May 1, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior RHP Scott Kerrigan turned in eight strong innings and the Irish bats plated three runs with two outs in the fifth inning to take down the Northwestern State Demons, 4-1, in non-conference action Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium.
Kerrigan, who was making his first Friday start since March 28 against Virginia due to injury, was locked in against the Demons, going eight innings and allowing just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three on 98 pitches. Most impressively, he totaled 16 ground-ball outs in the game. For his efforts, the Saugus, California native improved to 3-4 on the year while hurling his fourth quality start of the campaign.
“It felt good to get back out there and compete,” said Kerrigan. “I felt good today. It was tough to not be out there with my team while I was sidelined. I was glad I could get back out there.
“My fastball was working really well for me tonight. I was glad I was able to keep it down. In the later innings, I started throwing my off-speed stuff more for strikes and that really helped.”
Behind Kerrigan’s pitching, the Irish improved to 18-4 in non-conference games this season. During the non-conference slate, the Irish pitching staff has a remarkable 2.45 ERA.
With his team trailing 1-0 through three innings, junior Lane Richards tied the game on one swing of the bat in the fourth inning, as he crushed a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for his fifth homer of the season.
One inning later, the offense finally got to Demon starter Adam Oller, as Notre Dame plated three runs on two walks and two doubles to up its lead to 4-1. With runners on first and second with two outs, sophomore Kyle Fiala increased his on-base streak to 35 games with a two-RBI double to left center that plated Ryan Bull and Cavan Biggio. One batter later, senior Robert Youngdahl clocked an RBI double to center field to score Fiala. Both doubles came with two strikes.
Notre Dame reached base in every inning and finished the game with six consecutive doubles. Of Notre Dame’s nine hits, seven were of the two-base variety.
Oller was pulled after five innings and 78 pitches. He allowed all four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out one. Northwestern State relievers Hunter Duvic, Austin Tanner and Evan Tidwell combined to allow just four hits and a walk over the final three innings.
For Notre Dame, freshman Brad Bass picked up his second save of the season after a ninth inning where he allowed two hits. The New Lenox, Illinois native hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances (9.1 IP) and has only allowed one run (0.41 ERA) in his last 22 innings of work since giving up two runs in his first appearance of his career at Oklahoma February 14.
With the win, the Irish (30-16) reached the 30-win mark for the first time since 2013. They get back to action at 2:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday for game two with the Demons. Fans can follow the action via WatchND’s free online video feed or by tracking live stats.
Saturday marks Notre Dame’s third annual ALS Game with all proceeds going to the Pete Frates #3 Fund. More information on Frates and the day’s activities can be found here.
The Irish turned their 60th double play of the season in the sixth inning. The total leads Division I and is the most for a Notre Dame team since 2008 (65).
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director