Irish Drop Pitcher Duel to Ball State, 2-0

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team closed out the Swig & Swine Classic with a tough 2-0 loss to Ball State Sunday afternoon at Shipyard Park.

In a pitcher’s duel between Cole Kmet and Mike Pachmeyer, the Cardinals scrapped across a run in the third and eighth inning, which proved to be the difference in the tight game.

Kmet made his first start of the season and was on it all afternoon. He tossed a career high 7.1 innings and career-high 11 strikeouts while not walking a batter. The 11 strikeouts were the most by an Irish pitcher this season and the most since March 23, 2012. Will Hudgins struck out 12 in 7.1 innings of work against Pittsburgh.

How It Happened

Ball State got on the scoreboard in the third inning after a leadoff triple to the wall in right center. Two batters later, the Cardinals scored on a sacrifice fly to right field to take a 1-0 lead.

Outside of the second inning, Kmet was cruising on the mound for the mound for the Irish. He set a career high in just the fourth inning when he struck out his sixth batter of the afternoon to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Cardinals lead off the inning with two straight hits and had runners on the corners with nobody out. Kmet got Hulecki to strike out swinging for the first out of the inning and also struckout Ricotta. On the payoff pitch to Ricotta, Ball State faked that they were sending the runner from first in hopes of a throw to second. LaManna got it to Copeland quickly and they were able to catch the runner off the bag at third. After a few throws, Miller tagged the runner out to end the inning.

The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth after another sacrifice fly and that was all they needed as the Irish were unable to mount the comeback in the later innings.

Game Notes

  • In just his second career start, sophomore Cole Kmet set career highs in innings (7.1) and strikeouts (11) against Ball State.
  • The 11 strikeouts were the most by an Irish pitcher this season and the most since March 23, 2012 when Will Hudgins struck out 12 against Pittsburgh.
  • Carter Putz singled in the bottom of the first to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
  • Putz finished 2-for-4 from the plate for his fourth multi-hit game of the season.

Up Next

Notre Dame will begin conference play on the road next weekend when they travel to Winston-Salem to face off with Wake Forest. The three-game series kicks off on Friday March 8 with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. ET. All three games will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

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.