DURHAM, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team fell behind early and could never recover against Duke Tuesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Irish faced a five-run deficit after the first two innings but brought it back within one run twice in the middle innings. Ultimately, the Irish could not get over the hump and lost 10-6 to the Blue Devils.
@NDBaseball | Highlights vs. Duke, ACC Tournament (2019)
How It Happened
The Irish faced an early deficit after the Blue Devils jumped out in front in the bottom of the first. Duke loaded the bases and Michael Rothenburg emptied them when he deposited a grand slam into the right field seats. Junker got the next two batters out to end the inning and the Irish trailed 4-0.
Notre Dame got a run back in the top of the second and Eric Gilgenbach got it started with a single off the wall in left. Jared Miller followed it up with a ground-rule double to right and the Irish had two runners in scoring position. Gilgenbach came home to score on Jack Zyska’s ground out and the Irish trailed 4-1.
Duke got two runs in the bottom of the inning after the ball took an unlucky ricochet off the backstop following a wild pitch. The Blue Devils had two runs score as the ball ended up near the top step of the Irish dugout and they held a 6-1 lead after two frames.
The Irish continued to fight back in the top of the third, scoring a run as Carter Putz missed a grand slam by a few feet. His fly ball was caught at the wall in right center and Niko Kavadas scored on the play.
In the fourth, the Irish scored two more runs to trim the deficit to two. Kavadas came through with a RBI single to right that scored Prajzner for the first run. Then Daniel Jung grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Spencer Myers from third and the Irish trailed by just two, 6-4, at the end of the fourth.
The Irish scored for the fourth straight inning in the fifth inning and Gilgenbach got it started again with a single. He advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Gilgenbach came around to score on a passed ball and it was a one run game at 6-5.
Duke answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth and after a scoreless sixth for each team, it was 7-5 Blue Devils after six frames.
Gilgenbach led off the seventh and crushed a ball 435 feet over the wall in left for his ninth home run of the season to bring the Irish within one again. It was Gilgenbach’s third hit of the game to tie a career high.
Duke answered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take control of the game. The Irish loaded the bases in the eighth but were unable to cut into the deficit.
»Eric Gilgenbach blasted his ninth home run of the season to lead off the seventh inning.
»Gilgenbach finished the night with three runs and tied a career high with three hits.
»David LaManna had two hits for his third straight and his ninth multi-hit game of the season.
»Zack Prajzner tied a career high with two hits against the Blue Devils.
Notre Dame will close the season out against two-seed Georgia Tech Wednesday afternoon in the second game of the day. The Irish and Yellow Jackets will square off at 3 p.m. ET from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish baseball program, follow @NDBaseball on Twitter and @NotreDameBaseball on Instagram.