March 16, 2018
By Megan Golden
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the first time since 2002, the University of Notre Dame baseball team defeated No. 7 Florida State at Dick Howser Stadium, this time coming in the fashion of an 8-7 win on Friday night.
Notre Dame (8-8) southpaw Scott Tully started and turned in the longest outing of any Irish starter (6.1 IP) this season. Tully (2-1) outdueled right-hander Cole Sands (4-1), who recorded his first loss of the season. The Seminoles (14-4) lost their fourth straight game.
How It Happened
The Irish opened the game with a Cole Daily double and forced Florida State starter Cole Sands to work through a jam early. Meanwhile, Scott Tully retired the first five batters he faced and worked with tremendous control early in the game.
Spencer Myers led off the third inning with a single through the right side, and Daily followed with a bunt single that moved Myers to second. Jake Johnson laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Myers and Daily and forcing the Seminoles to intentionally walk Nick Podkul. Stepping up with the bases loaded, Matt Vierling blasted a grand slam, his second homer of the season, to put the Irish ahead 4-0.
The Seminoles got on the board in the bottom half of the fourth inning, when they led off the bottom half of the frame with a double and then a walk. Mike Salvatore laid down a sacrifice bunt, but an errant throw allowed a run to score and help Florida State get on the board.
Florida State’s Drew Mendoza connected for a solo shot to right field with one out in the fourth, cutting Notre Dame’s lead to 4-2.
In the seventh inning, Jared Miller knocked a one-out base hit into left field and reached second after Myers walked. With two outs in the inning, Johnson belted his first homer of the season over a monstrous wall in right field. In the next at-bat, Podkul connected for his second of the year over the left field fence, giving Notre Dame an 8-2 lead.
Florida State responded with a single in the seventh and a one-out, two-run homer to make the score 8-4 and send the Irish to their bullpen.
A Seminoles walk and single off Andrew Belcik put runners on the corners with one out in the eighth. Cole Kmet entered and allowed a homer to left field, bringing Florida State to within one run at 8-7.
Kmet returned for the ninth and held the Seminoles scoreless, securing his second save of the season.
Player of the Game
Matt Vierling‘s grand slam gave the Irish the lead for good, putting them up 4-0 in the third. The grand slam was the second homer of the season for the outfielder and the third grand slam for the Irish.
Stat of the Game
Irish starter and southpaw Scott Tully has not allowed a two-out hit thus far in 2018.
- The Irish victory moves them to 3-1 against top-10 teams this season.
- Notre Dame trails the all-time series against Florida State, 8-15, including a 4-11 mark on the road.
- The Irish have scored seven or more runs in 10 games this season.
- The last time Notre Dame hit three homers in a game was on March 17, 2017, at Pittsburgh (Jake Shepski, Matt Vierling and Kyle Fiala).
- Matt Vierling‘s grand slam in the third inning was Notre Dame’s third of the season and first since Eric Gilgenbach hit grand slams in back-to-back games on Feb. 18 & 22.
- Scott Tully turned in the longest start of any Irish pitcher this season with 6.1 innings.
- Nick Podkul has reached base safely in 22 straight games, dating back to 2017. The second baseman has hit .398 (33-83) with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 21 RBI during that span.
- Daniel Jung is one hit away from reaching 50 in his career, and Nick Podkul is three RBI away from totaling 50 in his career.
The Irish return to action against the Seminoles at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday at Dick Howser Stadium.
Notre Dame’s contests at Florida State on Saturday and Sunday will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra as well as on 103.1 FM (South Bend)/WatchND.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame baseball and women’s soccer programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.