SAN ANTONIO, Texas — After a long day at Nelson Wolff Stadium for the second day of the Alamo Irish Classic, the Notre Dame baseball team finished with a split of their Friday double header. The Irish dropped the first game 4-2 to Eastern Michigan and came from behind to defeat Incarnate Word 2-1 in the nightcap.
In the second game, Cameron Brown had a dominant performance over five plus innings of work. He struck out a career high nine while only surrendering four hits and an unearned run.
The Irish tied the game in the fifth against the Cardinals and it stayed at 1-1 until the seventh. Junior Daniel Jung extended his season-long hitting streak with a single to right and Carter Putz came around to score the eventual game-winning run.
“I’ve been trying to string together quality AB’s and hit the ball” – Jung☘️
— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) February 23, 2019
How It Happened – Incarnate Word
After giving up a run in the first inning, the Irish were poised to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
Eric Gilgenbach earned a two-out walk to load the bases for Niko Kavadas and he jumped on the first pitch. It floated over the first baseman but tailed just foul into right field. After fouling off a few more pitches, Kavadas struck out and ended the inning.
The Irish were able to fight back and tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Zack Prajzner singled with one out and advanced to second after a passed ball. Jung reached after a HBP to bring up Gilgenbach with two outs. Gilgenbach hit a liner right back up the middle and Prajzner scored to level the game.
Brown was on it all night long against the Cardinals. He did not give up an earned run over 5.1 innings of work and set a career high with nine strikeouts. In the later half of the outing, Brown struck out two in the third, fourth and fifth inning.
Carter Putz lead off the seventh inning with a walk after working the count full against Incarnate Word’s starter Tyler Miller. Zack Prajzner moved Putz over with a sacrifice bunt and Jung came to the plate with two outs. The La Miranda, Calif. Native sent the 2-1 pitch to right field to extend his hitting streak to six games and give the Irish the lead.
Tommy Vail shut the door down for the Irish after they took the lead. He got out of a jam in the eighth after the Cardinals got a runner on third base. He struck out the next batter and forced a fly out to end the inning.
In the ninth, Vail set UIW down in order and ended the game with his fifth strikeout to cap off the win for the Irish.
How It Happened – Eastern Michigan
Eastern got on the scoreboard first in the fourth after a single to center from Bolton scored Rensel, Jr. from second base. The Eagles were threatening for more with runners at second and third but Junker got out of the inning by forcing Hager to pop out to short.
Zack Martin was on in relief in the top half of the sixth inning and looked to have a 1-2-3 inning locked up. Martin painted the inside corner on a 1-2 pitch but it was called a ball. The Eagles ripped off four straight hits after that pitch and added two more runs on the scoreboard.
Notre Dame got a run back in the bottom of the seventh thanks to the freshman duo of Putz and Prajzner. Putz tallied his first career hit, a double into left center, to get the Irish going in the inning. Prajzner came up to the plate and hit a rope down the left field line that scored Putz and he ended at second base standing up. The Irish had runners on first and second but the inning ended with a foul pop up to the third baseman.
The Irish had another chance to climb back in it during the bottom of the eighth. Putz got his second hit of the afternoon and Kavadas made it to third with two outs. David LaManna stepped to the plate and hit a towering fly ball to left field but the Cruz made the catch for the Eagles just inside the warning track.
Cole Kmet was lights out in relief for the Irish against the Eagles. The sophomore didn’t allow a hit over 3.1 innings of work and struck out a career-high five batters.
The Irish got the first two batters on in the final inning and brought a run home via a sacrifice fly but couldn’t come all the way back and fell 4-2.
- Cameron Brown sets a career high with nine strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work.
- Brown struck out two batters in the first, third, fourth and fifth inning.
- Daniel Jung extended his hitting streak to six with his single in the seventh to give the Irish the lead.
- Tommy Vail was one strikeout short of tying his career high after he set down five Cardinals in 2.1 innings.
- Andrew Belcik was also one strikeout short of tying his career high when he struck out three over an inning and a third.
- First career hit for Carter Putz against Eastern Michigan. He finished game one 2-for-2 with a run scored.
- Cole Kmet came out of the bullpen for the second game in a row and did not allow a hit over 3.1 innings of work and struck out a career-high five.
Notre Dame will play its final game of the Alamo Irish Classic Saturday afternoon. The Irish will square off with Incarnate Word for the second time on the weekend and Saturday’s first pitch is slated for 3 p.m. ET.