April 27, 2016

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By Ben Auwaerter

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On a cloudy Wednesday night at Frank Eck Stadium, the University of Notre Dame baseball team struggled in all facets of the game in an 8-0 loss to Eastern Michigan.

In the loss, the Irish failed to score a run for the first time since March 12 at No. 4 Louisville and record three errors for the first time since April 3 against Wake Forest.

Senior righty David Hearne started the day for Notre Dame on the mound. After a scoreless first frame, Hearne had to exit in the second with an apparent injury.

Senior righty Connor Hale replaced Hearne and kept the Eagles at bay for the next several innings, only allowing three runs to cross the plate as a direct result of three Notre Dame errors.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Irish saw their best chance at a run disappear and momentum switch towards the side of the Eagles. With freshman Matt Vierling on third base, Notre Dame appeared to have tied the game on a sacrifice fly by junior Kyle Fiala. Unfortunately for the Irish, it was determined that Vierling left third base before the out had been recorded. As a result, no run scored, Vierling was called out and Notre Dame exited the inning trailing 1-0.

Notre Dame had a chance to make some noise in the bottom of the sixth down 3-0. With one out, Vierling lined a single up the middle. Senior Lane Richards followed with a walk. The Irish runners, however, couldn’t advance any further. The Eagles escaped the inning by inducing a fly out and a ground out.

In the top of the seventh inning, Eastern Michigan blew the game wide open, by plating five runs on five hits to push their lead to 8-0.

Despite being shut out on the day, a few members of the Irish squad had productive outings. Vierling had a two-hit ballgame, while Richards and junior Cavan Biggio both reached base twice, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

On the mound, senior RHP Joey Cresta and sophomore RHP Evy Ruibal each tossed scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

The Irish (24-16) will look to get back to their winning ways this weekend in a three game non-conference series against Ohio University.

Tickets are available for a series that will be chocked full of activities. Friday will be Boy Scouts Day, Saturday is Alumni/Monogram Day and Sunday is Military Appreciation Day. Tickets can be purchased online at UND.com/buytickets or at the Frank Eck Stadium box office on game days.

Fans that can’t make it out to The Eck can follow the game live on WatchND’s video broadcast or listen to WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend. The games are slated to begin at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Friday, 4:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. (ET) Sunday.

For more information on the Notre Dame baseball team, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).

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.