For the second day in a row, Clemson hitters were held in check by Notre Dame hurlers, dropping Game 2 of the series 8-1 in South Bend, Ind., Saturday. Staff ace John Michael Bertand set a high bar by giving up just one run in 8.1 innings in Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory, Friday. Saturday starter Austin Temple was similarly effective, holding the Tigers scoreless and striking out nine over 5.1 innings. After managing just five hits in Game 1, the Clemson lineup was similarly vexed, Saturday, producing just six hits before scoring an unearned run in the ninth.
Clemson (19-11, 2-8) starter Nick Hoffman (3-4) was pulled with two outs in the third inning after giving up a bases-loaded single. Righthander Ty Olenchuk relieved Hoffman and held the Irish scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings before the wheels came off. Olenchuk yielded a solo homer in the sixth and a three-run shot in the seventh. Notre Dame (19-5, 7-4) third baseman Jack Brannigan fought back from a 1-2 count to draw a base on balls to lead off the inning. Jared Miller followed with a single into left field. Cleanup hitter Carter Putz brought them both in when he drove the fourth pitch he saw from Olenchuk over the wall in right for an opposite-field homer. Putz antagonized Clemson pitchers all afternoon, finishing with three hits and five RBI.
Second baseman Blake Wright (2 for 4) was the lone Tiger with multiple hits and Benjamin Blackwell’s leadoff double was Clemson’s only extra-base hit. Caden Grice reached base twice (1 for 3, walk) and has scored both of the club’s runs this weekend. The Tigers will look to salvage a game in the series against the sixth-ranked Irish at 1 p.m., Sunday.