March 26, 2016
By Russell Dorn
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team is officially on a winning streak after disposing of Virginia Tech, 5-2, Saturday afternoon to complete the three-game road Atlantic Coast Conference sweep of the Hokies.
The Irish have now won four games in a row thanks in large part to an offense that has scored at least five runs in each of the last six games and a pitching unit that has posted a 2.25 ERA during the four-game winning streak.
Saturday was no different than the previous two games in the series, as the Irish scored runs in each of the first three innings to race out to a lead.
Senior Zak Kutsulis hit a sac fly in the first, freshman Nick Podkul cracked an RBI single in the second and junior Cavan Biggio hit a laser home run on the first pitch of the third inning to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.
Virginia Tech plated two runs in the fifth on a sac fly and a single, but the Irish pushed their lead back to three runs in the ninth inning on a Hokie throwing error following by a sacrifice fly from senior Kyle Richardson.
Irish sophomore RHP Peter Solomon got back on track with a solid five innings of work. He allowed two runs (1 ER), three hits and two walks while striking out five to earn his first win of the season. He struck out the side in the first frame to get the game started on the right foot.
Senior David Hearne relieved Solomon to start the sixth and completely overpowered the Virginia Tech bats the rest of the way to pick up the team’s first save of 2016. Hearne hurled four shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four batters.
Biggio’s homer highlighted another fantastic day at the plate for the Houston, Texas native. The lefty tallied four hits and scored two runs to up his season split to .304/.495/.481. He also leads the ACC with 27 walks.
Starting in place of injured catcher Ryan Lidge, senior Ricky Sanchez had a week split of .563/.611/.750 with nine hits (3 2B), two RBI, two walks and four runs scored. He posted two hits and a run scored in Saturday’s game.
Senior James Nevant earned the start in left field and had a hit, walk and two runs scored. Richardson finished with two hits and a sac fly.
Notre Dame turned two double plays to up its season total to 23.
The Irish (12-10, 4-5 ACC) begin a 13-game home stand at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Thursday (March 31) when the Oregon Ducks come to town for a midweek contest. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons then head to Frank Eck Stadium for a three-game series starting Friday (April 1).
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.