March 30, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team dropped both games of a Sunday doubleheader 10-2 and 7-5 to Atlantic Coast Conference foe Wake Forest at Four Winds Field.
The Demon Deacons swung the bats with great efficiency throughout the day as they racked up 17 runs on 31 hits in two games. Six players had multiple hits in game one and five others did the same in game two.
Wake jumped out to a big lead in the first game as it led 7-1 after four innings and 10-1 after six. In game two, the Deacs plated four runs in the fifth to overcome a 4-2 Irish lead.
Notre Dame’s bats looked much better than in recent weeks as it tallied 18 hits. However, the Irish left 18 runners on base between the two contests. The Irish defense committed four errors on the day, but also turned four double plays to up their nation-leading total to 37 this season.
Junior Blaise Lezynski had a monster day for the Irish as he went 6-for-9 with three RBI to up his team-leading average to .330. He hit .462 for the series.
With the loss the Irish fall to 9-17 and 1-11 in the ACC. Notre Dame concludes its 10-game homestand at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday at Four Winds Field in South Bend as the Irish battle Valparaiso for the second time in less than a week. Last Wednesday the Irish bested the Crusaders, 4-1.
GAME 1: Wake Forest 10, Notre Dame 2
The Demon Deacons jumped all over Irish starting pitcher Pat Connaughton early as they scored seven runs in the first four innings in cruising to a 10-2 victory in game one of a Sunday doubleheader.
Wake Forest’s bats looked alive despite the 10:30 a.m. start as it put up 17 hits. Eight of the nine starters recorded hits, including six who had multiple hits. DH Charlie Morgan had a big 4-for-5 day and recorded a team-high four RBI and CF Evan Stephens knocked three base hits and scored a game-high four runs.
Connaughton (0-1) gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work. He hurled 73 pitches and issued five walks as opposed to two strikeouts. Notre Dame used six pitchers on the day as Scott Kerrigan pitched 1.2 innings and Jim Orwick, Kyle Rubbinaccio, Ryan Smoyer and Scott Tully each pitched one inning.
Bright spots for Notre Dame were a season-high four double plays that upped its nation-leading total to 37 and a three-hit day from junior Blaise Lezynski. Pinch hitter Jack Flaherty recorded his first career hit in his first career at-bat in the eighth inning. Pinch hitter Phil Mosey picked up his first hit of the season after collecting five walks in other at-bats this season.
Wake struck first in Sunday’s early game as it capitalized on a throwing error from third baseman Kyle Fiala. The freshman made a spectacular diving scoop to save a single but made a poor throw that pulled first baseman off the bag and allowed lead-off hitter Evan Stephens on base. Later in the inning, Matt Conway made the Irish pay with a single to left field that scored Stephens and gave the Demon Deacons a 1-0 lead.
The visitors added to their lead soon after as they scored two in the second and four more in the fourth. In the second, DH Charlie Morgan hit a two-run single to left field to make the score 3-1. Two innings later, the floodgates opened as Wake Forest opened the inning with four consecutive singles that plated two runs. After a hard line out to Fiala at third, Will Craig rocked a two-run double off the leftfield line to give Wake a 7-1 lead.
Wake added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to close out its scoring. The Deacs scored runs in five of the first six innings.
Notre Dame scored one run in the third on a Lezynski RBI single and another in the eighth on a Ryan Bull RBI single.
GAME 2: Wake Forest 7, Notre Dame 5
The Irish bats got off to a good start in game two as they plated four runs in the first three innings to take a 4-2 lead. However, a devastating four-run fifth inning for the Deacs gave them a 6-4 lead.
Sophomore Michael Hearne (1-3) came out for the fifth inning and got into trouble as he gave up four consecutive singles after a fly out as Wake trimmed the lead to 4-3. Hearne was replaced by sophomore Joey Cresta, who gave up a three-run double to pinch hitter Nate Mondou.
Notre Dame trimmed the lead to one in the sixth on a Lezynski RBI single, but couldn’t get any closer as they left runners on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
Hearne went 4.1 innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits. He also walked two and struck out none.
Matt Pirro (2-1) earned the win after replacing starter Connor Kaden and hurling 2.1 innings of no-hit ball. Closer Aaron Fossas picked up his sixth save after giving up just one hit in two innings of work.
Lezynski led the Irish at the plate with three hits and two RBI. Hudgins and Kutsulis also notched multi-hit games. Cavan Biggio drew a pair of walks and scored a run.
With 10 hits in the game, the Irish hit double digits for the eighth time this season.
Notre Dame crossed the dish once in the first inning, once in the second and twice in the third. Lezynski had an RBI double in the first, Lane Richards turned in an RBI single in the second and Kutsulis (single) and Youngdahl (walk) each notched RBI in the third.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director