Notre Dame isn’t a great team, but they’re a team that makes the most of the opportunities that they do get. That’s what they did on Friday night, while NC State did not, and that was the story of the game in a 5-4 Notre Dame win.
The Fighting Irish had two innings with two or more men on base (loaded the bases in the 2nd, two men on in the 7th)... they scored four of their five runs in those two innings, with a pair of runs in each inning. The Wolfpack had two innings with two or more men on base (two men on in the 3rd, bases loaded in the 6th)... they scored zero runs.
What else is there really to say? Well, okay, I’ll say a few more...
NC State manufactured a run in the 2nd, then gave up the lead on some bad pitching, tied it up on a solo home run, then gave up a solo home run to give the lead right back, and finally took the lead on a two-run home run.
At that point, it looked like with David Harrison dealing on the mound that the Wolfpack were going to take home the win. That wasn’t to be.
In the bottom of the 7th, Notre Dame got a bloop single to center field, a sacrifice bunt attempt that wasn’t handled cleanly (but was ruled a single), and then a two-run double to the wall in left field to plate both those runs and put the Irish up 5-4.
Notre Dame brought in their closer, Wolfpack bats couldn’t touch him, and it was ballgame from there.
Jonny Butler went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Evan Edwards went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Luca Tresh hit a solo home run and Baker Nelson pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with a strikeout.
The series continues tomorrow at 2:00pm with Reid Johnston on the mound for the Wolfpack. The good news is that Notre Dame used their two best bullpen arms in this one. The bad news is that State batters didn’t register a hit in the three combined innings that those guys threw. The worse news is that State now needs to win both of the remaining games to avoid dropping their third straight series.