May 2, 2017
By Michael Scholl
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Charlie Vorsheck continued to be the solution to midweek success for Mik Aoki’s Notre Dame baseball team. The junior righthander retired 13 Northwestern Wildcats in a row at one point en route to a 3-2 Irish victory on Wednesday night.
The victory for Vorsheck makes the junior 4-0 on the campaign, including victories in midweek starts the last three weeks, the first three starts of his career. He finished the day allowing one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work. The win moves the Irish back to .500 on the season (23-23) entering a weekend ACC series with No. 2 Louisville.
The bullpen combination of Peter Solomon and Sean Guenther slammed the door. Solomon worked 1.1 innings of hitless ball, while Guenther conceded one unearned run in 1.2 innings for his sixth save of the year. The duo combined to make strikeout victims of seven of the last nine Wildcat outs.
At the plate, Nick Podkul led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo shot to left, helping the Irish rebound to tie the game after Northwestern struck in the top of the first. He finished 2-for-4 on the day. Kyle Fiala was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while recording his 200th career hit. Daniel Jung had an RBI and Ryan Lidge hit his second career triple exactly one week after hitting his first career three-bagger.
Alex Erro led off the game with a single through the right side and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Dunn. After Vorsheck got Joe Hoscheit looking, Matt Hopfner doubled to the gap in right-center, scoring Erro and giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The Northwestern lead was shortlived, as Podkul drove a payoff pitch well over the wall in left-center. The Irish weren’t done, as Fiala sent a one-out single back up the middle. Lidge followed with a ball down the right-field line which was just out of the reach of a diving effort by the Northwestern right fielder and went for an RBI triple.
While an insurance run in the third may be unconventional, the way Irish pitching was dealing on the night, Fiala provided just that with a solo shot to push the Irish lead to 3-1.
The Wildcats cut the margin in half in the eighth thanks to an Irish miscue. After Solomon struck out Nick Paciorek, Mik Aoki went to the pen to face Erro, with the southpaw Guenther flipping the switch-hitter to the right side of the plate. Erro hit a chopper up the middle which Cole Daily couldn’t field cleanly to reach with one out. Dunn followed with a double to the gap in right-center putting runners at second and third. Hoscheit followed with a single to left, scoring Erro. Guenther then got Hopfner to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.
- Guenther has not allowed an earned run since March 24 against Florida State. His stretch totals 25 innings and 11 appearances. During those 11 outings, he has collected six saves and a pair of wins while striking out 30 and issuing a paltry four walks.
- Solomon has not allowed a run in his last 13.1 innings pitched. He last gave up a run on April 4 at Michigan and the stretch now totals seven appearances. During the scoreless stretch, he has struck out 15 compared to just five walks and batters are hitting .180 off the junior.
- Lidge had his second career triple, just one week after hitting his first against Valparaiso.
- Podkul hit his second leadoff homer of the year. He drilled a solo shot to open game one of the series at Virginia.
The Irish host second-ranked Louisville in their final home ACC series of the season May 5-7. The series begins Friday at 6:05 p.m., followed by a 4:05 p.m. first pitch Saturday and the series finale on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All three games can be seen on ACC Network Extra and heard on WatchND and 103.1 FM.
Saturday is Notre Dame Baseball’s annual Strike Out ALS game to support the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Frates played for Aoki at Boston College and was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. To hear the Irish skipper’s message for Pete, click here.
— ND —
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.