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Baseball

Notre Dame drops series to Florida State with 3-1 loss in extra innings

| Tuesday, March 26, 2019

As Sunday morning extended into late afternoon, a pitcher’s duel between Notre Dame and Florida State stretched into an extra-inning marathon at Frank Eck Stadium.

Entering play on Sunday, Notre Dame (9-12, 5-4 ACC) and Florida State (17-6, 5-4 ACC) split their first two games of the weekend. The Seminoles, led by a dominant performance from starting pitcher Drew Parrish, took game one of the Saturday doubleheader. The junior southpaw tossed six scoreless innings and Notre Dame collected five hits in the 7-1 loss.

The bats broke out for the Irish in game two of the Saturday doubleheader. Sophomore center fielder Spencer Myers and freshman designated hitter Carter Putz collected three hits each in the 12-3 victory on Saturday afternoon.

A low-scoring contest between the Irish and Seminoles on Sunday decided the three-game conference series.

Notre Dame starting junior right-handed pitcher Cameron Junker tossed six innings of one-run baseball and limited the Seminoles to three hits in his outing, but sophomore starting southpaw pitcher Shane Drohan held the Irish to only one hit in the deciding game. Notre Dame fell 3-1, dropping the series to Florida State.

Allison Thornton | The Observer

Irish left-handed pitcher Tommy Vail throws a pitch during Notre Dame’s 3-1 loss to Florida State Sunday at Frank Eck Stadium.

Notre Dame generated its first scoring threat in the bottom of the first inning as first junior baseman Daniel Jung and Putz drew walks, but senior right fielder Eric Gilgenbach and sophomore third baseman Niko Kavadas struck out to strand the baserunners.

In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore Florida State outfielder Reese Albert drove a 2-out pitch deep to right field. Gilgenbach, backed up to the warning track, made the catch to retire the side and preserve the shutout.

Through his first five innings of work, Junker surrendered only two hits and two walks while striking out eight Seminoles. After inducing a lineout to start the sixth inning, however, Junker allowed a 1-out triple to freshman outfielder Elijah Cabell. Cabell scored on a wild pitch from Junker, and the Seminoles took a 1-0 lead.

After Florida State scored, Junker walked freshman outfielder Robby Martin, and Martin stole second base shortly after. Junior Florida State outfielder and pitcher J.C. Flowers flared a soft line drive to second base, and Irish junior second baseman Ethan Copeland extended to make the catch. Martin was caught between second and third after the catch, and Copeland flipped the ball to sophomore shortstop Jared Miller to complete the double play and retire the side.

Putz drew a 1-out walk in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Gilgenbach drove a double to left field to end the no-hitter and put both baserunners into scoring position. Following the double, sophomore right-handed pitcher Conor Grady entered in relief of Drohan, and Kavadas lifted a fly ball to right field to score Putz on the sacrifice fly and tie the game 1-1. Grady retired the next batter and stranded Gilgenbach on third to end the scoring threat.

The Irish and the Seminoles went to extra innings tied at 1, but Florida State worked quickly to take the lead. After the first two Seminoles failed to reach base, Albert singled to start the rally for Florida State. A pair of throwing errors by Miller allowed Florida State to score two unearned runs, and the Seminoles escaped the Irish with a 3-1 win and a series victory.

Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki declined to comment following the loss.

Notre Dame will next host Chicago State on Tuesday. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra, and first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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