BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The University of Notre Dame baseball team had another great day at the plate en route to a 9-3 win over UAB Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field. The win clinched the series for the Irish after winning the first game of the series on Friday.
The Irish (2-1) scored first in the second inning after a two-RBI double from David LaManna and a sac fly from Niko Kavadas. After the Blazers (1-2) tied the game in the third, Kavadas regained the lead in the fifth with a two-run home run to right field.
The Irish took control of the game in the eighth after putting up four runs thanks to doubles from Carter Putz and Jared Miller.
On the mound, four pitchers combined to allow just two hits and retired the final 17 UAB batters in a row to close out the game.
How It Happened
The Irish jumped out in front for the third time this series after a strong two-out at bat from LaManna. He worked the count full and drove a double into the gap in right center. The ball made its way to the wall to score Brooks Coetzee and Eric Gilgenbach to give the Irish an early 2-0 lead.
Notre Dame added to its lead in the third inning. Putz doubled to the wall in left and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Kavadas drove a high fly ball to left that was caught at the warning track but was deep enough to score Putz.
The Blazers broke through in the third inning and strung together a couple hits to score three runs in the inning. At the end of the first three innings, it was deadlocked at 3-3.
Notre Dame jumped back in front in the fifth and it was Putz again that got them started. He worked a full-count walk to bring Kavadas to the plate. The Granger, Indiana native got a hold of an inside pitch and sent it over the wall in right for his first home run of the season and regained the lead for the Irish.
Mitch Megias came in relief of Will Mercer in the fourth inning and limited the offensive chances for the Blazers. He retired nine of 10 batters he faced, including eight in a row, and did not allow a hit in three innings of work.
In the eighth inning the Irish offensive opened the game up and once again Carter Putz was involved. Jack Brannigan recorded his first career hit with a double down the left field line and Spencer Myers reached base via a walk. Putz hit a double off the wall in center to score the two runs. After a throwing error by the catcher on the play, Putz was able to score from second for his third run of the game. Miller added another run for the Irish after his double scored Prajzner from first.
Joe Boyle came on to pitch in the ninth and made quick work of the UAB batters. He struck out to clinch the game and the series for the Irish. Megias, Vail and Boyle combined to retire the last 17 batters of the game in a row.
- Carter Putz tied a career high with three hits and three runs after finishing 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.
- Junior Niko Kavadas recorded his first home run of the season with a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Kavadas led the Irish with 12 home runs last season.
- Mitch Megias set a career high with three innings pitched and three strikeouts.
- Megias, Vail and Boyle combined to retire the last 17 UAB batters in a row.
- The Irish staff walked just one batter the entire game, the fewest since they did not walk a single batter against Chicago State on March 26, 2019.
- Redshirt freshman Will Mercer made his first career start Sunday against the Blazers.
The Irish will head south once again next weekend to host the annual Alamo Irish Classic in San Antonio. The Irish will play four games in three days at Nelson Wolff Stadium, home of the Triple-A San Antonio Missions. The first game for the Irish will be on Thursday, February 20 against Incarnate Word with first pitch set for 7 p.m. ET.