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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

McCarty loses in pitching duel

Peter Summerville entered the game for only one pitch in Thursday’s tilt between Notre Dame and Santa Clara, but that one pitch made all the difference in the Broncos’ 2-1 win over the Irish at Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio.

Irish pitcher Matt Ternowchek follows through on a pitch.
Irish pitcher Matt Ternowchek follows through on a pitch.
The Santa Clara senior catcher delivered a pinch-hit single on the first throw he saw from Irish freshman left-handed reliever Jim Orwick in the top of the seventh inning. The hit drove in Broncos freshman third baseman Max Kuhns for the go-ahead run in the opening contest of the Irish Baseball Classic.

Senior right-hander D.J. Zapata went the distance for Santa Clara (2-4), collecting eight strikeouts and limiting the Irish (1-3) to six hits.

The Broncos struck first on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning with senior center fielder Greg Harisis’s solo home run off sophomore right-hander Nick McCarty.

McCarty was tagged for the loss since he gave up the single that put Kuhns’s winning run on base before exiting with two outs in the seventh.

The three Notre Dame pitchers — McCarty, Orwick and senior right-hander Donnie Hissa — combined for eight hits, three of them for extra-bases, and six strikeouts.

Despite not coming away with the win, McCarty threw 52 of his 69 pitches for strikes and did not allow a walk.

The lone score for the Irish came in the bottom of the sixth with freshman second baseman Cavan Biggio’s home run, which flew down the first-base-side foul line and just made it over the right-field wall. The solo shot was the first of Biggio’s collegiate career.

Biggio went 2-for-3 with a single and a walk to accompany his home run, and junior designated hitter Robert Youngdahl also collected two hits in his four at-bats, both singles.

Notre Dame added some drama to the matchup and put itself in position for a rally in the bottom of the ninth when Youngdahl knocked a one-out single into right field to place the tying run on base. However, the Irish could not bring him in as junior first baseman Blaise Lezynski popped out and junior pinch hitter Mac Hudgins grounded out to keep the score as it was and close out the contest.

The Irish will need to quickly turn around from the loss for their game Friday afternoon against Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs (2-3) enter the tilt fresh off a 6-1 win over Incarnate Word on Thursday. Freshman outfielder Sam Brown picked up three of his team’s eight hits in the victory, which was the 300th in head coach Mark Machtolf’s career.

Seeking its first win in the Irish Baseball Classic, Notre Dame heads back to the diamond to face Gonzaga on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Nelson Wolff Stadium.