April 17, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The sophomore Ryan’s did it again for the University of Notre Dame baseball team, as Ryan Smoyer hurled seven shutout innings and Ryan Lidge produced the only two RBI of the game to propel the No. 25 Irish to a 2-0 win over NC State Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium.
Smoyer, who improved to 6-0 (1.22 ERA) in his six appearances (37.0 IP), was nearly flawless against the Wolfpack, as he allowed just five hits and two walks over seven innings of work. The Bowling Green, Ohio native let only one NC State runner reach third base, while just two advanced to second.
In the sixth inning, Smoyer induced a pair of groundouts to keep a runner stranded at third, and in the seventh, Lidge picked off a runner at second to end another threat.
“Ryan (Smoyer) doesn’t back down, he knows he can go out there any night and compete his butt off,” said Lidge. “He trusts his stuff. You could see it in the fall and things are starting to go well for him again and it’s awesome to see. He has really matured in the last year and I’m really proud of the way he has gone out there and pitched for us the past handful of outings.”
“I think he’s done a really good job and you could kind of see it coming a bit in the fall,” said head coach Mik Aoki. “He did a good job competing tonight and he got help with a couple of really big plays — obviously Lidge’s pick off was huge and then a tough double play that Lane (Richards) and Cavan (Biggio) turned. Ryan went out this summer and proved at a pretty high level of competition that he could get it done and he has continued to roll with that and work at it. He just keeps grinding along. I’m really happy for him. It all starts and ends with his fastball command and now that he has gotten that sharper, he’s been pretty tough.”
At the dish, Lidge continued his blazing hot streak of late with two key hits that plated the only two runs of the game. The Barrington, Illinois native struck first in the fourth inning, doubling down the right-field line to score senior Robert Youngdahl and give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Lidge did it again, as he connected on a 1-1 pitch and sent it to right field to score senior Ryan Bull.
“I went up there looking for my pitch to hit,” said Lidge. “I’ve been sticking with an approach over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been really confident with it. Luckily I got my pitches tonight and they came in big situations.
In his last eight games, Lidge has a slash line of .522/.739/.633 with 12 hits, five doubles, eight RBI, six walks and two runs scored. Not surprisingly, the Irish are 7-1 in those contests.
Elsewhere for the Irish, sophomore Cavan Biggio had a single and two walks, while Youngdahl had two walks and one run scored.
NC State starting pitcher Cory Wilder (2-5) suffered the loss, as he lasted just 3.1 innings. He only allowed one hit, but walked five Notre Dame batters while striking out just one. Reliever Travis Orwig then allowed the other run in pitching four innings.
State’s Ryne Willard had a three-hit day, while Logan Ratledge tallied two hits and a walk.
With the win, Notre Dame (25-11, 10-9 ACC) ups its Atlantic Coast Conference win streak to seven games and moved into third place all by itself in the Atlantic Division and into fourth place overall in the league.
Due to a Sunday forecast that includes plenty of rain, the Irish and Wolfpack will wrap up their three-game series with a doubleheader starting at 2:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Both games will be available via WatchND’s online broadcast (WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend). Links for both contests are on UND.com.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director