May 18, 2017
By Michael Scholl
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The Notre Dame baseball team gave up four runs in the seventh inning and dropped game one of a three-game set at Boston College, 6-2.
The Irish and Eagles, both playing to make the ACC Baseball Championship during the final weekend of the regular season, also dealt with temperatures in the 90s on a baking Thursday afternoon outside Boston.
Brad Bass started for the Irish, giving up four hits and two runs, one earned, in 5.2 innings of work. Peter Solomon took the loss after allowing four runs, none of them earned, on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
BC’s Jacob Stevens was outstanding, holding Notre Dame to four hits and a pair of runs while striking out 10. Jake Alu went 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Donovan Casey was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI while also pitching a perfect ninth inning.
BC took advantage of an Irish miscue to plate the game’s first run. Alu led off the inning with a single. Then, as Mitch Bigras went down swinging, Alu stole second and Lidge’s throw one-hopped Podkul at the bag and went into center field, with Alu advancing to third. Johnny Adams then delivered the run with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Irish then flipped the script to tie the game in the third. Shepski doubled to right-center with one out before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Podkul then singled up the middle to score Shepski and tie the game, 1-1.
A two-out rally gave the Irish the lead in the sixth. Johnson hit a two-out single to right before Vierling doubled to the gap in left-center, scoring Johnson. Ryan Lidge grounded out to end the frame with the Irish up, 2-1.
This time it was Boston College which wouldn’t stand for a shutdown inning. Michael Strem drew a leadoff walk before a lineout by Gian Martellini was followed by Podkul trying to double-up Strem. Instead, the throw went wide and the runner advanced to second. Alu then delivered a double to left-center to tie the game, 2-2. After Bigras grounded out, Mik Aoki went to his bullpen and brought in Solomon. The junior right-hander got ahead, 1-2, but the third pitch of the at-bat bounced away from Lidge, who got back to the plate to tag Alu for the third out.
The Eagles broke it open in the seventh. Adams opened the frame reaching on a throwing error. Adams then stole second on a strikeout by Jack Cunningham. With Brian Dempsey up, Adams went for third and Lidge’s throw beat him, but Adams got around the tag. After a walk, Jake Palomaki bunted and Solomon’s throw home went to the backstop. Casey then followed with a single to center to score Dempsey. After Strem walked to load the bases, McDonald entered the game for the Irish and got Martellini to foul out to first. Alu then delivered a two-run single up on a ball that was just out of reach of a diving Podkul to put the Eagles up 6-2.
The teams will be scoreboard watching Thursday night, as all the other ACC games are under the lights, before resuming for game two at Shea Field on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Audio call of the game is available on WatchND and 103.1 FM in South Bend.
— ND —
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.