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Irish Start Strong, Finish Strong, Split Series vs. FIU

Written by Jhett Garrett Writer Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett

Photo by Notre Dame Athletics

The Notre Dame baseball team split the weekend series in Miami against Florida International this past weekend. They picked up wins on both Friday and Sunday, however, they fell twice on Saturday, moving them to 5-2 after two weekends of play.

The Irish launched four long balls in the Friday matchup, knocking off the Panthers 13-4. They were led by senior outfielder TJ Williams who went 2-3 in the game with two home runs, four runs batted in, and a walk. David Glancy also had a multi-hit game in the first matchup, as well as a home run, finishing 2-3 with two walks and four RBIs. Connor Hincks was the final member of the Irish to go deep in game one, finished 1-3 with two walks and three RBIs.

After a dominant performance against Rice last Friday, Caden Spivey got the start for Notre Dame. While he took a step back in this one, giving up two earned runs on three hits, Spivey was still very impressive in the three innings he pitched. Radek Birkholz came in for Spivey to start the fourth inning and would go 2.1 innings. He gave up just one hit, however, he, like Spivey, gave up two runs. It would be the final hit the Panthers recorded in this one, as the winning pitcher Bennett Flynn, and Rory Fox would shut the door in the final 3.2 innings.

Saturday was a longer day for the Irish, dropping both games 10-8, and 10-5 respectively. In game one, graduate transfer Tito Flores shined for Notre Dame, finishing 3-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Simon Baumgardt also had an impact in this one after hitting two home runs last weekend, as he went 3-5 with three RBIs. David Glancy hit the lone double in the game for Notre Dame on his way to 1-4 with two RBIs. Things didn’t get much better on the mound for Jackson Dennies in this one, as he went four innings giving up five hits, four earned runs, and only struck out two batters. Out of the bullpen, Will Jacobsen and Nate Hardman both gave up three earned runs, which put the game out of reach for Notre Dame.

In game two, Matt Bedford got the start for the Irish and went four innings. The performance showed improvement from last weekend, as he gave up just three hits and two earned runs while striking three and walking just one batter. However, the Panthers would plate eight runs in the final five innings of the game, while the Irish didn’t score until the sixth inning. With only six hits in the game the Notre Dame offense didn’t have a lot to shout about, however, they were led by Connor Hincks who went 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk.

Needing a win on Sunday to split the series, the Irish turned to Tobey McDonough and Jack Radel, who combined for five innings pitched, five strikeouts, and gave up only three hits. However, it was Ricky Reeth, the third pitcher out of the bullpen that impressed for Notre Dame. The 6’4 junior from Windermere, Florida had a rough appearance last weekend, however dominated in 2.2 innings of work. He struck out six batters, gave up just two hits, walked only one, and didn’t allow a single run to cross. It allowed leeway for the Irish offense that hit a brick wall in the final two games of play. David Glancy once again put together an impressive ballgame, going deep once more while scoring two of their three runs. Tito Flores also plated two in the ball game, giving the Irish a 3-1 win that moves them to 5-2.

TJ Williams has been one of the few bright spots on the Notre Dame offense, as he has moved to 10-20 on the year, with two home runs and six RBIs. While he has had limited work, he is making the most of his at-bats and putting the Irish in positions to win. He is also getting on base (.583 OBP) and is a threat to steal bags, as he is 3-3 in stolen base attempts this season.

Another name to remember for the rest of the year is David Glancy, who put up a very impressive weekend in the Irish split. He has started all seven games thus far and is slashing .308/.583/.808, which leads the team outside of Williams. He has also gone deep four times which leads the team and brought in ten runs which is tied with Tito Flores for the team lead. The problem is that the offense bottoms out after the first four hitters, and power is relied on a lot. It has hurt them in a couple of instances so far this season, especially on Saturday night in the second game.

Many of Notre Dame’s early problems reside in missed opportunities. Through seven games this season, Notre Dame has left 54 guys on base, which is nearly eight per game. There have been so many key positions where the Irish need to get the offense rolling before stranding multiple runners on base. This coupled with the inconsistent pitching have the Irish at a manageable 5-2 record heading into the matchup with Tennessee Tech this weekend.


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