Irish Drop Season Opener to Sun Devils

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team dropped its season opener 10-1 to Arizona State Friday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

The Sun Devils (1-0) broke the game open in the second inning, platting four runs after reaching base on a strike three passed ball that would have ended the inning. The Irish (0-1) tried to get back in the game following a lead off homer from Niko Kavadas in the seventh. The Sun Devils went to their bullpen to get out of a first and third jam and thwart the Notre Dame rally.

Kavadas and Zack Martin were the bright spots for Notre Dame Friday night. Kavadas plated the only run for the Irish and Martin provided two plus innings of solid relief out of the pen.

How It Happened

The Irish looked to have a 1-2-3 inning wrapped up in the bottom of the second but the Sun Devils reached base on a third strike passed ball. After a RBI double and two walks, Spencer Torkelson ripped a bases clearing double before being thrown out at third to end the inning.

The Sun Devils added another run in the bottom of the third and Zack Martin came out of the pen for the Irish.

Martin was able to settle things down for the Irish in relief. He logged two and a third scoreless innings without allowing a hit and struck out two.

Niko Kavadas got the Irish on the board to start the seventh inning with a solo home run. The sophomore crushed a 1-1 pitch past the Sun Devil bullpen in right field for the first run of the season. Notre Dame had the makings of a rally after a double and walk to put runners on the corners. Spencer Myers got a hold of a pitch but he hit it right to the second baseman who tagged the bag to end the inning.

Arizona State responded in the bottom half of the inning, plating five runs and put the game out of reach.

Game Notes

  • Notre Dame has gone 5-4 on Opening Day in the Mik Aoki era.
  • The Irish are 2-7 all-time against the Sun Devils. This is the first time the two teams have met since 2003.
  • Freshman Jack Alexander recorded his first collegiate hit with a single up the middle in the top of the fifth.
  • Zack Martin did not allow a hit and struck out two in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
  • Kavadas notched the first home run of the season for the Irish. Notre Dame hit 45 last season, the most since 2009.
  • Lefty Aidan Tyrell made his first career appearance in the bottom of the seventh and struck out the first batter his faced.

Up Next

Notre Dame and Arizona State meet for game two of the series on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:30 p.m. ET. It can be seen live on the Pac-12 Network Plus stream through your cable provider.

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.