March 9, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – In the final game of the University of Notre Dame baseball team’s opening Atlantic Coast Conference series, the No. 6 NC State Wolfpack completed a three-game sweep with a 7-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Irish (5-9, 0-3 ACC) struggled at the plate (three hits) and on the mound (nine walks, four strikeouts, one error) as NC State (13-2, 3-0 ACC) finished off the sweep with the only convincing win of the weekend. Notre Dame had plenty of opportunities to claim a victory or two Saturday as it suffered losses by close scores of 5-3 and 1-0.
After plating three runs in the first game of the series, the Irish were shutout in the final 21 innings.
Starter Robert Youngdahl (1-1) had another tough day on the mound for Notre Dame as control issues continued to plague him. He concluded another short outing with four walks and just one strikeout in 2.1 innings of work. He was charged with four runs with just one of them earned.
On defense, the Irish did piece together their nation-leading 22nd double play of the season with a 6-4-3 groundout in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The big inning for the Wolfpack that opened up the game open came in the third as Youngdahl walked the first two batters of the inning and then couldn’t field a sac bunt attempt to allow State to load the bases. Centerfielder Jake Fincher came up to the plate and hit a deep fly to plate one before shortstop Trea Turner earned the third walk of the inning to load the bases again. That would be all for Youngdahl as sophomore Michael Hearne entered for his second appearance of the weekend. Hearne induced an RBI ground out from Bubby Riley to record the second out of the inning but increase the Wolfpack lead to 2-0. Third baseman Jake Armstrong then knocked a single to left field to clear the bases and increase the lead to 4-0 before the inning came to a close. Hearne gave up a pair of hits in 2.1 innings, striking out two and walking one. Notre Dame used seven pitchers on the day.
Three more runs crossed the dish for the Wolfpack in the seventh as pinch hitter and All-American pitcher Carlos Rodon recorded an RBI single before Kyle Cavanaugh (hit by pitch) and Nathan Hood (walk) were issued free passes that brought home runs by Irish reliever Matt Ternowchek.
For the Wolfpack, starter Brad Stone (6.0 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 5 SO) earned the win. At the plate, Austin and Turner scored two runs each and Armstrong had two hits and two RBI.
Notre Dame will look to get back on track at 6 p.m. Tuesday as it leaves its hotel in Cary, N.C., to drive West on I-40 towards Boone, N.C., and a rematch with Appalachian State. The Irish bested the Mountaineers, 4-3, in 11 innings March 2 at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director