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Irish Fall in Midweek Matchup to Central Michigan

NOTRE DAME, Ind. –  The University of Notre Dame baseball team couldn’t keep up with Central Michigan’s scoring barrage, as the Chippewas (20-7) downed the Irish (11-15) by a final score of 17-7.

How It Happened 

Notre Dame found itself behind early after Central Michigan catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell hit a sacrifice fly to put the Chippewas up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.

After a scoreless top of the second inning from Central Michigan, the Irish got on the board thanks to a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher David LaManna. The Irish looked to add to their second-inning tally after Jake Singer drew a two-out walk, but the Chippewas induced a groundout to end Notre Dame’s scoring threat. 

The Chippewas started off their half of the third frame with a double down the left field line from Zach Heeke. Though Irish starter Zack Martin struck out the next two Central Michigan batters, Lockwood-Powell struck again as he laced a line drive single into the outfield to plate the Chippewas’ second run of the evening. Central Michigan added two more runs in the top of the third via a two-out double from Evan Kratt, but Notre Dame reliever Andrew Belcik struck out the next Chippewa batter to prevent any further damage. 

Central Michigan put two men aboard early in the top of the fourth inning, and the Chippewas added two more runs to their total after Zach Gilles ripped a triple into the gap to put the visitors up 6-1. Central Michigan tacked on another run via a second sacrifice fly from Lockwood-Powell, but Notre Dame reliever Andrew Holubecki induced a lineout to end the Chippewas’ half of the inning.

The Irish led off their half of the inning with a walk drawn by senior outfielder Eric Gilgenbach. Gilgenbach advanced to second base thanks to a passed ball, and Notre Dame sophomore Niko Kavadas capitalized on the scoring opportunity by crushing a 400-foot home run to deep right center, bringing the Irish within four. 

Singer got the Notre Dame bats started in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out single, and Jack Zyska followed with a double off the wall to give the Irish a pair of runners in scoring position. Spencer Myers drew a walk to load the bases for Notre Dame, and Daniel Jung plated two runs with a line-drive double to put the score at 7-5. Freshman Carter Putz drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases once again, but the Irish couldn’t take advantage of the scoring opportunity, keeping Notre Dame’s deficit at two.

That is the closest the Irish would get as the Chippewas broke the game open with big innings in the eighth and ninth to clinch the win.

Game Notes

  • Niko Kavadas hit his second home run in as many games when he launched a two-run blast in the the bottom of the fourth.
  • It is his team-leading eighth home run of the season after hitting just five all of last season.
  • Daniel Jung recorded a two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for his fourth multi-RBI game of the season.
  • Jake Singer went a season-best 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored against the Chippewas.

Up Next

The Irish are back at it tomorrow night for a seven-inning exhibition game against the South Bend Cubs at Four Winds Field. Ticket sales from the game will be split between both teams to a charity of their choice. The Fighting Irish will donate their portion to the Samantha Hickey Foundation, which raises money for Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Cancer Center. The South Bend Cubs charity is the Center for the Homeless. 

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.