Sophomore catcher Ryan Lidge

Baseball Makes Annual Trip To San Antonio For Irish Alamo Invitational

Feb. 18, 2015

Weekend Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Weekend #2: Irish Alamo Invitational

February 19-22, 2015

5:05 p.m. / 2:35 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. / 11:05 a.m. (All CT)

Nelson W. Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, Texas)

Team Information:

Notre Dame: 3-1, 0-0 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)

2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason

Incarnate Word: 2-2, 0-0 Southland (18-32, 9-15 OVC In 2014)

2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason

Northwestern: 0-3, 0-0 Big Ten (19-33, 7-16 Big Ten In 2014)

2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason

Villanova: 0-2, 0-0 Big East (16-34, 5-13 Big East In 2014)

2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason


None Of The Teams Are Ranked

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1 (UIW): LHP Michael Hearne (0-0) vs. RHP Cody Richey (0-1)

G2 (VU): RHP Scott Kerrigan (0-1) vs. LHP Hunter Schryver (0-0)

G3 (NU): RHP Brandon Bielak (1-0) vs. LHP Matt Portland (0-1)

G4 (TBA): RHP Nick McCarty (1-0) vs. TBA

Series History:

vs. Incarnate Word: Series is tied, 2-2

First Meeting: W, N, 8-6 (3/17/87)

Last Meeting: W, N, 8-2 (2/22/14)

Aoki vs. Incarnate Word: 1-0 (all at ND)

vs. Northwestern: ND leads 71-59-1

First Meeting: L, H, 15-6 (5/7/1896)

Last Meeting: W, A, 9-4 (5/15/12)

Aoki vs. Northwestern: 1-0 (all at ND)

vs. Villanova: ND leads 37-9-1

First Meeting: L, N, 7-3 (5/15/96)

Last Meeting: L, H, 10-6 (4/7/13)

Aoki vs. Villanova: 5-2 (1-0 at BC, 4-2 at ND)

Game Coverage:

Live Video: None

Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp) or

WatchND (Links on

Live Stats:

Twitter Reports: @ND Baseball / @NDsidRuss

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After an impressive 3-1 opening weekend in Norman, Oklahoma, including a series win against the Oklahoma Sooners, the University of Notre Dame baseball team continues its early season road trip this weekend, as the Irish head to San Antonio for the near annual Irish Alamo Invitational.

Incarnate Word, Northwestern and Villanova are joining the Irish at the four-team tournament, with all games being played at Nelson W. Wolff Stadium minus Sunday’s consolation contest.

“The big thing for us is living by this motto of playing the game one pitch at a time, trying to win the pitch and not worrying about who the opponent is, where we are or what the score is,” said head coach Mik Aoki. “We just need to be the best we can every single pitch. At the end of the day, it’s like our seniors said to the guys today, we might be the better team, but we need to be the better team that day to get a win. We just want to go down to San Antonio and get better.”

A trip the Irish look forward to every year, San Antonio offers the student-athletes an opportunity to stay with host families through the Notre Dame Club of San Antonio as opposed to staying in a hotel like every other road trip.

“The guys really look forward to this trip because it comes at a time of the year when it’s freezing cold in South Bend, but much warmer there,” said Aoki. “We have a certain level of comfort there and the familiarity that it breeds allows you to play at a pretty high level. Three out of our four classes have been here. They stay at host families, which I think is a pretty unique thing. They get to come back and see their host parents and host brothers and sisters and they have a pretty good relationship with them. It’s a tournament that Notre Dame has been hosting for a better part of 25 years, so I think it’s a nice setup.”

Notre Dame (3-1) is coming off an outstanding start to the season, where it went 2-0 in one-run games, and won the last two games against the Sooners after suffering a 6-1 loss Friday night. The Irish showed a lot of the patience at the plate, as they put together a .366 on-base percentage due in large part to 20 walks.

“The big thing for me is that I don’t look at last weekend and feel as though we played absolutely at our potential,” said Aoki. “But I feel like we came pretty darn close to playing as well as we can in terms of our compete factor and that’s what I want to see because that’s completely controllable.”

