Kavadas powers No. 10 Notre Dame past Central Michigan 10-0
Senior Niko Kavadas belted two home runs for his fourth career multi-home run game as the Irish hit four long balls in the win.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Notre Dame Athletics) - The No. 10 seed Notre Dame baseball team took the field for postseason baseball at Frank Eck Stadium for the first time since 2004 and did not disappoint the sold out crowd. The Irish (31-11) took down Central Michigan (40-17) 10-0 in the regional opener to advance in the winner’s bracket of the South Bend Regional.
Senior Niko Kavadas belted two home runs for his fourth career multi-home run game as the Irish hit four long balls in the win. David LaManna and Ryan Cole also hit home runs in the win and it was the third game this season the Irish have hit four home runs in a game.
The long balls were plenty of offense for John Michael Bertrand as he put together another strong outing on the mound. Bertrand went the distance for the third time this season and tallied his first career complete game shutout. It is the first postseason complete game shutout for an Irish pitcher since Danny Tamayo in a 7-0 win against Mississippi State back in 2000.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Bertrand was strong out of the gate for the Irish, keeping the Chippewas bats at bay through the first four innings. Bertrand allowed just three singles while striking out two over four scoreless frames to open the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Irish bats started to get going. Jared Miller led the inning off with a triple and scored on a ground out from Carter Putz. After Jack Brannigan legged out an infield single, Kavadas crushed a two run home run over the batter’s eye in center. After the first four innings, Notre Dame led 3-0.
The Irish added a run in the fifth after a perfectly executed hit and run. Spencer Myers was running on the play and Cole doubled to the wall in right. Myers kept on running all the way to home and the Irish were up 4-0.
Bertrand continued to cruise for the Irish through six innings. He scattered just one more hit while keeping the Chippewas off the scoreboard.
Notre Dame broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth and it was the long ball that led to a big inning. Kavadas crushed his second two-run homer of the game to further increase the lead. LaManna followed Kavadas later in the inning with a two run homer of his own to right field. Then to cap the inning off, Cole got a hold of a pitch that he cleared the wall in left for the third home run of the inning. It was the first time since 2014 against Clemson that the Irish hit three home runs in a single inning.
Bertrand didn’t waver down the stretch to finish the game off for the Irish. He closed out over the final three innings and allowed just one hit. In the ninth inning, Bertrand struck out the side to finish off the complete game shutout.
STATS OF THE GAME
- John Michael Bertrand tossed his fourth career complete game and his first ever complete game shutout.
- Bertrand was the first Irish pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in the postseason since Danny Tamayo in a 7-0 win against Mississippi State in 2000 in the Starkville Regional.
- It was the first shutout in the NCAA Tournament for the Irish since 2005 when they beat North Carolina 3-0 in the Gainesville Regional.
- The Irish belted four homes in the win. It is the third game this season they have hit four home runs in a game.
- Notre Dame hit three home runs in the sixth inning. It is the first time they have hit three home runs in an inning since 2014 in the fifth inning against Clemson.
With the win, Notre Dame advances into the winner’s bracket in the South Bend Regional. They will play Saturday night at 6 p.m. ET against the winner of the Michigan and Connecticut game. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.