the wall in left field to extend its lead to 9-2. The Wolfpack continued their threat in the inning, with Bailey drawing a walk off Sheehan in the next at-bat. Brock Deatherage doubled, and Tatum singled, and NC State quickly opened an 11-2 advantage.
Brian Morrell issued walks to Edwards and Deatherage in the eighth, and Tatum capitalized with his fifth RBI of the day, giving NC State a 12-2 lead.
How It Happened: Game Two
Irish starter Cameron Junker walked Edwards in the bottom of the second inning, and Deatherage took advantage of the free pass with a two-run homer. With two out and two on base, Tatum scored on a wild pitch to give the Wolfpack a 3-0 lead.
In the third, Spencer Myers singled up the middle for Notre Dame’s fourth hit of the night, and Johnson walked to move Myers to second. With two outs, Podkul knocked a base hit through the left side to put the Irish on the board, 3-1.
The Wolfpack responded by drawing a walk off of Junker and then blasting a two-run homer to left field off Andrew Belcik to make the score 5-1. Belcik allowed back-to-back singles, and J.T. Jarrett placed a bunt single down the line that scored another Wolfpack run. NC State connected for six runs on six hits in the inning to take a 9-1 lead into the fourth.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Daniel Jung and LaManna lined back-to-back doubles down each line to add a run for the Irish.
Vierling was hit by a pitch in the top of the fifth, and Niko Kavadas crushed his second homer of the series over the fence in right center to bring the Irish to within five runs at 9-4.
Notre Dame continued to chip away at the deficit. Kavadas drew a two-out walk, and Gilgenbach lined a single into left. Jung came through with an RBI-single to right center to make it 9-5.
NC State added four runs off Cole Kmet on a groundout, a single and a two-run homer in the seventh, extending its lead to 13-5.
- The Irish move to 5-7 against top-10 teams in 2018.
- The Irish own a 6-11 mark all-time against the Wolfpack and a 2-7 record on the road.
- Saturday’s doubleheader was the fourth of the season for Notre Dame, which has split two and been swept twice.
- Jake Johnson owns a nine-game on-base streak during which he is batting .406 (13-32) with eight walks, four runs scored and five RBI.
- Matt Vierling finished the series 6-for-11 (.545) with a homer, three runs scored and four RBI.
- Eric Gilgenbach went 6-for-9 (.667) with three walks, two homers, four runs scored and three RBI in the series.
- Niko Kavadas hit his second homer of the series and of the season in game two.
- Cole Daily recorded his 100th career hit, and Matt Vierling tallied his 100th career RBI in game one.
- Cole Kmet recorded his first career hit, a single through the left side, in the ninth inning of game one.
Notre Dame travels to Indianapolis, Indiana, for its fourth straight game versus a top-10 team, this time against No. 10 Indiana. The Irish and the Hoosiers will square off at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Victory Field.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish baseball program, follow @NDBaseball on Twitter and @NotreDameBaseball on Instagram. For tickets to an Irish baseball game, click here.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame baseball and women's soccer programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.