CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — The Notre Dame baseball team made a statement with the 14-8 win to sweep the series over North Carolina Sunday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. The Irish, winners of six in a row, swept a road ACC series for the first time since 2016. The Tar Heels had not been swept in conference play at home since 2015.
“Very proud of the way we played today, I thought our preparation going into the game was really good,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “Offensively from top to bottom, the quality of the at-bats was excellent. I thought we were tough and did a lot of things well throughout the lineup.”
“Everybody was involved, it was not just one person. It was the entire lineup, the bullpen and guys that came into the game. We were asking some guys to do things that they haven’t had a lot of experience doing and they responded well this weekend.”
The Irish (10-2, 3-0 ACC) jumped on the Tar Heels (10-7, 0-3 ACC) with a five-run second inning and held a 7-2 lead after the first three innings. Just like on Saturday, the Tar Heels roared back and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.
The Irish settled in and regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning and never looked back. Jack Brannigan tallied a career high five RBI and had a straight steal home in the seventh. Freshman Liam Simon collected his first career win and sophomore Aidan Tyrell recorded his first career save.
How It Happened
The Irish had a big inning in the second to open the scoring up. Niko Kavadas led the inning off with a single and Zack Prajzner and Brooks Coetzee followed it up with back-to-back walks. David LaManna singled through the right side to score Kavadas and Prajzner. Coetzee came home to score after Brannigan reached on an error. Spencer Myers kept it going with an RBI single to left that scored LaManna. The final run came across when Brannigan scored on Carter Putz’s fly out to right.
North Carolina was able to get one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Will Mercer was able to limit the damage in the inning and the Irish held a 5-1 advantage after two.
The Irish got the run back quickly courtesy of Prajzner in the third inning. He ripped a solo home run over the wall in left for his second of the season and regained the five-run lead for the Irish. They kept coming in the top half of the third with runners on the corners for Brannigan. He dropped a two-out single in front of the left field to score LaManna.
Carolina got a run back again in the bottom half of the third inning. After the first three frames, the Irish held a 7-2 lead.
The Tar Heels got all the way back in the bottom half of the fourth with a big inning. The Tar Heels platted five runs to tie the game at 7-7.
As they have done most of the series, the Irish bats responded quickly in the next half inning. LaManna and Gilgenbach led off the inning with back-to-back doubles and were both in scoring position for Brannigan. He flew out to center to score LaManna and get the lead back for the Irish. Two batters later, Carter Putz launched a two-run homer to left for his first of the season and gave the Irish a 10-7 lead.
The Tar Heels added a run in the bottom of the sixth. Tyrell came on out of the pen and got the final two outs of the inning to limit the damage. After six full innings, Notre Dame held a 10-8 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Irish got the run back after loading the bases for Niko Kavadas. On the first pitch of the at-bat after a pitching change, all runners were in motion and Brannigan beat the pitch home to add to Notre Dame’s lead.
The Irish added three more runs in the eighth to increase the lead which was more than enough for Tyrell. He tossed the final 3.2 innings and allowed just one hit to earn the save.
- Notre Dame collected its first ACC road sweep since March 24-26, 2016 against Virginia Tech.
- It was Notre Dame’s first conference sweep since 2017 against Georgia Tech (April 7-9).
- The Irish handed North Carolina its first home sweep since 2015.
- Jack Brannigan had the best day of his young career, setting career best marks with five RBI and three hits.
- Brannigan is the third Irish to record five RBI in a game this season, joining Niko Kavadas and Jack Alexander.
- Carter Putz tied a career high with four RBI and tallied his first home run of the season in the fifth inning.
- Zack Prajzner tallied his second home run of the season, a solo homer in the third inning.
- David LaManna set a career high with four runs after going 2-for-3 from the plate with two RBI.
- Liam Simon recorded his first career win after tossing 2.1 innings of relief, allowing just one run.
- Aidan Tyrell set a career high with 3.2 innings pitched to record his first career save.
The Irish will continue their spring break road trip with a midweek contest against Radford. The Irish and the Highlanders will square off on Wednesday, March 11 at 4 p.m ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.