Notre Dame drops LSU, 10-5, to even season opening series
BATON ROUGE, La – Notre Dame’s seven-run third inning propelled the Irish to a 10-5 victory over ninth-ranked LSU Saturday evening at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the loss, the Tigers move to 1-1 on the season. Notre Dame picks up its first win of the season to even its record at 1-1. The paid attendance for the contest was 12,223, the sixth-largest in LSU Baseball history.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday for Game 3 of the series against Notre Dame. The rubber match of the series will take place at 11 a.m., and it will be will be available on the SECNetwork+, which is accessible through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and at www. LSUsports.net/live.
LSU sophomore right-hander Todd Peterson will start Sunday’s game for the Tigers, and he will be opposed by Notre Dame right-hander Cameron Junker.
“This Notre Dame team has been very impressive over these past two days,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They’ve played errorless ball, they’ve been tough outs at the plate, and we’ve got our hands full again tomorrow. They think they can win this series, and they’ve outplayed us for two days, so we need to get back into it and play better.
“We’re into the season now, so there shouldn’t be any nerves. We need a strong starting pitching performance to get us off to a good start and give us a chance to win the series.”
Notre Dame starter Tommy Sheehan (1-0) earned his first win of the season, pitching 5.0 innings and giving up four runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Right-handed pitcher Shane Combs entered the game in the top of the 6th inning in relief for the Irish, walking two batters before leaving the game. Cole Kmet entered the game for Combs and sealed the game for the Irish, earning his first save of the season. He gave up no runs in four innings with one hit while walking two and striking out three.
LSU’s Zack Hess (0-1) suffered the loss as he gave up eight runs on five hits in 2.1 innings with six walks and two strikeouts.
Freshman right-hander Trent Vietmeier entered the game for the Tigers in the top of the third inning and pitched 3.2 innings, giving up no runs on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
LSU freshman right-handed pitcher Ma’Khail Hilliard tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings, giving up only three hits walking one and striking out two batters.
After walking the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, Hess held Notre Dame to only one run. Cole Daily came across the plate as designated hitter Niko Kavadas grounded out to first base. The Tigers were able to strand runners on second and third to limit the Irish and keep the score at 1-0.
LSU designated hitter Beau Jordan tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with a solo shot to left field. It was his first home run of the season and the ninth of his career.
Notre Dame put up seven runs in the third inning to take an 8-1 lead. With the bases loaded after a single and two walks, Kavadas singled down the left field line to score two runs for the Irish. Later in the inning, with Kavadas on second, rightfielder Eric Gilgenbach homered to left to bring the Notre Dame lead to 6-1.
With Vietmeier in to pitch for the Tigers, the Irish tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly to left by Daily. After a single by left fielder Jake Johnson put runners on the corners, Nick Podkul singled up the middle to bring centerfielder Spencer Myers home.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, LSU rightfielder Antoine Duplantis was walked to start the inning. He later reached third as centerfielder Zach Watson singled through the left side. With runners on the corners, catcher Nick Coomes singled to right field to bring Duplantis across the plate. Later in the inning, second baseman Brandt Broussard earned the first hit of his career, driving home two more runs to cut the Notre Dame lead to 8-4.
The Tigers narrowed the gap again in the bottom of the sixth inning as Combs walked the first two batters he saw. Jake Slaughter flew out to center field, advancing Coomes to third. Broussard flied out to right field, bringing Coomes home for a run.
Notre Dame stretched its lead in the ninth inning as Myers reached base on a single up the middle. He made his way around to third as Johnson was hit by a pitch. Myers and Johnson later scored when Podkul doubled to left-center.
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