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Irish Complete Game Two Win, Clinch Series in Game Three

Brown, Prajzner lead Irish to series win

NOTRE DAME, Ind. –  The University of Notre Dame baseball team clinched a series win after winning both games against Pitt on Sunday. The Irish officially won the second game of the series 9-0 after it was suspended yesterday and resumed this morning in the bottom of the eighth. Then in the rubber match of the series, the Irish had another strong performance on the mound and defeated the Panthers 4-1.

Cameron Brown continued the trend of strong outings from the Irish starters this weekend against the Panthers. Brown tossed 7.1 innings, his second most this season, and allowed just one run and two walks while striking out nine. It was Brown’s fourth outing this season with eight strikeouts or more and he leads the team with 66 on the season.

How It Happened – Game 3

The Panthers scored first for the first time in the series in game three. In the second inning, they got a two-out RBI from Zac MacLaren to give them an early lead.

The lead did not last long as the Irish tied the game in the next half inning. After going down in order in the first two innings and two outs already in the third, Zack Prajzner wanted to keep the Panthers from getting another 1-2-3 inning. He crushed the 3-1 pitch to left that easily clearly the wall for his first career home run to tie the game.

The Irish took the lead in the top of the fifth. Daniel Jung led off the inning with a double and came home to score on Carter Putz’s RBI single. Putz would also come home to score later in the inning after Prajzner’s sacrifice bunt up the first base line.

Brown followed Junker’s footsteps in game three by commanding the strike zone early on and kept the Panthers guessing at the plate. He allowed just the one run through the first four innings but got into some trouble in the fifth. The Panthers had two runners in scoring position but Brown got out of the jam with his fifth strikeout of the afternoon to end the inning. 

Another run came around to score for the Irish in the sixth. Niko Kavadas led the inning off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jung came up and sent a deep fly ball to center and Kavadas scored on the sacrifice fly. 

Brown continued to deal as the game went on. He tallied two more strikeouts in the seventh to bring his total to eight on the afternoon. He finished with 7.1 innings pitched and nine strikeouts, the second most strikeouts in an outing this season.

Tommy Vail came on to record the final five outs the game. He had four strikeouts and did not allowed a hit to seal the win and pick up his third save of the season.

How It Happened – Game 2

Similar to game one, the Irish jumped out in front first this time in the third inning. Jared Miller led the inning off with a single and stole second to get into scoring position. After a sacrifice bunt to move Miller over, Zack Prajzner singled to right field and Miller scored the first run of the second game for the Irish.

The Irish added to their lead in the top of the fourth. Carter Putz singled to reach base and came all the way around to score on the double ro right center from Jack Alexander. It was Alexander’s third double of the season and the 19th run scored for Putz.

The Irish broke the game open in the top half of the fifth. The bases were loaded with one out for Daniel Jung and he crushed an 0-1 pitch to right field that easily cleared the wall for Jung’s first career grand slam and his third home run of the season. The Irish added another run with Alexander’s second RBI single of the game that scored Putz.

The seven runs lead was more than enough for Junker who had been on a roll during ACC play. Heading into today’s start, Junker has pitched at least six innings in four of his last five starts. Junker hit that mark again with seven innings against the Panthers without allowing a run. It is his third-straight start to go seven innings or more.

The Irish added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh and held a 9-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth before the game was suspended.

When the game was resumed in the eighth, Zack Martin took over on the mound and struck out two Panthers to officially end the eighth inning nearly 20 hours after it began on Saturday.

Martin came back out in the ninth and kept the Panthers off the scoreboard to clinch the win and secure the second shutout of the season for the Irish.

Game Notes

  • Cameron Brown recorded 7.1 innings pitched in game three, allowing just one run, two walks and struck out nine.
  • All three Irish starters pitched at least seven innings against the Panthers over the weekend (Sheehan 7 IP, Junker 7 IP, Brown 7.1 IP).
  • Zack Prajzner tallied his first career home run in the third inning of game three to tie the game at 1-1.
  • Prajzner set a career high with two RBI against the Panthers in game three.
  • Tommy Vail tossed 1.2 innings of relief without allowing a hit for his third save of the season.
  • Cameron Junker tossed seven innings in game two for his third straight start and his sixth quality start of the season.
  • Daniel Jung recorded his first career grand slam in the fifth inning of game two for his third home run of the season.
  • Jack Alexander set a career highs with three RBI and three hits during game two.
  • Carter Putz tied a career high with three hits during game two. It is his fourth game this season with three hits.
  • Niko Kavadas tied a season high with three hits in game two going 3-for-6 from the plate with one run and one RBI.

Up Next

The Irish will head back home to kick off an 11-game homestand starting on Tuesday. The Irish will face off with Valparaiso tuesday night at Frank Eck Stadium with first pitch set for 6 p.m. ET. 

For a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish baseball program, follow @NDBaseball on Twitter and @NotreDameBaseball on Instagram. For tickets to an Irish baseball game, click here.