March 10, 2018
By Megan Golden
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — In dramatic fashion, the University of Notre Dame baseball team defeated Miami 9-5 in the 10th inning of game two of Saturday’s doubleheader at Alex Rodriguez Park. The Irish (7-6) split the doubleheader and wrapped up the three-game series with the Hurricanes (7-8) one game above .500.
In the top of the 10th inning, senior Alex Kerschner pinch hit and delivered a two-run double — his first career RBIs — that put the Irish ahead for good against the Hurricanes.
“I faced that pitcher yesterday, so I kind of knew what his stuff was like and I got the pitch I wanted,” Kerschner said. “He threw a sinker a little bit inside, so I put a good swing on it.
“Once I saw the ball go down, I was excited. It was great.”
Game One: How It Happened
The Hurricanes connected for a solo homer off of Tommy Sheehan in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead over the Irish.
After allowing a homer in the third inning, Sheehan settled in and retired eight straight Hurricanes. Sheehan had thrown just 64 pitches through five innings of work.
Sheehan exited the game after yielding a walk in the bottom of the seventh inning. Andrew Belcik relieved Sheehan and allowed back-to-back runners to reach base on a walk and an error, loading the bases with nobody out. The Hurricanes added a run on a wild pitch and then eventually scored two more runs on a single to left off of Jack Sheehan to go ahead, 4-0.
In the eighth, Miami strung together six hits, driving in five more runs and extending their lead to 9-0 to secure the win.
Game Two: How It Happened
The Hurricanes were back at it in game two, drawing two walks and then blooping a single to left field for a 1-0 lead.
But the Irish responded in the next half inning, when Eric Gilgenbach was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Jared Miller came up with two outs and knocked an RBI-single up the middle for his first career RBI, evening the score at 1-1.
In the fourth, David LaManna singled and advanced to third on an error. With one out in the inning, Miller drove in his second RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 Notre Dame lead.
Cole Kmet entered in relief of Cameron Junker in the fourth inning and allowed a single to Isaac Quinones. In the next at-bat, Willy Escala reached on a throwing error, which advanced Quinones to third. The Hurricanes added runs on a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 4-3. A double from Michael Burns drove in Tony Jenkins. Freddy Zamora grounded out for the second out in the inning, driving in Burns and putting Miami ahead, 5-4.
Daily doubled to center in the seventh inning and was driven in by a groundout from Matt Vierling, evening the score at 5-5.
Podkul led off the 10th inning with a walk, and Vierling was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Daniel Jung bunted into a fielder’s choice, and both Vierling and Jung moved into scoring position after a wild pitch. David LaManna walked to load the bases. Kerschner pinch hit with two outs in the 10th inning and knocked a two-run double to left that scored Vierling and Jung to give Notre Dame a 7-5 lead. Miller reached on a fielding error, which allowed LaManna and Kerschner to score and help the Irish secure a 9-5 win.
- Notre Dame owns a record of 7-20 all-time against the Hurricanes, including a 6-14 record on the road.
- Notre Dame is 3-3 in true road games this season.
- The Irish have competed in two doubleheaders in 2018 and have split both doubleheaders.
- Podkul has reached base safely in 18 straight games, dating back to 2017. The second baseman has hit .408 (29-71) with seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 19 RBI during that span.
- Sheehan’s start (6.0 IP) was the longest by an Irish starter in 2018.
- Cole Kmet grounded into a fielder’s choice in his first career at-bat as a pinch-hitter in game one. Kmet also pitched a career-high 5.1 innings in relief in game two.
- Cole Daily stole his team-high eighth base of the season and is now 8-8 on the base paths.
- David LaManna has reached base safely in 12 of 13 career games.
- Cameron Junker struck out a career-high six batters over 3.0 innings.
Notre Dame continues its spring break trip with two games in Port Charlotte, Fla., as part of the Snowbird Tournament. The Irish face St. Joseph’s (Pa.) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET in the first game of a two-game series. Both games will be available on 103.1 FM (South Bend) and WatchND.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame baseball and women’s soccer programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.