May 20, 2016
By Ben Auwaerter
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On the back of an excellent start by RHP Clate Schmidt and four multi-run innings, No. 16 Clemson defeated the University of Notre Dame baseball team, 11-1, Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium.
Schmidt (7-4) was dominant from the beginning, as he carried a perfect game into the sixth frame and came within two outs of a complete game, hurling 8.1 innings and only conceding one run on three hits while striking out six on 95 pitches.
Notre Dame scored its lone run in the sixth inning, as junior Kyle Fiala put the Irish on the board by himself. With one out, Fiala smashed Notre Dame’s first hit of the game to center field, cruising into third for a triple. The Tigers, however, committed a throwing error trying to keep him from heading home, allowing Fiala to cross home plate and cut the lead to 3-1.
The Tigers, meanwhile, got their bats going right out of the gate, as they plated two runs in the first inning on back-to-back singles to open the game followed by two RBI groundouts. They would add one more run in the sixth inning to make the score 3-0.
Besides the early parts of the first inning, Irish starter, senior LHP Michael Hearne, turned in another solid outing, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. He wraps up his senior season with a stellar 2.13 ERA and 8-2 record. Hearne is slated to return to the Irish in 2017 while working towards a Masters of Business Administration from the Mendoza College of Business.
After Hearne was removed for Irish relief pitching, Clemson blew the game wide open in the seventh. The Tigers used two Irish errors, one hit and three walks to tally three runs. They added five more runs throughout the remainder of the game.
Fiala finished with a two-hit day in addition to scoring the team’s only run.
Friday was also senior night for Notre Dame, as the program honored 10 seniors for their contributions to the University. Those seniors honored before the game were Joey Cresta, Connor Hale, David Hearne, Michael Hearne, Zak Kutsulis, Nick McCarty, James Nevant, Lane Richards, Kyle Richardson and Ricky Sanchez. Sanchez, Richardson and Richards represented the senior class in the game by notching three consecutive singles in the ninth inning.
Notre Dame (27-26, 11-16 ACC) wraps up its season vs. Clemson (37-18, 15-14 ACC)at 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday. Irish fans can follow the finale through WatchND’s free video broadcast or live stats. Links for both are on the baseball schedule page of UND.com.
Ben Auwaerter is a freshman at Notre Dame and is from Lutherville, Maryland. He previously worked during the summer of 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles public relations office.