Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Drop Heartbreaker to #19 Duke

March 30, 2018

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By Megan Golden

DURHAM, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to No. 19 Duke on Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Scott Tully turned in a career night, but Notre Dame (11-14, 4-6) was unable to close the game as it allowed a walk-off hit-by-pitch with two outs in the ninth to fall to Duke (22-5, 7-3).

How It Happened

Notre Dame scored first against the Blue Devils, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Nick Podkul walked and stole second base, and Matt Vierling extended his tear in the month of March with a single off the wall in left to drive home Podkul.

Duke led off the sixth with a single and a walk, and a Blue Devils bunt advanced the runners with one out. Duke’s Jimmy Herron hit a sacrifice fly to left field to get the Blue Devils on the board and even the score, 1-1.

Notre Dame answered in the top of the seventh, when Nick Podkul led off the inning with a triple. Matt Vierling followed with a double for his seventh multi-hit game of the month, driving in Podkul and helping the Irish regain a 2-1 lead. Alex Kerschner moved Vierling to third, and Eric Gilgenbach connected for an RBI-single up the middle to extend the Irish lead to 3-1. Daniel Jung and David LaManna drew back-to-back walks, and with two out, Jared Miller reached on a throwing error that allowed Jung to score.

Tully equaled his career high with 8.0 innings of two-hit baseball against the Blue Devils. Tully recorded two strikeouts and limited Duke to one run on a sacrifice fly.

Cole Kmet relieved Scott Tully in the ninth and allowed five singles to the Blue Devils, who capitalized and tied the game, 4-4. Andrew Belcik loaded the bases and Tommy Vail hit a batter to give Duke the walk-off, 5-4 victory.

Game Notes

  • Notre Dame trails the all-time series, 6-10, and owns a 4-7 record at Duke.
  • The Irish move to 3-4 versus top-20 teams in 2018.
  • The Irish own a 4-6 record in true road games this season.
  • Irish outfielder Matt Vierling has hit safely in 16 of 18 games in the month of March, batting .333 (23-69) with two doubles, one triple, three homers and 18 RBI during that span. Vierling owns seven multi-hit games in March.
  • Notre Dame starting pitchers have allowed two runs over their last 18.0 innings (three games), owning a 1.00 ERA over that span.
  • Alex Kerschner has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games.

Up Next

Notre Dame and Duke return to Durham Bulls Athletic Park for game two of this three-game series at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be streamed on ACC Network Extra and 103.1 FM (South Bend)/WatchND.

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.


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.