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No. 12 Irish shut out No. 14 Georgia Tech to clinch series

Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Back on the field just over 12 hours after the first game of the series ended, the 12th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team kept the momentum rolling with a 7-0 win over No. 14 Georgia Tech to clinch the series Saturday morning at Frank Eck Stadium. With the series win the Irish clinched their sixth conference series victory, tied for the most in a season since they joined the ACC.

“Very proud of the team effort today,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “(Aidan) Tyrell was great starting for us. He had very good feel for his fastball and change. He was really in control of his outing. We were watching the pitch count as we entered the middle innings as he had not thrown that deep into an outing. He was great. (Alex) Rao was also great and moved the fastball around and flashed a very good changeup.”

The Irish (15-5, 14-5 ACC) offense was consistent all game long, scoring in five of the eight innings at the plate. Ryan Cole continued his torrid play at home, picking up his fourth home run of the season in the third inning. The very next inning, the Irish scored two on a single from Niko Kavadas with the bases loaded to break the game open.

“Our defense was sound today and I was proud of our bunting and base-running,” said Jarrett. “Kavadas base hit with the bases loaded was a key hit and Cole’s home run was also crucial. Georgia Tech is a very good team, and I am proud of the execution we had today.”

Facing the best offensive team in the ACC, the Irish pitching staff put together one of their best performances of the season. The Yellow Jackets (14-12, 11-9 ACC) came into the game hitting an ACC-best .298 as a team and the duo of Aidan Tyrell and Alex Rao held the Yellow Jackets to just five hits and no runs. It is the fewest hits the Yellow Jackets have had this season and the first time they have been shutout since Feb. 29, 2020.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Notre Dame jumped in front after scoring in the opening frame. Cole singled and stole second to get into scoring position. With two outs, Carter Putz singled through the left field to score Cole and put the Irish up 1-0.

The Irish added a run in the third courtesy of the hot bat from Cole. The ball cleared the wall in left center for his fourth home run of the season and all of them have come at home. With the solo shot, the Irish held a 2-0 lead.

Notre Dame scored two more in the fourth and it was all with two outs. A walk, single and another walk loaded the bases for Kavadas. He jumped on the first pitch and singled to right field to score Kyle Hess and Spencer Myers.

The four runs were plenty of offense for Tyrell as he was on a roll on the mound. He tossed a career high six innings and allowed just two hits. Rao came on in relief in the seventh and proceeded to mow Georgia Tech down. He came on for the final three innings and eight of his nine outs were via the strikeout for a career high.

The Irish added insurance runs in the seventh after a Brannigan RBI-double and a David LaManna ground out that scored Brannigan. They also tacked on one more run in the eighth after a sacrifice fly from Cole.

Tyrell picked up his second win of the season and Rao earned his second save as the Irish tallied their second shutout.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame will take the field on Sunday looking for their second series sweep of the season. The final game of the series is set for a 1 p.m. ET start but could be moved up due to the threat of inclement weather later in the day. Stayed tuned to all social channels and UND.com for any changes.