March 28, 2015
Box Score– Game 2
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Behind solid pitching and timely hitting, the No. 12 Virginia Cavaliers secured a doubleheader sweep over the University of Notre Dame baseball team Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium, 9-1 and 4-2, to clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference series with one game remaining.
Virginia starters Nathan Kirby (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO) and Connor Jones (7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO) gave the visitors a pair of spectacular outings on the mound, while the Cavalier bats scored 13 runs and had 20 hits on the day.
The Irish didn’t have a lot of answers for UVA’s pitching during the doubleheader, as Notre Dame only mustered three runs and 12 hits.
Notre Dame (16-9, 3-8 ACC) and the Cavaliers (17-8, 5-6 ACC) close out their three-game series at 12:05 p.m. (ET) Sunday. Please note that the noon start is an hour earlier than the originally scheduled 1:05 p.m. (ET) first pitch. Fans can follow the game through WatchND’s free online video stream or by tracking live stats. Links for both are on UND.com.
GAME 1: No. 12 Virginia 9, Notre Dame 1
The Cavaliers scored six runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined to turn a slim 3-0 contest into a 9-1 final margin.
Irish starter Scott Kerrigan (1-4) turned in six strong innings before giving up three runs in the seventh to chase the Saugus, California native from the game. His final stat line saw him go 6.1 innings and give up six runs on nine hits and three walks in 103 pitches.
The Virginia offense clubbed 13 hits on the day, led by a big 2-for-3 afternoon from catcher Matt Thaiss, who totaled three RBI, two walks and a run scored. Third baseman Kenny Towns added two hits and three RBI, while shortstop Daniel Pinero had three hits, two walks and four runs scored. Leadoff hitter Adam Haseley recorded two hits, an RBI, a walk and two runs scored.
Projected first round MLB Draft pick Nathan Kirby (4-1) had an outstanding outing for the Cavaliers, as he hurled six shutout innings and allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. Reliever Kevin Doherty earned the three-inning save.
Joey Cresta (1.0 IP, 2 ER), Cristian Torres (0.1 IP, 1 ER), Matt Ternowchek (0.1 IP, 1 H) and Kyle Rubbinaccio (1.0 IP, 2 H) relieved Kerrigan following the senior’s departure in the seventh inning. The outing was Rubbinaccio’s first of the year and the second for both Torres and Ternowchek.
GAME 2: No. 12 Virginia 4, Notre Dame 2
With the score tied at two entering the final frame, Virginia plated two runs in the top of the ninth to claim a 4-2 win and complete the Saturday sweep of the Irish.
After Notre Dame tied the game in the seventh on an RBI groundout from Kutsulis, the two squads appeared poised for extra innings. However, Virginia used small ball to put itself in prime position to take the lead. After a leadoff walk and a sac bunt, Christian Lowry clocked an RBI single to right field to score Doherty and give the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead. Haseley came up next and clubbed a double down the right-field line to score Lowry and give the game its final margin.
Senior Ryan Bull recorded a single with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but the Irish couldn’t keep the rally going, as Josh Sborz earned his sixth save of the game.
The Cavaliers saw starter Connor Jones put in an outstanding effort on the mound, as the sophomore went 7.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out nine Irish batters. Despite the effort, Jones didn’t come away with the win, as he was removed right before the game-deciding ninth frame. Tommy Doyle recorded one out to end the eighth and picked up his first career win.
For Notre Dame, freshman Brandon Bielak had arguably the best outing of his young career, as the Sayreville, New Jersey native went 7.1 innings and gave up two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters.
Bull recorded the only multi-hit day for the Irish and also scored a run.
Notre Dame scored its first run on a Jones’ wild pitch that scored Irish catcher Ryan Lidge.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director