March 25, 2016
By Russell Dorn
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Behind 6.2 strong innings on the mound from sophomore Sean Guenther and a three-RBI day from junior Cavan Biggio, the University of Notre Dame baseball team clinched an Atlantic Coast Conference series win at Virginia Tech Friday night with a 6-2 victory over the Hokies at English Field.
Fresh off a convincing 16-6 victory Thursday night, the Irish got back to work quickly Friday by posting all six of their runs over the first three innings.
Freshman Matt Vierling got Notre Dame started with an RBI single in the first inning. Biggio followed with a two-RBI double in the second frame before senior James Nevant and Biggio each posted RBI in the third to give Notre Dame a commanding 6-0 lead.
That would be more than enough for Guenther, who picked up his third quality start of the year by going 6.2 innings and allowing two runs (1 ER), eight hits and two walks while striking out five batters. The win improved him to 2-2 on the campaign and lowers his ERA to 3.05.
“Last weekend was tough for us, but we got together this week and talked about how we weren’t out of it at all,” said Guenther. “We told ourselves we had to keep fighting and we had to keep winning. Everyone has stepped up and filled the role that they have. It’s kind of coming together for us right now and it feels good.
“My changeup was definitely working for me today. I just had to keep it down. Those guys were good hitters when I kept it up. When I kept it down it produced the outs that I wanted. Ricky (Sanchez) did a great job back there (at catcher) really giving me the bottom of the zone, framing it up well. He was really working back there. Everything came out the way we wanted it to.”
Sophomore RHP Brandon Bielak hurled 2.1 shutout innings for Notre Dame to lower his reliever ERA this season to 0.69.
Biggio finished the day with a hit, two walks and three RBI. He leads the ACC in walks (27) and walks per game (1.29).
Vierling had two hits, an RBI and a run scored to up his batting average to .305.
In total, seven different Irish players recorded hits.
After an out of world performance Thursday, sophomore Jake Shepski added a single Friday to up his series total to six hits (3 HR, 3B, 2B, 1B), nine RBI, 18 total bases and four runs scored.
The Irish (11-10, 3-5 ACC) and Hokies (10-14, 1-7 ACC) close out their three-game ACC series at 12 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Fans can follow along through ESPN3 (video), WatchND (audio) or live stats. Links for all three are on the baseball schedule page of UND.com.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.