May 13, 2017
By Michael Scholl
Hearne, a graduate student and co-captain, was making his final appearance at Frank Eck Stadium. The southpaw scattered six hits through six innings to hold the Governors scoreless while striking out three and not issuing a walk. Patrick McDonald allowed a pair in relief, but Sean Guenther threw 2.1 innings of one-hit ball to earn his seventh save.
At the plate, Eric Gilgenbach homered for the second time in the series while adding a double. He finished 2-for-3 with four RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Leadoff hitter Nick Podkul was 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Matt Vierling and Jake Shepski also had RBI.
Gilgenbach hit his second two-run homer in as many days to give the Irish the lead. Daily drilled a one-out single to center before Jung flew out. Gilgenbach then drilled a pitch well beyond the wall in right-center to make it 2-0.
Eric Feliz helped the Irish extend the lead by starting the fifth with a double to left-center. Podkul then bunted for a base hit to put runners at the corners before Jake Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Vierling hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Feliz, but the Irish were held to a single run after Lidge hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
The Governors cut the Irish lead to a run in the seventh. McDonald came in on relief of Hearne to start the inning. After a leadoff groundout, Chase Hamilton doubled to right. Pinch-hitter Brett Newburgh went down swinging before Imani Willis delivered a two-out double down the right -field line to score Hamilton. Mik Aoki called closer Sean Guenther from the bullpen and after a single by Garrett Giovannelli scored Willis, Malcolm Tipler grounded out to end the innings with Notre Dame up, 3-2.
Notre Dame broke the game open in the eighth. Vierling was hit by a pitch to start before Lidge drew a walk. The pair moved up on wild pitches before Cole Daily went down swinging for the first out. Austin Peay intentionally walked Daniel Jung to get to Gilegenbach, who delivered the big blow with a two-run double. A Governor pitching change was followed by a failed suicide squeeze attempt, with Jung retired at the plate for out number two. Jake Singer was walked before Shepski pinch hit and singled through the right side to score Gilgenbach. Podckul followed with a single through the left side, scoring Singer to provide the final margin of 7-2.
Notre Dame and Austin Peay conclude their three-game set on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The game will be available on ACC Network Extra, with audio play-by-play on WatchND and 103.1 FM.
— 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.