Irish Rally in Game Two, Clinch Series Over Demon Deacons

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –  The University of Notre Dame baseball rallied to split its doubleheader with Wake Forest Sunday afternoon at David F. Couch Ballpark. After dropping a tight contest 7-4 in game one, the Irish came from behind to win in extras, 8-7, in game two to clinch the series.

In game two, the Irish trailed after the first three innings but responded with the next four runs to take a 4-2 lead. Notre Dame (6-8, 2-1) held a one-run lead going into the sixth inning but Wake Forest (9-8, 1-2) put three runs up in the inning to regain the lead. Trailing by three in the ninth, the Irish rallied to tie the game after a fielder’s choice and two-RBI single by Eric Gilgenbach.

In the 10th with runners on second and third, Spencer Myers hit a grounder to the shortstop and Brooks Coetzee beat the throw home to score the game-winning run. Mitch Megias was back out for the 10th and set the Deacons down in order to clinch the win and the series over the Demon Deacons.

Gatorade shower for @mitchmegias after shutting the door in the 9th and 10th! ☘️@EricGilgenbach with 2 RBI’s to bring us all the way back in the 9th! Listen to what they had to say postgame! ☘️#GoIrish #PassTheShillelagh

— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) March 11, 2019


How It Happened – Game 2

Wake Forest struck first in game two with two runs in the bottom of the third.

The Irish did not take long to respond to the first runs of the game, creating an opportunity in the next half inning.

With a runner on second and two away, David LaManna dropped in a hit in front of the left fielder that scooted all the way to the wall. Carter Putz scored easily and LaManna was at second for his first double of the season. Coetzee continued the trend with a screamer that bounced off the wall in left center. LaManna scored to tie the game and Coetzee recorded his first career hit with the double. Jared Miller was next and he got into the fun with a single down the right field line that scored Coetzee and gave the Irish the lead.

The Irish added to the lead in the next inning. Another single from Putz got the Irish started and Gilgenbach added a single of his own to put two runners on with two outs. LaManna stepped up to the plate and sent another hit to left field and Putz came around to score and increase the Irish lead.

Wake Forest added a run in the fifth and then regained the lead in the sixth. With the bases loaded, the Deacs got a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game up at 4-4. They took the lead when a runner scored on a wild pitch and added another with a single through the left side.

Heading into the ninth trailing by three, the Irish looked to string together a few hits and put some pressure on the Wake Forest bullpen. John Arndorfer got the inning started with a walk and Myers followed with a single. Jung also worked a walk and the bases were loaded and nobody out for Putz.

He got on with a fielder’s choice that scored Arndorfer and advanced Myers to third. After a Niko Kavadas walk, Gilgenbach stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and a two-run deficit. He slapped a single through the right side that scored Myers and Putz to tie the game at 7-7.

In the 10th, Coetzee got hit by a pitch to start the inning and Jared Miller singled through the right side. After a sac bunt to move the runners over, Myers hit a grounder to the shortstop and Coetzee beat the throw home to score the game-winning run.

How It Happened – Game 1

The Demon Deacons got on the board in the bottom half of the first. With the bases loaded, Brendan Tinsman hit a bases-clearing double to left and gave Wake Forest an early 3-0 lead.

The Irish bats woke up in a big way in the top of the fourth. Putz worked a full count walk to lead the inning off and Kavadas singled through the right side to bring the tying run to the plate. Gilgenbach stepped to the plate and after working the count full, he turned on a fastball and sent it over the fence in left to tie the game at 3-3.

Wake Forest took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. After a double from McNamee, Frick singled through the right side and McNamee beat the throw home to give the Decs a 4-3 lead.

Notre Dame kept the scoring up in the top half of the fifth. Ethan Copeland worked his way on after an errant throw by the third baseman that went into the Irish dugout. After a bunt single from Myers, Daniel Jung stepped to the plate with the tying run on third. He drove a fastball to the deepest part of the ballpark for an out but it was deep enough for Copeland to tag up and tie the game at 4-4.

Wake Forest got back on top in the bottom of the seventh and were threatening for more. After plating the go-ahead run, the Decs had runners on the corners and just one out. Joe Boyle came out of the pen and got the final two outs via strikeout and a ground out to end the threat.

The Demon Deacons added two insurance runs in the bottom eighth to seal the win.

Game Notes

  • Spencer Myers tallied two hits in both games for his third consecutive multi-hit game and sixth of the season.
  • Brooks Coetzee recorded his first career hit and RBI with a double to the wall in the fourth inning of game two.
  • First double and RBI of the season for David LaManna in the fourth inning of game two.
  • LaManna tied a career high with two RBI in the second game.
  • Carter Putz had two hits in game two for his fifth multi-hit game of the season.
  • Mitch Megias earned his first career win after two innings of work in game two.
  • Gilgenbach tallied multi-RBI in both games against Wake Forest. It is his sixth game this season with multiple RBI.
  • Gilgenbach recorded his team leading fifth home run of the season in the fourth to tie game one. He leads the Irish in home runs (5) and RBI (19) on the year.
  • Cameron Brown struck out eight in 5.2 innings of work in game one. It is the third start of the season Brown has recorded at least eight strikeouts.

Up Next

Notre Dame will continue its spring break road trip with a midweek matchup against Western Carolina on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast in ESPN+.

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.