March 28, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Wake Forest plated a run in the first inning and then rode starting pitcher Jack Fischer for much of the game before reliever Aaron Fossas forced a double play with bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Demon Deacons hold on for a 1-0 win over the University of Notre Dame baseball team Friday night at Four Winds Field.
Wake Forest (17-10, 6-4 ACC) scored the game’s lone run, an unearned run, in the first inning as Matt Conway hit a sac fly to centerfield to bring home Grant Shambley. The run was unearned due to an error on starting pitcher Sean Fitzgerald as he tried to pick off Shambley when he was on second base.
The run proved to be all Fischer would need as he went 8.1 innings and gave up just five hits on 106 pitches. The RHP tried to go the full nine innings, but got into a bit of trouble in the ninth as he gave up a single to Irish junior Mac Hudgins with no outs. After inducing a fly out, closer Fossas entered and instantly gave up a single to freshman Kyle Fiala, before a throwing error by right fielder Jack Carey advanced the Carmel, Ind., native to second. The error forced Wake to intentionally walk freshman Cavan Biggio to load the bases and set up a double-play possibility. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat to junior Zak Kutsulis, Fossas did just that as a 463 DP ended the game in heartbreaking fashion for the Irish.
Notre Dame has now lost three 1-0 games in ACC play, with two of the three losses coming on unearned runs. The Irish are also 3-8 in games decided by one run and 3-10 in contests decided by two runs or less.
Fitzgerald (3-2) suffered the loss despite recording his sixth quality start in seven outings this season. The appearance wasn’t one of Fitzgerald’s best on the year as he walked three, but the McLean, Va., native only gave up four hits on the night despite throwing 116 pitches in seven innings of work. Fellow senior Donnie Hissa relieved Fitzgerald and gave up just one hit in two innings of work.
After recording 10 hits in a 4-1 victory over Valparaiso Wednesday night, Notre Dame recorded just six Friday night with Fiala recording the only multi-hit game for the team.
The Irish and Demon Deacons continue their three-game set at 2:05 p.m. (CT) Saturday at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind. Fans can follow through WatchND’s audio broadcast in addition to gametracker.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director