Sophomore Cavan Biggio was downright dominant at the plate to lead the Irish. The Houston, Texas native batted .500 with a gaudy .938 slugging percentage and an impressive .579 on-base percentage. He notched eight hits, three doubles, two triples, two RBI, three walks, two steals and six runs scored and came within a home run of hitting for the natural cycle in back-to-back games to end the series.

Elsewhere on offense, sophomore catcher Ryan Lidge hit his first career homer in the season opener against SIU-Edwardsville. The two-run shot proved to be the game-winner in a 7-6 Notre Dame win. For the weekend, he batted .455 and had an .818 slugging percentage and a .538 on-base percentage. In the leadoff spot, freshman Jake Johnson had no problems doing his job, as he totaled a .556 on-base percentage due to six walks, two hit by pitch and two hits. Senior Robert Youngdahl recorded a team-high five RBI in batting .333.

On the mound, junior Nick McCarty made a quality start in helping the Irish clinch the series against Oklahoma, as he went 7.2 innings and allowed one run (0 ER) on four hits. Freshman Peter Solomon picked up a win and a save on the weekend, allowing only one hit and a walk in 4.0 innings of work, while fellow freshman Brandon Bielak earned a win after going five innings and allowing just two runs (1 ER).

This weekend, the Irish will go toe-to-toe with Incarnate Word, Northwestern and Villanova.

Incarnate Word (2-2) and the Irish are meeting for the second time in two years, after the Irish claiming an 8-2 win in last year’s Irish Alamo Invitational. All-time, the series is tied at two games apiece, with the first meeting coming in 1987.

The Cardinals are coming off a 14-4 win over Prairie View A&M Tuesday. The Notre Dame’s bats will face off with RHP Cody Richey (0-1), who gave up two runs in six innings of work against Northeastern last weekend. The Irish will counter with LHP Michael Hearne, who earned the no-decision last Friday against SIU-Edwardsville after a 5-1 lead Irish lead was squandered in the middle innings.

Northwestern (0-3) lost three games last weekend by a combined four runs, as they suffered close losses to Michigan State (3-2), Oregon State (2-1) and New Mexico (5-3). The Wildcats will send LHP Matt Portland to the bump. Last weekend, Portland gave up three runs (0 ER) on two hits and no walks over six innings to suffer the hard-luck loss against Michigan State. He also struck out four Spartan batters.

Bielak (1-0) will make his second appearance for Notre Dame this year after going five innings and allowing just two runs (1 ER) in a 10-9 win over Oklahoma.

Northwestern is one of Notre Dame’s most played foes, as the two programs first met in `96 … that’s 1896. The two squads have played a whopping 131 times (Irish lead 71-59-1), with their last game coming in 2012 (9-4 ND win).

Villanova (0-2) lost a pair of contests in Raleigh, North Carolina last weekend to NC State (14-5) and Appalachian State (5-2). The Wildcats will trot out LHP Hunter Schryver against the Irish in his first appearance of the year.

Senior RHP Scott Kerrigan (0-1) will head to the mound looking for his first victory in 2015. He went six innings and gave up five runs (4 ER) in a 6-1 Irish loss to Oklahoma last Friday night.

Former BIG EAST foes, Notre Dame and Villanova last played in 2013 in a conference series at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish have dominated the all-time series with `Nova, holding a 37-9-1 lead.

The Irish kick off the weekend with a 6:05 p.m. ET (5:05 p.m. CT) Thursday game against Incarnate Word. Notre Dame will then battle Villanova at 3:35 p.m. ET (2:35 p.m. CT) Friday and Northwestern at 2:05 p.m. ET (1:05 p.m. CT) Saturday. The tournament wraps up Sunday with the top two teams playing a 12:05 p.m. ET (11:05 p.m. CT) championship game at Nelson W. Wolff Stadium with the other two teams playing at Incarnate Word’s Daniel Sullivan Field at the same time.

Follow all four games this weekend through WatchND’s audio broadcast with Chuck Freeby on the call (WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend) or by tracking live stats through Game tweets will also be available through @NDBaseball.

–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director