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.
#NOLES WIN! Florida State wins the series against Notre Dame.
WP: Kwiatkowski (2-0)
LP: Vail (2-2)
SV: Grady (1)
FSU is back at it this Tuesday and Wednesday against UCF. pic.twitter.com/p80CmsAoHW
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) March 18, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).