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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame baseball prepares for home clash with North Carolina

Notre Dame kicks off the first of a three-game series against North Carolina at home in Frank Eck Stadium Friday. Since 2015, the Irish have gone 11-5 against the Tar Heels, but lost in their matchup last year. 

Although North Carolina is fresh off of a 7-12 loss to Coastal Carolina, they have had an impressive 18-7 start to the season. In the game, seven different pitchers threw for the Tar Heels. Starter Cameron Padgett gave up six hits and three runs through 3.2 innings before he was relieved. Kevin Eaise threw another 3.2 innings, giving up three runs and three hits. The next four pitchers all threw for less than an inning, allowing six hits and six runs between them. Finally, Dalton Pence threw a no-hit final inning to end the game. 

Their hitters were productive though — they had seven hits and seven runs. North Carolina has five players with a season batting average of more than .300, whereas the Irish have struggled to have consistent hitting at the plate this season. 

That said, the Irish had a strong showing Tuesday night against Butler. They earned four runs off of five hits. Sophomore infielder Jack Penney, graduate student infielder Zack Prajzner, graduate student outfielder Jack Zyska and graduate student infielder Carter Putz all scored for the Irish. Junior Jackson Dennies threw a no-hitter through four innings before graduate student Aidan Tyrell replaced him at the mound. Tyrell gave up only two Butler hits of the game but earned the win. Freshman Caden Spivey threw a no-hit final inning to close up the win. This victory marked Notre Dame’s first shutout of the season. 

As the Irish get back into conference play this weekend, consistency will be essential to accumulating more wins. The pitching staff continues to show up for the Irish, but getting on base is often a challenge. And, more often than not, Notre Dame’s top hitters are only managing one hit a game. The series against Louisville shows that the Irish can hit well, they just need to find offensive production in more than occasional spurts.

Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m., Saturday’s at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s game at 1 p.m.