March 18, 2018
By Megan Golden
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team fell to No. 7 Florida State 7-5 in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.
The Irish (8-10) concluded a stretch of 11 straight contests in the state of Florida after the Seminoles (16-4) broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning.
How It Happened
Florida State’s Reese Albert hit a solo homer to right to put the Seminoles on the board with a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
The Irish answered in the third, when Jared Miller was hit by a pitch and stole third base to open the inning. Jake Johnson reached on a throwing error, allowing Miller to score and tie the game. In the next at-bat, Cole Daily snared a double down the left field line that scored Johnson and gave Notre Dame its first lead, 2-1. Daily advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Podkul, extending the Irish lead to 3-1.
The Seminoles cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom half of the frame as Drew Mendoza hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Nick Derr.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Seminoles recorded a one-out single and then reached on an error. The Seminoles tied the game on a fielder’s choice, sacrifice bunt by J.C. Flowers. Irish starter Cameron Junker escaped further damage with a groundout and a line out to end the inning.
A Florida State single and double in the fifth put two runners in scoring position and forced the Irish to bring in Tommy Vail from the bullpen. Jackson Lueck singled through the left side to drive in a run with two outs and help the Seminoles regain the lead, 4-3.
Jake Johnson lined a single to right in the seventh inning, and the Irish loaded the bases after Daily was hit by a pitch and Podkul was walked. Vierling drew a walk with the bases loaded, knotting the score at 4-4. A double play ended the inning with the bases loaded.
Andrew Belcik entered the game midway through the seventh inning, and Florida State managed to open a 7-4 lead, scoring on an error and a wild pitch.
Podkul added his second homer of the series and third of the season in the ninth, but it was not enough to send the Irish past the Seminoles in a 7-5 loss.
- The Irish move to 3-3 against top-10 teams this season.
- Notre Dame trails the all-time series against Florida State, 8-17, including a 4-13 mark on the road.
- Notre Dame had the lead-off man aboard in five of nine innings on Sunday.
- Irish starter Cameron Junker worked a career-high 4.1 innings with three strikeouts, allowing four runs (three earned).
- Tommy Vail worked a career-high 2.1 innings, allowing two runs (unearned) with one strikeout.
- After going 2-for-4 at the plate on Sunday, Matt Vierling has recorded six multi-hit games in the month of March, batting .381 (16-42) this month.
- Daily stole second in the fifth inning, bringing him to a team-best nine (9-10) stolen bases on the year.
The Irish travel to UIC on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. ET matchup in their final game of a stretch of 19 straight games away from home. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and on 103.1 FM (South Bend)/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.