It was another baseball weekend at Frank Eck Stadium. This past weekend the Fightin’ Irish Baseball team took on the NC State Wolfpack in an ACC Match-up. The Irish lost won 3-2 Friday night, then lost 5-2 on Saturday afternoon. The Irish came into Sunday’s game with one thing on their mind WINNING! Head Coach Link Jarrett has changed the approach to playing baseball at the University of Notre Dame. His coaching style is one of play and grind to get a victory. Coach Jarrett says “the guys get upset when they lose.” That is something that every coach wants to hear and out of his players.
Previously, Baseball America wrote an article about the “10 Surprise Standout College Baseball Teams Midway Through 2021” The Fightin’ Irish were also voted to finish in last place in the ACC Pre Season Coaches Poll in the Atlantic Division. What all this adds up to is the fact the Irish are winning and polls are just that. But enough about this, lets get to the recap of the game.
Junior Aidan Tyrell got the call to start the game against the NC State Wolfpack. Tyrell came into Sunday’s contest with a 2-1 record. Tyrell got himself in a little jam to start the first inning. Giving up a single to Austin Murr, Tyler McDonough reached on a Fielder’s Choice. Coach Jarrett made a quick visit to discuss the situation. After an Intentional Walk, Tyrell walked the next batter to load the bases with two outs. Tyrell got Butler to fly out to Center Field. Spencer Myers makes a leaping catch to possibly save a grand slam and a 4-0 lead for the Wolfpack. But after a half inning no runs were scored.
After making that great catch in centerfield, Myers was the lead off batter. He singled on an 0-2 pitch to start it off for the Irish. Nick Kavadas singled as well. Runners on first and third and one out. Carter Putz got a single and an RBI as Myers scored from third. Brooks Coetzee doubled and picked up two RBI’s as Putz and Kavadas scored, but was thrown out at third to end the inning. After one inning of play the Irish lead 3-0.
Second Through Fourth Inning
Both pitchers settled in. Neither pitcher gave any runs. A few hits and some small ball but overall both pitchers were in a rhythm and allowing few base runners to be advanced.
The fifth inning saw a pitching change for the Irish. Tanner Kohlhepp came in after Tyrell after the first batter of the inning, as McDonough took him park over the Right Field fence. Koehlhepp got himself into a jam as his first batter singled, the third batter singled advancing McDonough to second. Koehlhepp got the next two batters to fly out and ground out to end the Wolfpack half of the inning with a score 3-1.
Myers again leads off, this time he doubled down the left field line. After Ryan Cole put down a beautiful sacrifice bunt, advancing Myers to third. Kavadas struck out, Putz doubles down the left field line and collected his second RBI of the afternoon as Myers scored. After five innings of play, Notre Dame leads 4-1.
The Irish took care of business in their defensive half of the inning. There is a saying in baseball, “never put the first batter on base.” To lead off the inning, and a new pitcher for the Wolfpack, Brooks Coetzee gets hit-by-pitch. Coetzee then advances to second on a bawk to second base. Coetzee stole third. After David LaManna struck out, moments later Coetzee stole home successfully. Zack Prajzner then takes one deep top left field for a solo shot that puts the Irish up 6-1 at the close of the inning.
At the top of the seventh Joe Sheridan comes in for relief of Koehlhepp to against the Wolfpack. After walking the first batter he faced, He gets a double-play ball and a ground out to end the inning.
The Irish portion of the inning was a different story. Cole leads off with a single to center field. Kavadas singled to center as well (runners on first and second no outs). Putz again lays down a fielder’s choice, sacrifice bunt. Kavadas advanced to third, Cole scored on the throwing error by the catcher, still no outs. Brannigan blasts a shot to left field for a home run and collecting three RBI’s. The Irish lead is now 10-1.
Eighth and Ninth Inning
Sheridan had a little pressure in the eighth inning. The Wolfpack lead off batter Jonny Butler singled to right center for a single. Vojtech Mensik singled to the right side, advancing Butler to second. J.T. Jarrett grounded out to the third base but advancing Mensik and Butler to second and third. Terrell Tatum grounded out to second base scoring Mensik and collecting an RBI for a score of 10-2 after 8.5 innings.
The Irish were not done yet. With a 3-2 count on Kavadas, he took the ball park to the deepest part of the field for a homerun. The HR give the Irish an 11-2 lead.
In the ninth inning, Sheridan threw nine pitches leading to a line out, a pop up and a foul out to the third base side. The Irish win the game 11-2 and win the weekend series 2-1.