It was a pitching battle in South Bend this afternoon as Northwestern snapped a five-game losing streak and earned their ninth win of the season with a 2-0 win at Notre Dame. While freshman Anthony Alepra walked home with the win in his collegiate debut, it was a team effort from the bullpen with seven pitchers combining to allow only five hits throughout the game.
Northwestern continued a trend of low-strung offense with only seven hits and two runs, but with the help of some aggressive base-running off of six stolen bases, they were able to capitalize when necessary.
Their two runs came early in the game. Northwestern’s first run came in the first inning from junior Jack Dunn, who got on with a single to right center field. Dunn advanced on a steal followed by a sacrifice ground ball from second baseman Alex Erro. He ultimately scored off of a single through the right side from senior catcher Jack Claeys. Northwestern’s second run came in the next inning, this time from left-fielder Leo Kaplan. Kaplan also advanced to third with a steal and a groundout. He scored off of a sacrifice fly ball to center by right-fielder Casey O’Laughlin.
From there, the game played out steadily until the seventh inning when junior relief pitcher Tommy Bordignon found himself in a hole with runners on second and third and no outs. Bordignon remained poised and forced three groundouts to get himself out of the jam. The ‘Cats were presented with no major threats for the rest of the game and were able to hold on for a 2-0 shutout win.
Northwestern and Notre Dame will meet again, this time at Northwestern on May 15. The 'Cats look to bring this momentum into Big Ten play during Friday’s game at 23-6 Indiana, who currently sit at seventh in the Big Ten.