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Friday, April 12, 2024
The Observer

Irish baseball to take on Butler at home

The Notre Dame baseball team will face off against Butler at Frank Eck Stadium on Tuesday evening. 

The Irish come into the matchup after a 2-1 series victory over the then-No. 6 Louisville at home. In the first game of the weekend, the Irish came out swinging. Graduate infielder Zack Prajzner, freshman infielder Estevan Moreno, sophomore outfielder DM Jefferson and junior outfielder TJ Williams all scored once. Between them and their teammates, the Irish had 11 total hits. Junior pitcher Jackson Dennies started and was replaced with freshman reliever Caden Spivey midway through the fourth inning after allowing only two runs and three hits. Graduate student Aidan Tyrell closed and got the win for the Irish with a final score of 4-3. 

In the second game, the clinching game of the series, Prajzner and Williams were joined in scoring by graduate outfielder Jack Zyska, graduate first baseman Carter Putz and graduate outfielder Brooks Coetzee. Although the Irish only had five runs off of six hits, it was enough to pull out a victory over the Cardinals, who only managed four runs off of eight hits. Sophomore pitcher Jack Findlay got the start and the win for Notre Dame, pitching 5.1 innings. Graduate students Carter Bosch and Will Mercer threw for the rest of the game. 

The final game of the series was low-scoring. Sophomore infielder Jack Penney scored the only run for Notre Dame while Louisville scored two runs to prevent the sweep. Graduate student Blake Hely, sophomore Radek Birkholz and juniors Matt Bedford, Ryan Lynch and Sammy Cooper all threw for Notre Dame. 

After knocking off Louisville, Notre Dame will meet Butler at 12-9 overall and 4-5 in the ACC. The Irish have won the last 13 meetings with the Bulldogs and lead the overall series 68-15. 

So far, this year has been a struggle for the Bulldogs, who have gone 5-18. Their only wins came against Fairleigh Dickinson (two), Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Cincinnati. Three of Butler‘s losses have ended in a mercy rule. 

The Irish should use this game as an opportunity to build on the offensive momentum from the first two games of the Louisville series. The pitching crew has been pretty consistent over the past few weeks, so it‘s up to the hitters to try and put some games away against Butler and over the rest of the season. 

Tuesday‘s game will start at 5 p.m. and will be available on ACC Network Extra.