RADFORD, Virginia — The No. 24 Notre Dame baseball team did not slow down in its first midweek game of the season as the Irish got past Radford, 9-8, Wednesday afternoon at Carter Memorial Stadium.
The Irish did not score first for just the second game this season but the offense came alive in the middle innings. The Irish scored in three straight innings starting in the third and had a big inning in the fifth, scoring five runs to take the lead. Niko Kavadas led the Irish in the fifth inning with his seventh home run of the season. The two-run shot to right gave the Irish the lead that they would not relinquish.
A bullpen day for the Irish saw action for seven pitchers on the mound throughout the day. Tommy Vail picked up the win to improve to 3-0 to begin the season and Joe Boyle got the final out for the save, his second of the year.
How It Happened
Radford jumped out to an early lead on the Irish in the first inning. The Highlanders scored three runs and it is just the second game this season an opponent has scored first against the Irish.
Notre Dame got a run back in the top half of the third inning. David LaManna came home to score on Carter Putz’s fielder’s choice to get the Irish on the board.
The Irish bats kept it up and tied the game up in the fourth. Zack Prajzner led the inning off with a double and Eric Gilgenbach missed a home run by inches. His ball hit off the top of the wall in dead center, easily scoring Prajzner and Gilgenbach ended up at third with a triple. Gilgenbach scored on the next at-bat as LaManna singled through the right side to tie the game.
Radford took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. After reaching on an error, Will Harless scored on a sacrifice bunt. Vail didn’t allow any other damage and Radford led 4-3 after four innings.
The offense kept rolling in the fifth and gave the Irish their first lead of the game. Brooks Coetzee led the inning off with a hit-by-pitch to bring up Kavadas. He launched a fast ball over the right field fence for his seventh home run of the season. Jared Miller scored the next run for the Irish after getting on base after a double. He stole third and advanced home on an errant throw by the catcher.
Gilgenbach walked to extend the inning and he scored on the next at-bat as Jack Brannigan tripled down the left field line. Brannigan came home to score after Spencer Myers’ single through the right side.
The Irish added a run off an error in the seventh that proved vital in the final inning.
Radford put on a rally in the ninth, scoring three runs to bring the tying run up at the plate. Joe Boyle came in to get the final out of the game, a strikeout swinging, to clinch the win.
- Notre Dame improves to 11-2 after the win, the best start to a season since 2015 (11-1).
- Niko Kavadas tallied his seventh home run of the season, a two-run homer, in the fifth inning to give the Irish the lead. Kavadas also leads the Irish with 17 RBI.
- Kavadas finished the game with a season-high three hits after going 3-for-5 from the plate with two RBI and one run.
- Spencer Myers tied a career high with three hits after going 3-for-6 from the plate.
- Andrew Belcik tied a career high with five strikeouts through three innings.
- David LaManna tallied his third straight multi-hit game after going 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI.
- Eric Gilgenbach recorded his first triple of the season and second of his career in the fourth inning.
- Double-digit hit game for the Irish, fourth straight and ninth of the season after tallying 14 against the Highlanders.
- Jack Brannigan tallied his first career triple during the five-run fifth inning for the Irish.
The Irish will take their seven-game winning streak to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for a Top-25 matchup with No. 2 Louisville to close out their spring break trip. The Irish and Cardinals are set to begin a three-game series Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium. First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.