March 8, 2015
ATLANTA – Behind the pitching of righty Brandon Gold and an offense that totaled all four of its runs in the first three innings, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets clinched the series win over the University of Notre Dame baseball team with a 4-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
After scoring 10 runs in the first two games of the series, the Irish bats went silent Sunday due to an impressive showing from Gold, who went eight innings and allowed only five hits while striking out seven in 103 pitches. He retired the final 13 batters that he faced and received a standing ovation upon his exit following the eighth frame.
“He did a great job for them. We got no free 90s out of him,” said head coach Mik Aoki. “We got him into a couple of deep counts, a couple of 3-0 counts, but he came back and made pitches. He did a really good job.”
At the plate, Tech scored two runs in each of the second and third innings to take an early 4-0 lead. Matt Gonzalez tallied an RBI double in the second and Connor Justus followed with an RBI single later in the frame. In the third, Wade Bailey slapped an infield single and Gonzalez recorded his second RBI of the game to close out the scoring for the home team.
For Georgia Tech, freshman Kel Johnson put a cap on his outstanding weekend with three more hits, while Bailey, Gonzalez and Arden Pabst each had two hits.
Those four runs would be all Gold would need, as he cruised after a Ryan Lidge single in the fourth inning. Notre Dame had its best chance to score through the first eight innings in the first frame after it opened the game with back-to-back singles, and in the third inning when Kyle Fiala and Cavan Biggio recorded back-to-back singles with two outs.
In the ninth inning after Gold exited, the Irish placed runners on second and third with two walks and a wild pitch. Senior Robert Youngdahl then grounded out to plate Fiala and get the Irish on the scoreboard.
Fiala had two of Notre Dame’s five hits in addition to scoring its lone run.
Irish starter Nick McCarty (2-1) had his shortest outing of the season, as he went 2.2 innings and gave up three Georgia Tech runs on seven hits. The Westfield, Indiana native allowed three extra-base hits and induced two double plays to get out of jams that put an end to each of the first two innings.
After McCarty exited, the Irish turned to three of their freshman standouts to work through the rest of the game. Atlanta native Sean Guenther went 3.1 innings and allowed a run on four hits and two walks while striking out three. Fellow freshman Brad Bass (1.0 IP, 2 SO) and Evy Ruibal (1.0 IP, 7 pitches) closed out the last two innings, helping to keep the Yellow Jackets off the board for the final six innings.
“I think our compete level was great all weekend,” said Aoki. “I think by and large we played fine. It comes down to today and Gold did a really good job against us. He didn’t give us much to capitalize on. I think overall we are fine. We have a good team and we have to keep grinding along and keep the compete factor high. This isn’t a conference where you run away and go 24-6; even the best teams in the country get beat. We’ll be fine.”
On spring break this week, the Irish will remain in the Peach State for the next few days and travel to Savannah for a 5 p.m. Wednesday showdown with Savannah State. Fans can keep up with the SSU game through WatchND’s audio broadcast or by following live stats. Links for both are on UND.com.
Notre Dame will then travel to the Palmetto State for a three-game ACC series with the Clemson Tigers next weekend, March 13-15.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director