March 24, 2016
By Russell Dorn
ACC Weekend #3:
Virginia Tech Series
March 24-26, 2016
5:30 p.m. / 5:30 p.m. / 12 p.m. (All ET)
English Field (Blacksburg, Va.)
Notre Dame: 9-10, 1-5 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional
Virginia Tech: 10-12, 1-5 ACC (27-27, 13-16 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 0-1 @ ACC Tournament
Series History: Notre Dame leads 9-8
In ACC Regular Season Play: Virginia Tech leads 2-1
In ACC Tournament Play: No meetings
Aoki vs. Virginia Tech: 5-6 (3-4 @ BC / 2-2 @ ND)
First Meeting: 4/12/55: W, 8-5 – Away
Last Four Meetings:
3/23/2014: L, 5-4 (12 Innings) – Home
3/22/2014: L, 8-3 – Home
3/21/2014: W, 2-1 – Home
3/23/2013: W, 3-0 – Neutral
Live Video: ESPN3 (Links On UND.com)
Live Audio: WatchND (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: (Links on UND.com)
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball
Weather Report (as of Wednesday, March 23):
Friday, March 18: 70/54 & Mostly Sunny
Saturday, March 19: 58/34 & Sunny (20%)
Sunday, March 20: 65/42 & Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After picking up its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season in an exciting 8-4, 12-inning victory at No. 13 NC State last weekend, the University of Notre Dame baseball team wraps up play before Easter with a three-game series at former BIG EAST opponent and current ACC foe Virginia Tech.
Sitting at 1-5 in ACC play, the series is big for both teams, as a series win or sweep by either would move them right back into the thick of the ACC standings.
Here’s what you need to know before the Virginia Tech series:
- Known nationally for his impressive plate discipline, junior Cavan Biggio has been nothing short of spectacular in working to get on base this year … in addition to 18 hits and three hit by pitch, the Houston, Texas native has 23 walks, which is second in the ACC (8th – D1) … he is first in the ACC in walks per game (1.21), which places him 3rd among D1 players … with 94 career walks, Biggio is just six walks away from 100 for his career and 19 away from breaking into the top 10 in Irish history … he sports an impressive .473 on-base percentage, which is tops on the team and ranked in the top 15 in the ACC.
- After not recording a hit in the Santa Clara series to open the year, senior first baseman Zak Kutsulis has been borderline unstoppable since then … in the last 16 games he is splitting .418/.458/.567 with 28 hits, five doubles, a triple, a homer, 13 RBI, five walks and eight runs scored … he also tallied an RBI double to walk off Brown March 5 and has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage so far this year.
- Senior co-captain Lane Richards got off to a slow start to begin his final campaign, but has been outstanding since … over his last 14 games, Richards is splitting .367/.456/.510 with 18 hits, five doubles, one triple, five RBI, eight walks and nine runs scored … he tallied a career-high four hits in an 8-4 victory in 12 innings at No. 13 NC State last weekend.
- Notre Dame‘s two known starters for this weekend on the mound – Ryan Smoyer and Sean Guenther – have a combined five quality starts between the two of them … they are tied for seventh in the ACC in innings pitched (31.2) and have done a great job of giving their team a chance to win … in addition to the five quality starts, the two pitchers have three additional combined performances where they went at least 5.2 innings, gave up four runs and left the game with their team in contention.
- The Irish haven’t made the trek to Blacksburg since 2003 when both programs were part of the BIG EAST … they last played in 2014 in Indiana in Notre Dame’s first season in the ACC … the Irish picked up their first ACC win ever against the Hokies, as senior RHP Sean Fitzgerald twirled a gem to lead his team to a 2-1 victory at Four Winds Field in South Bend … the rest of the weekend was spent in Westfield, Indiana as Frank Eck Stadium continued FieldTurf installation.
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.