BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The University of Notre Dame baseball team battled in a back-and-forth game Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field but eventually fell to the Blazers 10-7.
Notre Dame scored three runs in the first inning after a three-run home run from Zack Prajzner. UAB scored the next six runs of the game before the Irish tied it back up in the seventh. Eric Gilgenbach hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 6-6 in the seventh.
UAB responded with a grand slam in the bottom half of the seventh to clinch the game and put the series on the line in Sunday’s matinee.
How It Happened
Unlike the series opener on Friday, the Irish got off to a hot start in the top of the first. Spencer Myers took the first pitch of the game into left field to get the inning started. After a Putz single to right-center, Prajzner stepped to the plate with runners on first and second. The sophomore from Carlsbad, California sent a shot to the opposite field and it cleared the fence for the three-run homer. It was the first Irish home run of 2020 and the second of Prajzner’s career.
UAB responded with a two-run home run from Colton Schultz in the bottom of the first to bring the deficit to 3-2. The Blazers took the lead in the bottom of the second after sending three more runs across the plate. After two full innings, UAB held a 5-3 lead.
The Blazers added a run in the fifth inning to increase their lead to 6-3, halfway through the game.
In the seventh inning, the Irish began to climb back in the game. Jared Miller hit his second double of the game and was in scoring position with two outs. Brooks Coetzee stepped to the plate and hit a ball up the middle and beat out the throw to first. The throw was misplayed by the first baseman and Miller came around to score. Gilgenbach came to the plate next and crushed a two-run homer to left field and tied the game at 6-6.
UAB responded with a grand slam from J. Paul Fullerton in the bottom half of the seventh to regain the lead for the Blazers.
The Irish led off the ninth inning with a solo home run from Jack Zyska but were unable to add on any more and comeback from the deficit.
- Zack Prajzner recorded the first Irish home run of the season in the top of the first. It was the second career home run for Prajzner.
- Prajzner finished the game with a career-high three RBI. He leads the team with four through the first two games.
- Eric Gilgenbach hit his first home run of the season to tie the game in the top of the seventh. He finished second on the team in homers last season with nine.
- Jared Miller set a career high with four hits on the afternoon. He finished the day 4-for-4 with two doubles and one run.
- Carter Putz tied a career high with three hits after going 3-for-4 with a run.
- Jack Zyska also tallied his first home run of the season with a solo homer to lead off the top of the ninth. He hit two home runs in 2019.
- Aidan Tyrell notched a career high with 2.1 innings pitched of relief against UAB.
- Sophomore Alex Rao made his first career start Saturday afternoon against UAB. He made five appearances out of the bullpen in 2019.
The Irish will look to clinch the series on Sunday afternoon against the Blazers at Young Memorial Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on C-USA TV.