April 26, 2014
GARY, Ind. – A University of Notre Dame defense that has turned 49 double plays this season to get out of many jams struggled Saturday as the Irish allowed Northeastern to score five unearned runs, including four in the fifth inning, in a 6-2 loss to the Huskies at the U.S. Steel Yard in non-conference baseball action.
Irish starting pitcher Nick McCarty (2-7) certainly didn’t have his best stuff in five innings of work, but surely deserved better than the tough fifth inning that broke open the game for the Huskies. Already leading 1-0, Northeastern got its inning going with one out. With a runner on first, a throwing error by freshman third baseman Kyle Fiala put runners on first and second. A single loaded the bases and a walk brought home one run. A sac fly scored another run and a single by Nick Fanneron brought two more runs across the dish. All four runs proved to be unearned as the sac fly should have been the third out in the frame.
Later in the game, another throwing error by Fiala, who missed the last three games after suffering a concussion last Sunday night at Miami, allowed Jason Vosner to cross the plate on a Cam Hanley single to right field in the seventh inning.
Notre Dame scored their lone two runs of the game in the sixth inning as Fiala doubled down the left-field line to bring home sophomore Ricky Sanchez and freshman Cavan Biggio singled up the middle to score Fiala.
That would be all for the Irish, however, as Huskie pitcher Chris Carmain continued his remarkable season. The senior, who entered the game ranked 11th in the country in ERA (1.05), turned in his 10th quality start of the year by going seven innings and giving up two runs on six hits. He also struck out four and walked two in 101 pitches.
McCarty no-hit the Huskies through the first three innings, but left after the fifth inning with six hits and one earned run charged to his total.
There were some positives on the day for the Irish. Relievers Joey Cresta (0.2 IP, 1 H), Scott Tully (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) and Ryan Smoyer (1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 SO) looked good in appearances on the mound. At the plate, Sanchez, Fiala and Biggio all recorded two-hit days, while Sanchez and Fiala plated the two Notre Dame runs. Left fielder Zak Kutsulis had a hit and two walks.
Notre Dame (17-25) and Northeastern (17-22) have each won a game in the three-game series and will play the rubber match at 2:05 p.m. ET (1:05 p.m. CT) back in Gary. Fans can listen online at WatchND (WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend) or follow Gametracker.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director