Noles Beat Notre Dame to Claim Series

Noles Beat Notre Dame to Claim Series
Noles Beat Notre Dame to Claim Series
Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 23:00:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 7 Florida State (16-4, 3-3 ACC) beat Notre Dame (8-10, 2-4) for the second consecutive day Sunday afternoon, topping the Fighting Irish 7-5 on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Freshman Reese Albert hit a home run for the second straight game and Austin Pollock allowed just one earned run in six innings as FSU claimed its first ACC series win of the year.

Clayton Kwiatkowski (2-0) earned the win, pitching 1.1 innings of relief and inducing a crucial bases-loaded double play in the seventh inning. Conor Grady earned the first save of his career, pitching the final 1.1 innings and allowing just one run.

Rhett Aplin, Drew Mendoza and Jackson Lueck each had two of FSU’s eight hits. Mendoza went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and is hitting .523 (23-for-44) with eight doubles, two home runs, 15 RBI and just four strikeouts during his current 12-game hitting streak.

Albert’s home run off Notre Dame starter Cameron Junker gave FSU a 1-0 lead. Albert entered Saturday’s game against the Irish as a pinch-hitter and hit his first home run of the season.

Notre Dame scored three runs in the top of the third, two of which were unearned after a throwing error by Nick Derr. Derr got back one of the runs in the bottom of the inning when he led off with a double, his fourth extra base hit of the weekend, and scored on Mendoza’s sacrifice fly that cut the Irish lead to 3-2.

FSU would score single runs in the fourth and fifth innings as well to take a 4-3 lead. J.C. Flowers reached on a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by Junker to score Lueck in the fourth and Lueck hit an RBI single in the fifth off Tommy Vail (2-2) to score Mendoza.

Notre Dame tied the score with a bases loaded walk in the top of the seventh. Kwiatkowski induced a double play back to the mound, getting the lead runner at the plate and the batter at first base, to end the threat with the game tied.

FSU took the lead for good when pinch-hitter Jared Herron reached on a throwing error by third baseman Jared Miller that scored two runs. Herron would score on a wild pitch from Andrew Belcik that upped the lead to 7-4 FSU.

Nick Podkul hit a solo home run in top of the ninth off Grady but a groundout and fly out ended the game.

Cole Daily and Matt Vierling combined for five hits on the afternoon for Notre Dame.

Winning Score

With runners on first and second, redshirt freshman Jared Herron hit a two-out ground ball to third baseman Jared Miller. Miller’s throw sailed past first base, allowing Steven Wells and Jackson Lueck to score, breaking a 4-4 tie. Herron later scored on a wild pitch to make the game 7-4 in favor of FSU.

Of Note
  • Nick Derr hit his second double of the season in the third inning. Five of his seven hits this year have gone for extra bases (three HR, two 2B). This weekend, Derr hit two doubles and two home runs.
  • Rhett Aplin was hit by a pitch for the first time this season.
  • Over his current 12-game hitting streak, Mendoza is hitting .523 (23-for-44) with eight doubles, two home runs, 15 RBI and just four strikeouts. He has successfully reached base in 24 straight games dating back to 2017.
  • Jackson Lueck broke an 0-for-18 skid with back-to-back singles Sunday, the second of which scored Drew Mendoza and gave FSU a 4-3 lead. He hit in the 7-hole for just the second time in his career (March 29, 2016 vs. Florida).
  • Steven Wells walked for the 20th time this season, tied with Rhett Aplin for the team lead.
  • Cal Raleigh started all three games this weekend, extending his streak of games started to 144.
  • Florida State struck out four times Sunday and just eight times over the three-game series.
  • Florida State hit six home runs this weekend against Notre Dame and has 10 over the past four games. In the team’s first 16 games of the season, FSU hit just seven total home runs. Nick Derr’s three home runs are the most on the team.
Road to 1,976

FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,960th of his career. He needs just 16 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently only trails the late Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). Martin is 14-8 all-time against Notre Dame.

Up Next

No. 7 Florida State hosts No. 22 UCF for a two-game midweek series Tuesday and Wednesday. UCF has won 16 of its past 17 games, including four-straight weekend sweeps and a two-game sweep of No. 1 Florida. FSU is 35-6 all-time against the Knights, including three wins in 2017, the last of which was an elimination game in the Tallahassee Regional.