Cavaliers Sweep Irish in Saturday Doubleheader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. –  The University of Notre Dame baseball team got swept by Virginia in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish (12-17, 7-8 ACC) dropped game one, 12-7, and then couldn’t come all the way back in their ninth-inning rally of game two and lost 6-5 to the Cavaliers (19-13, 8-7 ACC).

How It Happened – Game 2

On the mound for the Irish, Cameron Junker was locked in from the first inning against the Cavaliers and he set the first three batters down in order on just 11 pitches.

The Irish got on the scoreboard first once again in the second game of the doubleheader. After a walk to Jake Singer and a Spencer Myers bunt single, Niko Kavadas stepped to the plate with two runners on base. He took the first pitch the other way and it stayed inside the foul pole for a three-run home run, his ninth of the season.

Junker continued his strong outing, retiring the Cavaliers down in order through the first five innings. The junior right-hander got the first out in the sixth before allowing the first hit of the ballgame. In total, Junker set down 16 in a row, second most to Tommy Sheehan’s 17 in a row against No. 12 Clemson.

Junker allowed two runs to come across the plate in the sixth but got out of the inning before the Cavaliers could tie the game.

The score stayed 3-2 heading into the eighth when the Irish ran into trouble. They used a total of four pitchers in the inning and Virginia scored three runs to take its first lead of the game.

Facing a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth, the Irish would not go down quietly. A David LaManna walk and Daniel Jung hit brought the tying run to the plate in Jack Zyska with two outs. He singled through the left side and both runners scored to cut the deficit to 6-5. After a Kavadas walk, Gilgenbach singled up the middle but the Cavaliers recorded the final out at second base before Zyska came around to score the tying run.

How It Happened – Game 1

The Irish opened the first game of the doubleheader hot as the first three batters all reached base. Two straight singles from Myers and Jung put runners on the corner for Zyska. He also singled and Myers scored easily from third. The Irish loaded the bases later in the first and LaManna hit a shot through the middle to score two more runs.

Virginia rallied back after the first inning, scoring the next five unanswered runs to take a 5-3 lead after the top of the fifth. The Cavaliers continued their offensive output in the middle innings with two more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 7-3.

The Irish bats were quiet after the opening inning and were unable to put more runs on Virginia’s starter Noah Murdock. Murdock went 5.2 innings and allowed just the three runs in the first inning. Once the Cavaliers went to their bullpen, the Irish started to get some runs back.

In the seventh, they had runners on first and second after a Zyska single and a 10-pitch at bat from Gilgenbach that led to a walk. Carter Putz singled to left field to score Zyska and after an error, Gilgenbach also came around to score and the Irish were within two.

After the Cavaliers got a run back in the top of the eighth, the Irish scored twice in the bottom of the eighth. Jung and Zyska both hit sacrifice flies to the warning track to score both runs in the inning.

The Irish did not get any closer as the Cavaliers tacked on a few insurance runs in the ninth to seal the win.

Game Notes

  • Niko Kavadas tallied his team-leading ninth home run of the season in the third inning of the second game.
  • He finished with three RBI on the day, tying Eric Gilgenbach for the team lead with 29 on the season.
  • Cameron Junker retired the first 16 batters he faced in game two. It is the second-longest streak by an Irish pitcher behind Tommy Sheehan who retired 17 batters in a row against No. 12 Clemson on March 15.
  • Junker tied a career high with 7.1 innings during game two. It was also his fourth outing this season with six or more innings pitched.
  • David LaManna ties a career high with two RBI in the first inning of game one.
  • Jack Zyska recorded a career high with three hits in game one and tallied a career high two RBI in both game one and game two.

Up Next

The Irish will be back in action with two home midweek games starting on Tuesday. The Irish host Michigan State Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET and then Western Michigan on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. ET. Both games will be at Frank Eck Stadium and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.

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.