CHICAGO, Ill. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish battled Northwestern at the iconic Wrigley Field on Tuesday, May 16 in the second Irish and Wildcat matchup of the season. The Irish would go into their second extra-inning game of the year, falling 8-7 in the eleventh.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish were on the board early and the offense caught fire as Notre Dame posted a 5-0 lead over the Wildcats across the first five innings.
Brooks Coetzee sparked the Irish offense with a long ball into deep left center for a two-run home run. Coetzee’s third homer of the season gave Notre Dame an early 2-0 advantage heading into the third. The Irish tacked on two more runs in the top of third from a ground out RBI and an RBI single to extend the lead 4-0.
In the top of the fourth, Casey Kmet would single and steal second to put the Irish in scoring position yet again. A single down the right field line from Estevan Moreno would score Kmet for the 5-0 Irish lead.
Northwestern wasn’t going anywhere as an impressive five-run frame in the bottom of the fourth made it a tied ball game at Wrigley Field. After a scoreless fifth and sixth, the Irish tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back triples from TJ Williams and Zack Prajzner paired with a single from Carter Putz lifted the Irish to a 7-5 advantage.
Ryan Lynch would take the mound in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the side. Lynch recorded six strikeouts across just 2.0 innings pitched. A two-run home run from the Wildcats in the eighth would tie it up yet again with a score of 7-7.
A scoreless ninth from both squads would take the Irish into extra innings for the second time this season as Notre Dame closed the defensive frame with three Wildcats left on base.
Martinez recorded a base hit in the top of the tenth, but it remained an even 7-7 heading into the bottom frame. Will Mercer would face four batters, striking out three of them to take the Irish into the eleventh. Mercer would finish the day with six strikeouts across just 2.2 innings pitched.
Brady Gumpf recorded a hit to lead off in the eleventh, but the Irish offense was unable to score in the frame. Northwestern would take home the 8-7 win in the bottom of the eleventh as they scored on a ground ball to third with bases loaded.
Notre Dame closes out the regular season conference play with a three-game series at Boston College. For the second game of the series, the Irish will play at Fenway Park…