April 28, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame baseball team scored in the sixth and eighth innings to rally and defeat Duke, 5-4, in game one of a doubleheader on Friday evening at Frank Eck Stadium.
Eric Gilgenbach delivered a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the eighth to put the Irish ahead. Peter Solomon got the win for the Irish, throwing four scoreless innings of two-hit ball in relief of Brandon Bielak.
The Irish took advantage of a Duke miscue to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Podkul led off with a pop-up to second, but the ball was dropped by the second baseman. The Irish capitalized as Johnson, Fiala and Vierling drilled consecutive singles, with Fiala and Vierling knocking in runs to make it 2-0.
The Blue Devils used a two-out rally to square things up in the third. With a runner on first and two down, Bielak walked Griffin Conine and Jack Labosky to load the bases. Michael Smiciklas singled to score Kone and Conine, but was retired trying to advance to second on a throw to third.
Vierling quickly put the Irish back on top, sending a 2-2 pitch beyond the left-field wall for a one-out homer.
Duke struck back in the fifth to take the lead. Bielak walked Kone to start the inning, then got a popout and groundout before Smiciklas singled home Kone and Taylor doubled in Smiciklas.
Vierling again played a major role as the Irish tied it up in the sixth. He served a leadoff double into left-center before Lidge walked and Daily singled through the left side to load the bases. McDonald hit into a double play, scoring Vierling to tie the game at four before Power struck out to end the frame.
The Irish used small ball to plate the winning in the eighth. Fiala walked, then advanced to second on a balk. Lidge reached on a fielding error before Daily popped up for the second out. Jung loaded the bases with a pinch-hit single before Gilgenbach pinch hit and singled through the left side to plate Fiala. Shepski popped up to end the frame, but the Irish had taken the lead for good.
The Irish and Blue Devils will play game two of the doubleheader Friday evening. The contest can be seen on ACC Network Extra and heard on WatchND and 103.1 FM.
— ND —
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.