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No. 12 Irish clinch another series with an 11-5 win over No. 17 Pitt

Jack Brannigan, Zack Prajzner and Spencer Myers all hit solo homers on the afternoon and Carter Putz tallied a three-run home run in the five-run fifth inning.
(WNDU)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 7:50 PM EDT
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PITTSBURGH (WNDU) - The bats came alive for the 12th-ranked Irish on Monday afternoon as they claimed the rubber match 11-5 over No. 17 Pitt at Charles L. Cost Field. With the win, the Irish won their fifth conference series this season, the most of any ACC team so far. The Irish continue to be the only ACC team to not drop a conference series this season.

“Pitt is a very good team and we were fortunate to leave town with a series win,” head coach Link Jarrett said. “Our offense was better today and the four home runs were a huge part of the equation. We also showed good patience in the ability to find ways on base via walks and HBPs.”

Notre Dame’s offense came alive in the middle innings as they scored in four straight innings from the second to the fifth, including crooked numbers in the fourth and fifth. The long ball was a strength for the Irish once again as they hit four home runs in a game for the first time since 2018. Jack Brannigan, Zack Prajzner and Spencer Myers all hit solo homers on the afternoon and Carter Putz tallied a three-run home run in the five-run fifth inning.

“(Spencer) Myers had some key hits and (Niko) Kavadas’ two-strike base hit with the bases loaded was a very important swing. Aiden (Tyrell) got us out of the gates on the mound and was fairly effective. (Tanner) Kohlhepp striking out (Ron) Washington Jr. was a big out and he bounced back nicely to help us. Joe (Sheridan) and Dom (Cancellieri) both were effective in extended roles out of the pen. It was a good win against a quality team.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Pitt was threatening in the first inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Aidan Tyrell settled in and forced a groundout from Bryce Hullett to short to end the inning and end the threat without the Panthers scoring.

The Irish jumped out in the front the very next inning. Brannigan led the second inning off with a solo home run to put the Irish ahead. It was his first home run of the season and the 13th time this season that the Irish scored first.

They added to the lead in the third after Kavadas got on base to start the inning with a hit-by-pitch. He moved over to third after the single from Carter Putz and came home to score on the ground out from Brooks Coetzee.

Pitt got a run back in the bottom of the third after the triple from Kyle Hess. The Irish went to Tanner Kohlhepp from the pen and he got the final two outs of the inning and limited the damage to one run. After three innings, the Irish held a 2-1 advantage.

The Irish bats kept up the offense in the top of the fourth as they hit their second home run of the game. Prajzner led the inning off with a solo home run, his second of the season, and increased the lead. Notre Dame scored two more runs in the inning after Danny Neri came home on a passed ball and Spencer Myers scored on Ryan Cole’s double down the line.

There was no stopping the offense in the fifth inning as the Irish put another crooked number up on the scoreboard. Kavadas drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single with two outs. Putz stepped to the plate next and sent the ball over the wall in center to clear the bases and give the Irish five runs in the inning. After five innings, the Irish held a 10-1 lead.

Myers notched the fourth home run of the game in the seventh inning to put the final mark on the offensive outburst. It was the third game this season the Irish have scored in double figures and the second time it has come in a rubber match.

STATS OF THE GAME

Notre Dame claimed its fifth ACC series win this season with the rubber match victory over Pitt.

The Irish hit four home runs in a game for the first time since 2018 against Western Michigan. The Irish have had three home runs or more in a game three times this season.

Carter Putz hit his second home run of the series and second of the season in the win.

Zack Prajzner hit his second home run of the season in the win.

Jack Brannigan and Spencer Myers both hit their first home runs of the season in the win.

The Irish won their fifth straight conference series on the road dating back to the 2020 season. It is the first time since the 2001-02 seasons the Irish have won five consecutive conference road series.

UP NEXT

The Irish return to campus to kick start an eight-game homestand from Frank Eck Stadium. To open the homestand, the Irish will have another top-15 matchup on deck as No. 14 Georgia Tech comes to town. The series begins Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. and the entire series will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.