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Cole hits walk off home run over Duke 6-4 in first Notre Dame home game in two years

Notre Dame baseball had not played at home since 2019 until Friday night, and the 677 day wait was well worth it.
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:37 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame baseball had not played at home since 2019 until Friday night, and the 677 day wait was well worth it.

In the bottom of the 13th inning, Irish senior outfielder Ryan Cole hit a walk-off home run into trees in left field as Notre Dame took down Duke 6-4. There was a runner on third base with one out. All Cole needed to do was hit the ball deep enough in the outfield. Instead, he hit the ball out of the park. It was Cole’s first career home run.

“It was almost surreal,” Irish manager Link Jarrett said. “To stand there and watch that ball go into the bushes and to watch our guys flood out of that dugout with the coolers and all of the stuff. You could tell how big that moment was for them. The magnitude and understanding the magnitude of these ball games. They get it. They are into it. It was obviously a moment I would never forget it.”

Cole recovered his home run ball from the trees in left field, and wanted to give the ball to Jarrett to reward him for his first home win for Notre Dame. But Jarrett told Cole to keep it for himself.

The Irish trailed 4-2 in the sixth inning until Penn High School graduate Niko Kavadas belted his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall. Kavadas also started the 13th inning rally with a double.

With the win, Notre Dame improves to 8-2 on the season. The Irish go for the series win against Duke on Saturday. First pitch is at 2 PM. The game will be on the ACC Network.

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