May 17, 2016
By Russell Dorn
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team fell to No. 17 North Carolina, 8-1, Monday night at Boshamer Stadium in the series finale of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series.
With the win, the Tar Heels claimed the series 2-1.
After pitching dominated the first two games, UNC’s offense broke out in the finale by plating seven runs in the second inning to snatch all the momentum in the game.
UNC recorded three walks and five walks in the inning as it batted around in the frame to take a 7-0 lead. The Tar Heels added to the lead in the fifth on a solo homer.
The Irish used seven pitchers on the night with limited success. In the last half of the game, however, sophomores Evy Ruibal (1.0 IP, 1 H) and Jake Shepski (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 SO) both turned in scoreless frames. Freshman Matt Vierling tossed the lone 1-2-3 inning for Notre Dame on the night in the eighth to close out the game.
Notre Dame’s offense struggled at the plate for much of the weekend, but found more than its fair share of bad luck Monday night. The Irish lined into a double play in consecutive innings when they had runners on base with less than two outs.
In the ninth, Notre Dame tallied a pair of singles before junior Torii Hunter Jr. picked up his first career RBI with an infield single to plate Vierling and get the Irish on the board.
Vierling led the Irish with a hit, run and inning pitched on the mound. Senior Lane Richards had the lone two-hit day for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame (27-24, 11-14 ACC) closes out the regular season with a monster series at home against No. 16 Clemson (24-18, 13-14 ACC) this weekend. The Irish need to win the series to advance to the ACC Tournament in Durham, North Carolina.
Game times against the Tigers are set for 6:05 p.m. ET Thursday, 6:05 p.m. ET Friday and 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday. All three contests will be streamed live online through WatchND. Links are available on UND.com/NDBaseball.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball team, 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.