Feb. 25, 2016
By Russell Dorn
Non-ACC Weekend #2: Alamo Irish Classic
February 26-28, 2016
12:30 p.m. / 4:30 p.m. / 12:30 p.m. / 12 p.m. (All ET)
Nelson Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
Notre Dame: 1-2, 0-0 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional
Bradley: 1-2, 0-0 MVC (36-21, 10-11 MVC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 3-1 in MVC Tournament & 1-2 in NCAA Louisville Regional
Gonzaga: 2-2, 0-0 WCC (24-28, 13-14 WCC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did Not Qualify For WCC Tournament
Incarnate Word: 2-1, 0-0 Southland (21-33, 11-19 Southland In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did Not Qualify For WCC Tournament
Texas Southern: 1-3, 0-0 SWAC (31-19, 16-7 SWAC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 5-1 in SWAC Tournament (Champs) & 0-2 in NCAA College Station Regional
Projected Pitching Matchups:
G1: Bradley – 12:30 p.m. ET Friday
RHP Ryan Smoyer (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Dennis (0-1, 11.25 ERA)
G2: Texas Southern – 4:30 p.m. ET Friday
RHP Peter Solomon (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Rios (0-1, 15.00 ERA)
G3: Incarnate Word – 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday
LHP Sean Guenther (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. LHP Denson Hull (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
G4: Gonzaga – 12 p.m. ET Sunday
LHP Michael Hearne (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Eli Morgan (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
Live Video: None
Live Audio: WatchND / WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: Gametracker (Links on UND.com)
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball
Weather Report (as of Thursday, Feb. 25):
Friday, Feb. 26: 67/44 & Sunny
Saturday, Feb. 27: 75/53 & Mostly Sunny
Sunday, Feb. 28: 80/56 & Partly Cloudy (10%)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In a tradition that has roots back into the 1980s, the University of Notre Dame baseball team is in San Antonio, Texas this weekend for the annual Alamo Irish Classic at Nelson Wolff Stadium, which is the home of the San Antonio Missions, the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
Since 1984 Notre Dame has played early-season baseball games in San Antonio virtually every year. After sweeping the tournament last season and claiming the title, the Irish are set for four challenges this year in Bradley, Texas Southern, Incarnate Word and Gonzaga.
Here are five things to know before the Alamo Irish Classic begins:
- Notre Dame (1-2) will open the tournament against Bradley (1-2) at 12:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. The two teams have met 27 times all-time dating back to 1925 with the Irish holding a 16-11 lead on the strength of a four-game winning streak dating back to 1980. Bradley qualified for the NCAA Louisville Regional in 2015 after advancing to the championship game of a highly competitive Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Irish ace Ryan Smoyer (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make the start against Bradley after dominating Santa Clara on opening night last weekend. In that performance he took a perfect game into the sixth inning and retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced before exiting after seven innings.
- The Irish will then play Texas Southern (2-3) for the first time ever at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. The Tigers won the SWAC conference in 2015 to qualify for the NCAA College Station Regional. There they lost a pair of close games to Texas A&M (5-0) and Coastal Carolina (4-1). Sophomore Peter Solomon (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will head to the bump looking to improve upon his first start this season where he allowed two runs in three innings of work.
- Notre Dame and UIW (2-2) meet at 12:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday. The Irish lead the all-time series, 4-2, thanks to three consecutive wins over the Cardinals at the Alamo Irish Classic by a combined score of 33-4. LHP Sean Guenther (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will start on the mound for the Irish. Guenther went four innings and gave up four runs (2 ER) in Sunday’s finale at Santa Clara last weekend.
- The Irish wrap up the tournament at 12 p.m. (ET) Sunday against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-2). The two teams have played five times with each team winning two games to go along with a tie. Four of the games have occurred in San Antonio, including a tight, 3-2 Irish win in 2014. Notre Dame will send steady senior LHP Michael Hearne to the mound. Hearne is coming off a brilliant five innings of shutout ball in relief last Saturday at Santa Clara. Hearne allowed just three hits while striking out three batters in his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery 11 months to the day of his appearance.
- Notre Dame hopes to get the offense jump-started this weekend after scoring seven runs in three games at Santa Clara. The Irish scored five of the seven runs in a 5-0 victory in game one of the series, but couldn’t build off that momentum the rest of opening weekend. For Notre Dame to get it going it will need continued production from junior second baseman Cavan Biggio (.308 AVG, HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP) and freshman outfielder Matt Vierling (2 H, HR, 3 BB, 2 R), who both got off to a hot start to the year.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball, 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 communications from Georgia State University in 2011.