NOTRE DAME BASEBALL RELEASE
By Megan Golden
RALEIGH, N.C. — In dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, the University of Notre Dame baseball team won its fifth game against a top-10 team, downing No. 2 NC State, 12-8, on Friday night.
Notre Dame (15-19, 6-10) trailed 7-2 in the third inning but clawed its way back to take an 8-7 lead by the fourth inning. The Irish and the Wolfpack (26-7, 11-5) battled in a game with seven home runs and three lead changes.
For NC State, the loss is just its third over its last 11 games.
How It Happened
NC State’s Josh McLain led off the bottom of the first with a solo shot to left field that put the Wolfpack up, 1-0. Scott Tully allowed the next two batters to reach base, and the Wolfpack added to their lead with a sacrifice fly. An error at first base allowed Will Wilson to score from third and make it a 3-0 ballgame.
Eric Gilgenbach responded with a solo homer to left field with two outs in the second, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
In the third, Nick Podkul connected for his fourth homer of the season and Notre Dame’s second of the night to bring the Irish within one run.
NC State’s Evan Edwards reached third on an error to lead off the bottom of the third, and the Wolfpack followed with an RBI-double to increase its lead to 4-2. Patrick Bailey doubled to center, and Stephen Pitarra drew a walk. With nobody out, Brock Deatherage sent a three-run homer over the center field fence. The Wolfpack took a 7-2 lead into the fourth.
Wolfpack starter Johnny Piedmonte exited the game after 3.0 innings, giving way to left-hander Nick Swiney. Swiney entered and issued back-to-back walks to Daniel Jung and Gilgenbach. David LaManna singled to load the bases with no one out. Cole Daily’s sacrifice fly plated Jung, and Jake Johnson’s groundout drove home Gilgenbach to make the score 7-4. With two men on, Matt Vierling joined the fun and drilled his fourth homer of the year to left to tie the game, 7-7. Niko Kavadas, the next batter, connected for his first collegiate homer and Notre Dame’s fourth of the game to give the Irish an 8-7 lead.
Tully drew back-to-back one-out walks in the fifth, and NC State capitalized with an RBI-single from McLain to even the score, 8-8.
In the seventh, Kent Klyman hit Kavadas and Gilgenbach, and with two outs, LaManna delivered a two-run double to give the Irish a 10-8 lead. Daily added to the lead with an RBI-single to make it 11-8.
Gilgenbach added to his night with his second solo homer of the game, giving Notre Dame a 12-8 lead that was too much for the Wolfpack to overcome.
Player of the Game
David LaManna delivered the game-winning knock, a two-out, two-run double in the seventh that put the Irish ahead 10-8. LaManna finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
Stat of the Game
The last time Notre Dame belted five home runs in a game was on May 10, 2015, when Zak Kutsulis (2), Robert Youngdahl, Cavan Biggio and Kyle Richardson combined to hit five homers against North Carolina.
The victory is Notre Dame’s first over a top-five team and fifth against a top-10 team this season. The Irish move to 5-5 against top-10 teams in 2018.
The Irish own a 6-9 mark all-time against the Wolfpack and a 2-5 record on the road.
Starter Scott Tully worked 5.0 innings and did not earn a decision.
Eric Gilgenbach belted two solo homers, in the second and ninth innings, giving him seven homers on the season. The game marked his second multi-homer game of 2018 and first since February 18 at LSU.
Matt Vierling and Niko Kavadas hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, marking the second time this season the Irish have accomplished the feat (also on March 16 in an 8-7 win at Florida State).
Matt Vierling finished 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI.
Niko Kavadas, who hit his first career homer in the fourth, has hit safely in four straight games.
Jake Johnson owns a seven-game on-base streak during which he is batting .407 (11-27) with six walks, three runs scored and five RBI.
Seven different Irish players collected at least one RBI in the game.
The Irish bullpen has recorded an ERA of 0.92 (3 ER/29.1 IP) over its last seven games.
Cole Kmet worked 2.0 innings and earned his seventh save of the season. Kmet has thrown 5.0 scoreless IP with three saves over his last three games.
Due to forecasted inclement weather on Sunday, Notre Dame and NC State will compete in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. Both games will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra and can be heard on 103.1 FM (South Bend)/WatchND.