NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Another low scoring affair was in order at Frank Eck Stadium Saturday afternoon as the seventh-ranked Cardinals defeated Notre Dame 3-1. The Irish (19-25, 12-14 ACC) held the lead for most of the game but the Cardinals (38-9, 17-6 ACC) had a timely three-run homer in the eighth to pull ahead for the win.
How It Happened
Similar to Friday’s game, both pitchers started the game well and kept the opposing offenses quiet at the plate. Through the first three innings, neither team had a hit on the afternoon.
After a 1-2-3 inning for Cameron Junker in the top of the fourth, the Irish got the first hit of the game when Niko Kavadas lined up a double down the right field line. He moved to third on a fly out to right and then came around to score on a single to center from Daniel Jung.
The Cardinals got their first hit of the game in the fifth and were threatening with two runners on and Tyler Fitzgerald at the plate. He lined a grounder to the right side but Zack Prajzner made an incredible diving play to scoop it up and throw over to first for the final out of the inning.
Junker kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard in his final two innings of work. He went seven total innings without allowing a run and just four hits to the team with the best offensive numbers in the ACC.
In the eighth, the Cardinals had two runners on after two walks and Alex Binelas changed the game with one swing of the bat. He sent the first pitch he saw over the wall in right to give the Cardinals their first runs of the afternoon and a 3-1 lead.
In the ninth, the Irish made it interesting after Jung and Brooks Coetzee singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in Eric Gilgenbach. He worked a walk to load the bases and Jack Alexander was up next. Unfortunately, Alexander was unable to extend the game as he grounded out to second for the final out.
- Cameron Junker tossed his team-high seventh quality start of the season after seven innings of work with no runs allowed.
- It is the third start this season Junker has not allowed a run over six or more innings.
- It is the fourth time in his last five starts that Junker has pitched seven innings or more.
- Daniel Jung went 2-for-4 from the plate for his 13th multi-hit game of the season.
- Niko Kavadas also had two hits on the afternoon for his 11th multi-hit game of the year.
The Irish will close out the weekend series against the seventh-ranked Cardinals Sunday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.
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