Notre Dame went on the road and kicked off the 2021 baseball season with a 2-1 series victory over the 16th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Poor weather on Friday forced the teams into a double-header.
In game one the Irish started off fast, building a 7-2 lead early in the series opener thanks to a pair of home runs from powerful first baseman Niko Kavadas.
Starting pitcher Tommy Sheehan allowed just one run while striking out seven in four innings, but the bullpen allowed eight Wake Forest runs in the final two innings as the Irish dropped the opener by a 10-8 score.
Notre Dame's offense got rolling early in game two, as grad transfer Alex Brait hit an opposite field grand slam in the top of the first inning. The Irish offense stalled after the great start, and Wake Forest once again chipped away at the lead.
The Deacons tied it up in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run single from Chris Lanzilli. Wake Forest touched up Notre Dame starter John Bertrand for four runs, but in game two the Irish bullpen came through, with Liam Simon and Aidan Tyrell combining to shut the Deacons out for the final 5 1/3 innings.
Notre Dame regained the lead in the top of the seventh after David LaManna scored on a wild pitch to make it a 5-4 gain. LaManna led the inning off with a pinch-hit walk, and he ultimately moved to third base after back-to-back singles from Spencer Myers and Jared Miller before scoring on a wild pitch by Crawford Wade.
Tyrell got Lanzilli to ground into a double play in the ninth to end it, securing the Irish victory.
The Irish offense started fast for the third straight game, getting three runs in the first. Notre Dame finished the series with eight runs in the first inning. Its strong start in game ended with a convincing 10-0 victory, securing the series victory.
Myers walked to lead off the game and scored on a single from Miller. LaManna knocked in Carter Putz with an infield single, and Brait drove in Miller on a groundout to end the scoring.
Miller got the offense rolling again with a one-out single in the top of the third. After Kavadas drew a walk, LaManna loaded the bases with a single of his own.
Brooks Coetzee drilled a two-out double that cleared the bases and put the Irish up 6-0.
Miller once again sparked the Irish offense in the fifth with a lead off single, and he and Kavadas once again scored after another two-out double from Coetzee. The Irish tacked on two more runs in the sixth.
Starter Christian Scafidi, yet another grad transfer for the Irish, pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walk while striking out four. Alex Rao came in for Scafidi and pitched 4 2/3 innings, shutting Wake Forest out while allowing just one hit and striking out three.
The Irish return to action on March 5 when they begin a three-game series at Clemson.
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