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Irish Give Up Late Lead in 6-4 Loss

March 14, 2018

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By Megan Golden

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team fell 6-4 to Saint Joseph’s, which rallied to plate six in the bottom of the ninth in the Snowbird Classic on Wednesday morning.

Notre Dame (7-8), the visiting team at North Charlotte Regional Park, turned in arguably its best pitching performance through the first eight innings but struggled to close the game in the ninth agaainst the Hawks (6-7).

How It Happened

Alex Kerschner knocked a one-out double to left field in the second inning and came around to score on an RBI-fielder’s choice from Ryan Cole. Kerschner’s run put the Irish ahead 1-0 against the Hawks.

In his first career start, Zack Martin worked a career-high 4.2 innings with six strikeouts. Cole Kmet came on in relief of Martin in the fifth and threw 1.1 scoreless innings, while right-hander Cameron Junker added 1.0 inning.

Matt Vierling added an insurance run for the Irish in the eighth inning. David LaManna, who was hitting in the two hole on Wednesday, singled to left, and Nick Podkul walked to move LaManna to second. With one out, Vierling knocked an RBI-single into left field to give Notre Dame a 2-0 advantage late.

Vierling moved from center field to pitcher in the eighth, when he took care of the Hawks and sent the Irish to the ninth with a 2-0 lead.

Daniel Jung led off the inning with a single, and Jared Miller reached on an error to put runners at the corners with one out. LaManna and Podkul followed with back-to-back RBI-singles to make it a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Vierling struggled with his command and allowed the Hawks to tie the game at 4-4. With two outs in the inning, Saint Joseph’s Dominic Cuoci belted a walk-off, two-run homer to right center to finish the comeback and give the Hawks a 6-4 victory.

Game Notes

  • Notre Dame moves to 0-2 all-time against Saint Joseph’s.
  • Notre Dame is 4-5 in neutral site matchups in 2018.
  • Zack Martin made his first career start and threw a career-high 4.2 innings with a career-best six strikeouts.
  • Nick Podkul has reached base safely in 21 straight games, dating back to 2017. The second baseman has hit .405 (32-79) with eight doubles, two triples, one home run and 20 RBI during that span.
  • David LaManna has reached base safely in 14 of 15 career games.

Up Next

Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee, Fla., for three games at No. 7 Florida State on the final leg of its spring break trip. All three games will be available on ACC Network Extra and 103.1 FM (South Bend)/WatchND.

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.


Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame baseball and women’s soccer programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.