Hurricanes fail to overcome Notre Dame’s three-run fourth, drop first ACC series, 5-2

Graduate student Drew Dreyer pitches against FIU in Miami's 4-3 win on March 20, 2024 at the Cobb Stadium. Photo credit: Sophia Metzner

In a low-scoring affair on Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (14-8, 2-6 ACC) found some life in the bottom of the fourth. Against Miami lefty Rafe Schlesinger, the Irish put up three runs on five hits, enough for the home team to take the second game of the series, defeating the Miami Hurricanes (12-10, 4-4 ACC) 5-2.

Following a lead-off walk and single in the fourth inning, Notre Dame’s Brady Gumpf took Schelsinger’s pitch to dead center field, sending Edgardo Villegas near the warning track, where he attempted to make an over-the-shoulder catch to save a run. Villegas couldn’t corral it, however, allowing Notre Dame to break the tie with runners on second and third.

The following batter, Carson Tinney, brought in another run on an infield single hit toward shortstop Antonio Jimenez. Outfielder T.J. Williams dealt the last blow of the inning, smacking an RBI single up the middle, allowing Notre Dame to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

From that point on, the Irish never looked back and shut the door in the top of the ninth.

In the final frame, Notre Dame sent out reliever Ricky Reeth for this fifth inning of work, facing Lucas Costello, Jake Kulikowsi, and Eric Fernandez. Reeth retired all three ‘Canes on just eight pitches, which was the story of the game for the Hurricanes.

Despite tallying nine hits this afternoon, UM’s offense was stagnant yet again, scoring three or fewer runs for the third consecutive game.

The bottom of the order of Jack Scanlon, Costello, Kulikowski and Jimenez struggled to provide much life on offense. Miami’s six through nine batters were responsible for just one hit on 14 at-bats and left five runners on base.

The top of the order provided some life on the attack for the Hurricanes, as the first five batters combined for eight of the team’s nine hits and scored both runs.

Villegas provided the loudest contact of the afternoon, depositing his second home run of the season into the trees in right field, cutting the deficit to two.

Despite the offensive concerns, UM was able to strike first this afternoon. In the top of the first, Dorian Gonzalez Jr. sent a high fly ball to left field. The outfielder, David Glancy, was blinded by the sun in South Bend, allowing the ball to drop right in front of him, and in turn, allowing a run to score.

The Irish responded right back just minutes later when infielder Simon Baumgardt brought a runner home on a sac fly, tying the game once again at one.

Schlesinger was not at his best today in South Bend, surrendering his first loss of the season. The lefty, in six innings of work, allowed four runs on eight hits while only striking out three Notre Dame batters.

The Hurricanes look for their first road win of the season and to avoid their first sweep against Notre Dame on Sunday. UM will send out lefty Herick Hernandez for his sixth outing of the season. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.