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No. 7 Irish come from behind to beat NC State, 3-2

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The seventh-ranked Notre Dame baseball team came from behind to take the series opener 3-2 over NC State Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium.

After falling behind 2-0 early, the Irish (17-6, 15-6 ACC) battled back and took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the eighth. Jack Brannigan brought the go-ahead run home after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to give the Irish a 3-2 advantage. Brannigan brought all three runners in on the night for the Irish.

In the ninth, Tanner Kohlhepp finished his fourth inning of scoreless relief to close the door and pick up the win for the Irish. Kohlhepp allowed just one Wolfpack (15-12, 8-11 ACC) base runner in his outing to pick up his fourth win of the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED

NC State jumped out in front in the second inning after stringing together a few hits. The Wolfpack tallied three hits in the inning and brought two runs home to take a 2-0 lead.

The score stayed the same until the bottom of the fourth when the Irish evened the game up. Ryan Cole led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and stole second to get into scoring position. Following a single by Carter Putz and advancing to second on the throw, the Irish had two runners in scoring position. Up at the plate with two outs, Brannigan singled up the middle to score both runners and tied the game at 2-2.

The score stayed that way into the eighth inning after stellar pitching from both sides. Will Mercer settled in after giving up two runs in the second. He tossed five innings of work, tying a career high and did not allow any more damage after the second. Kohlhepp took the ball next and continued the strong work on the mound for the Irish.

After another scoreless inning of relief from Kohlhepp, the Irish went to work in the bottom of the inning. Niko Kavadas worked a one-out walk and back-to-back singles from Putz and Zyska loaded the bases for Brannigan. After falling behind 0-2 in the count, a fastball from Evan Justice came in and got Brannigan on the elbow. TJ Williams entered the game for Kavadas and he came home as the go-ahead run to put the Irish up 3-2.

In the ninth, Kohlhepp made quick work of the Wolfpack with a 1-2-3 inning to end the game and give the Irish the victory. With the win, it halted NC State’s six-game winning streak and it was their first loss of the season on the road.

UP NEXT

The Irish and Wolfpack will take the field again Saturday afternoon for the second game of the series. Saturday’s matchup is set for a 2 p.m. ET first pitch and will be aired on the ACC Network Extra.