The seventh inning play-by-play of Boston College baseball’s series finale with Notre Dame had a unique twist. In for starters Jack Zyska, Nick Juaire, Roman Kimball and David LaManna came Ryan Cole, TJ Williams, Jack Penney and Jack Brannigan. One after another, the Fighting Irish revised their lineup to rest their stars after a run of demolition in the bottom of the sixth inning. Notre Dame led by eight runs when it pulled its starters and closed out its ACC series win over BC on the Irish’s home turf.
With wins on Saturday and Sunday, No. 18 Notre Dame captured a much-needed ACC series win over the Eagles leading up to playoff ball. An 11-run bottom of the sixth inning was too much for BC to overcome (17–28, 4–20 Atlantic Coast) in a 16–10 loss to the Irish on Sunday. While Notre Dame beat the Eagles 11–5 on Saturday, the Fighting Irish dropped the first game of the series 7–4 on Friday.
Despite BC’s loss on Sunday, freshman right-hander Sean Hard hung around for three solid innings of work on the mound, giving up two runs and recording four strikeouts.
Before the Irish (28–10, 13–8) registered 11 runs on homers from Jared Miller, Cole, and Zyska, they surrendered a 5–2 lead in the top of the inning. Jackson Dennies came in to relieve Aidan Tyrell, who had replaced starter Jack Findlay in the fourth inning. Boasting a 0.42 era entering the game, Findlay had only given up one run in 21.1 innings pitched this season.
Dennies lasted two batters before getting pulled. Notre Dame cycled through two extra relief pitchers—Will Mercer and Roman Kimball—attempting to dampen BC’s rally, but the Eagles clawed at their deficit to produce six runs in the inning and take an 8–5 lead.
Patrick Roche started things off by lofting a double to the left-center gap, and Daniel Baruch followed with a single to left field that Cole played perfectly on a hop. Mercer came in and let up a Sam McNulty single that scored Roche. Barry Walsh and Cameron Leary struck out in back-to-back at-bats, but that didn’t halt the Eagles’ rally.
Luke Gold was next to bat. He roped a double to right center on the first pitch, sending McNulty and Baruch home. Joe Vetrano reached on a walk, and with the final reliever coming in, Parker Landwehr drilled a moonshot to left field that sailed miles above the fence, scoring Gold and Vetrano to give the Eagles a three-run lead.
That didn’t stop Notre Dame from reversing the momentum in a matter of a half-inning break. Without looking back, the Irish got hot and started to dance with the same energetic vigor that BC brought in the top half of the sixth inning.
Notre Dame posted 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, topping its eight-run bottom of the first inning that came one day earlier.
Two singles and two errors quickly tied the game for Notre Dame, and the Irish went back in front on a grand slam by Miller. BC committed four errors in the series-deciding contest and fell 16–10.
On Saturday, the Eagles dropped their first game of the series 11–5. Despite allowing eight runs on eight hits the first time through the order, Henry Leake pitched five innings.
The Irish brought in four runs with just one out before two bunt singles loaded the bases, and shortstop Zach Prajzner broke the game open with a grand slam. Leake took the loss with 10 runs against on 11 hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
Right-handed starter Austin Temple allowed four runs on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts in a four-inning start for Notre Dame.
Friday featured a BC victory to open the series, with right-handed starter Joe Mancini taking down the Irish lineup. BC got seven innings of one-run ball from the senior and backed him up with a four-run fourth inning and a three-run fifth inning.
Mancini and Notre Dame lefty John Michael Bertrand hoisted matching zeroes through the first three innings. Junior center fielder Walsh broke the tie with a leadoff home run in the first, and BC trotted to its sole win of the series.