May 19, 2016
By Russell Dorn
ACC Series #10: Clemson
May 19-21, 2016
6:05 p.m. / 6:05 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. (All ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 27-24, 11-14 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tournament / 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional
Clemson: 35-18, 13-14 ACC (32-29, 16-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tournament / 0-2 @ NCAA Fullerton Regional
Rankings: Clemson: Between #16 & #30 In All Six Major Polls
Series Coverage (Links on UND.com/NDBaseball):
Live Video: Thursday/Friday: WatchND (Chuck Freeby) / Saturday: ESPN3 (Sean Stires & Nik Valdisarri)
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby)
Live Stats: Gametracker
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball
Series History: Notre Dame leads 5-2
In ACC Reg. Season Play: ND leads 4-2
In ACC Tournament Play: Never met
Aoki vs. Clemson: 9-9 (5-7 @ BC, 4-2 @ ND)
First Meeting: 5/27/1994: W, 8-1 – Away (NCAA Regional)
Last Four Meetings:
3/15/2015: W, 5-1 – Away
3/14/2015: W, 11-6 – Away
3/14/2015: L, 6-1 – Away
5/11/2014: W, 11-3 – Home
Weather Report (as of Thursday, May 19):
Thursday, May 19: 69/44 & Sunny
Friday, May 20: 71/49 & Partly Cloudy
Saturday, May 21: 71/45 & AM Clouds/PM Sun (20%)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the season on the line, the University of Notre Dame baseball team welcomes in No. 16 Clemson this weekend for the last Atlantic Coast Conference series of the regular season at Frank Eck Stadium.
Since it’s the final series of the regular season, the schedule is shifted back a day with contests set for 6:05 p.m. ET Thursday, 6:05 p.m. ET Friday and 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday.
The series will also double as senior weekend for 10 Irish student-athletes, as Joey Cresta, Connor Hale, David Hearne, Michael Hearne, Nick McCarty, James Nevant, Lane Richards, Kyle Richardson, Ricky Sanchez and Zak Kutsulis will all be honored in a pregame ceremony Saturday (5:40 p.m. ET).
Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s series against Clemson:
1. In a wild and wacky ACC season, the final weekend of the regular season will determine the conference championship fates of nine teams with four squads (Louisville, Florida State, Miami & Virginia) already locked into Durham … Notre Dame has several scenarios that could send them to Durham or keep them at home … without going into all of them, the Irish would need to sweep Clemson to clinch a spot at the ACC Tournament, but could also advance with one or two wins depending on how other series play out.
2. Notre Dame vs. Clemson has the makings of a nice divisional rivalry after the Irish claimed series wins in each of the first two seasons ND has been in the ACC … in 2014, the Irish played their first series on their new FieldTurf artificial surface and dominated in the rubber match, 11-3, to shock the Tigers … last year, ND went into hostile Doug Kingsmore Stadium and won the last two games of the series to clinch its first ACC road series in program history.
3. The Irish will send their two aces to the mound in game one and game two … sophomore RHP Brandon Bielak will take the ball in game one after twirling a quality start at No. 20 North Carolina last Friday night in his first start in two months … over his last 36.2 innings on the mound (March 19 – present), Bielak has a 3-1 record with a 0.98 ERA and 36 strikeouts … opponents are hitting just .183 during that stretch … meanwhile, Hearne has been sensational for virtually the entire season … he picked up his fourth ranked win of the season in a quality start at No. 20 UNC last Saturday night … since April 5, Hearne is 6-1 with a 0.94 ERA over 47.2 IP … opponents are batting just .195 and he has issued just seven walks compared to 24 strikeouts during that time span.
4. It’s senior weekend at The Eck, as ND honors 10 senior student-athletes that have played in almost 950 games with over 600 starts during their time under the Golden Dome … the group also helped the program in 2015 to its first-ever appearance in the ACC Tournament and its first NCAA Regional in almost a decade.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball team, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports administration from Georgia State University in 2011.