Feb. 14, 2014
Series 1: Florida Atlantic
1 p.m. / 6 p.m. / 1 p.m.
Notre Dame: 0-0, 0-0 ACC (34-24, 10-14 BIG EAST In 2013)
Postseason: Lost To UConn In BIG EAST Final
Florida Atlantic: 0-0, 0-0 C-USA (42-22, 19-10 Sun Belt In 2013)
Postseason: Won Sun Belt Tournament / Lost At North Carolina In Chapel Hill Regional Final (12-11, 13 Innings)
Notre Dame: NR
Florida Atlantic: 24th (Perfect Game – Preseason Poll)
Projected Pitching Matchups:
G1: RHP Sean Fitzgerald vs. LHP Austin Gomber
G2: RHP Nick McCarty vs. RHP Jeremy Strawn
G3: RHP Scott Kerrigan vs. RHP Drew Jackson
Notre Dame leads 2-0
Last Meeting: W, at FAU, 3-2 (2/28/2004)
First Meeting: W, neutral site, 3-0 (3/2/2001)
Aoki vs. FAU: 3-5 (all at Boston College)
Live Game Coverage:
Live Video: None
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Bob Nagle, pbp); WatchND (UND.com)
Live Stats: UND.com (Gametracker)
Twitter Reports: @ND Baseball/@NDsidRuss
Saturday, Feb. 15: 77 Degrees, Mostly Sunny
Sunday, Feb. 16: 78 Degrees, Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 2014 season is finally here for the University of Notre Dame baseball team. After weeks of preseason training and nearly nine months since their last contest, the Irish travel to the Sunshine State for some warm weather and a three-game series against NCAA Regional qualifier Florida Atlantic this weekend in Boca Raton, Fla.
The two squads will play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. with the second game slated to get underway at 6 p.m. Sunday’s series finale begins at 1 p.m. Fans can follow the series by clicking on the gametracker links on UND.com. The series will also be broadcast live on WHME 103.1 FM locally and on WatchND on the Internet. Long-time Notre Dame women’s basketball play-by-play man and baseball public address announcer Bob Nagle will be on the call in place of regular play-by-play man Chuck Freeby.
Notre Dame is opening a season on the road for the 81st time in program history including a streak of 24 years in a row. The season-opener in Florida marks the 13th time in the Irish have held their lid-lifter in the Sunshine State.
The Irish will kick off their 122nd season behind senior right-hander Sean Fitzgerald. For the second year in a row, the McLean, Va., native has earned the season-opening start. Last year, Fitzgerald went 5-4 with a 4.89 ERA in 73.2 innings of work.
Sophomore Nick McCarty will get the start in game two after putting together a 5-4 record and 5.20 ERA as a freshman. The righty made a team-high 29 appearances in 2013.
Rounding out the weekend for Notre Dame will be junior Scott Kerrigan. Kerrigan, who missed all of last season after right labrum surgery, displayed a steadiness in the preseason and attacked rehab hard to get back for his third campaign.
The Owls are ranked No. 24 in Perfect Game’s preseason poll and are hungry to get the season off on the right foot after missing out on the NCAA Super Regionals by a mere two runs. FAU advanced to the Chapel Hill Regional final against North Carolina before losing 12-11 in 13 innings.
FAU will throw the 6-5, 220 pound lefty Austin Gomber in game one Saturday. The junior went 8-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 18 appearances last year. Opponents hit .236 against him in 106.0 innings of work.
Game two will bring senior righty Jeremy Strawn with junior righty Drew Jackson closing out the series. Strawn went 5-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 17 starts last year. The 6-3, 190 pounder hurled two complete games. Jackson, meanwhile, comes to FAU from Seminole State College.
The two programs have met just twice before, with the Irish earning a pair of wins in 2001 and 2004.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director