April 15, 2016

By Russell Dorn

ACC Series #5: Boston College Eagles
April 15-17, 2016
6:05 p.m. / 3:05 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. (All ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Team Information:
Notre Dame: 18-12, 6-7 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional

Boston College: 18-11, 5-8 ACC (27-27, 10-19 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason

Rankings: Neither team ranked

Game Coverage (Links on UND.com/NDBaseball):
Live Video: ESPN3
Live Audio: WatchND & WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: Gametracker
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball

Projected Pitching Matchup:
G1: ND RHP Peter Solomon (2-3, 4.40 ERA) vs. BC RHP Jacob Stevens (2-1, 0.45 ERA)
G2: ND LHP Sean Guenther (2-3, 4.22 ERA) vs. BC RHP Justin Dunn (1-0, 1.47 ERA)
G3: ND RHP Ryan Smoyer (3-3, 3.04 ERA) vs. BC RHP Mike King (4-2, 2.52 ERA)

Weather Report (as of Friday, April 15):
Friday, April 15: 70/45 & Sunny
Saturday, April 16: 74/45 & Mostly Sunny
Sunday, April 17: 74/48 & Sunny

Series History: Notre Dame leads 27-11
In ACC Reg. Season Play: ND leads 4-2
In ACC Tournament Play: Never met
Aoki vs. Boston College: 4-2 (All @ ND)
First Meeting: 5/20/1908: W, 9-0 – Away

Last Four Meetings:
5/15/2015: L, 6-5 (10) – