Ryan Cole helps Notre Dame end 20-game series losing streak to Louisville, 5-3

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

John Michael Bertrand pitched seven strong innings and Ryan Cole homered in the bottom of the ninth to give 12th-ranked Notre Dame a 5-3 victory over No. 6 Louisville, Saturday in an ACC baseball showdown at ND’s Eck Stadium.

The two teams meet at 1 p.m. Sunday to decide the series as well as determining who heads into next week in first place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.

Cole’s home run was his third of the season and second walk-off shot in as many weeks. It came off Louisville reliever Tate Kuehner with one out and David LaManna on first.

The victory broke a 20-game series losing streak to the Cardinals (16-6, 8-3 ACC) that dated back to 2011. Third baseman Jack Brannigan came into pitch in the top of the ninth and picked up the win for Notre Dame (11-4, 10-4) by recording two outs with runners on first and third.

Bertrand, a transfer from Furman and older brother of Notre Dame linebacker JD Bertrand, left the game in the top of the eighth leading 3-2 with a runner on first and no one out. He allowed five hits, and a walk over seven innings with four strikeouts.

The Cardinals tied the game in the top of the ninth off Alex Rao on a solo home run by first baseman Alex Binelas.

“Bertrand got us deep into the game and was in control of his outing, as we have seen before,” ND head coach Link Jarrett said. “Our defense played very well, and there were very nice plays at essentially every defense position on the field.

“Brannigan had a great day at the plate, at third, and to come in and help close out the ninth.”

Brannigan went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.

The three-game series, which started with a 7-4 Louisville win on Friday night, is the first between two top 15 teams in the history of Eck Stadium, which opened in 1994.

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Notre Dame coach Link Jarrett saw his 12th-ranked Irish take down No. 6 Louisville, 5-3, Saturday at Eck Stadium.