May 14, 2015
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team broke out the bats in Thursday’s series-opening game at Boston College, as the Irish recorded 12 hits to beat the Eagles, 10-4, and clinch at least a top-eight seed at next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
With the win (34-18, 16-12 ACC), the Irish increased their winning streak to four games and give themselves a chance to win their sixth league series of the season in addition to clinching the ever-important top-six seed at the ACC Tourney.
With the possibility of rain in Saturday’s forecast, the two squads will close out the series with a Friday doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. (ET). Fans can follow both games through WatchND’s audio broadcast (WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend) or by tracking live stats. Links for both are on UND.com.
Notre Dame scored early and often against the Eagles Thursday, as the Irish plated two runs in the first inning and followed that up with two runs in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and three runs in the ninth.
Facing off against BC RHP Mike King, Notre Dame jumped on the Eagle ace early as sophomore Ryan Lidge and senior Robert Youngdahl both tallied RBI in the opening frame, with the latter tallying his first triple of the 2015 campaign. King, who entered the game fourth in the ACC in ERA (2.17), went just 4.1 innings after giving up seven runs, 10 hits and a walk (four strikeouts).
In the fourth inning, junior Zak Kutsulis hit his third homer in two games to lead off the frame before sophomore Kyle Fiala notched an RBI single to increase the Notre Dame lead to 4-1. With a single in the first inning, the Carmel, Indiana product extended his on-base streak to 41 games.
The Irish closed out the scoring in the ninth inning on a Youngdahl three-run homer that was mashed over the right-field fence. It was his fifth of the season and upped his team-leading RBI total to 38 and his team-leading average to .303.
“Today’s game was the definition of what we have been trying to do all year,” said Youngdahl. “We wanted to be relentless and put up runs as often as we can and we showed that by having four multi-run innings.
“This is a big series for us. We want to get as hot as we can going into the postseason and BC is a good opponent so we just have to come out here again Saturday and play our brand of baseball and hopefully take care of business.”
Reading, Massachusetts native Scott Tully earned the start and had mixed results in his unofficial homecoming. The lefty went four innings and gave up three runs and six hits while striking out a pair on 82 pitches.
“BC did a really, really good job. Credit them for sticking to the scouting report,” said Tully. “They laid off a lot of off-speed stuff that was low. They did a good job of laying off pitches that started at the knees or higher but died around the zone.”
Freshmen Evy Ruibal and Brandon Bielak followed Tully and provided outstanding relief. Ruibal worked around two base runners to turn in a scoreless fifth frame (two strikeouts), before Bielak came into the game and pitched four solid innings. The Sayreville, New Jersey native allowed one run (a solo homer in the seventh), three hits and a walk – while striking out six batters – to improve to 5-2 on the year. It was his first appearance out of the bullpen this season after 13 starts.
Youngdahl (2-5, HR, 4 RBI, 1 R), Fiala (2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R), Kutsulis (2-5, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Lidge (2-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 2 R) all notched double-digit hits to lead the Irish. Bull tallied a hit and two runs scored, while Shepski had a hit, walk, RBI and run scored.
The Irish, who had an RPI of 32 entering the game, improved to 25-7 against teams with an RPI of 51 and lower this season. Boston College entered the game with an RPI of 66.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director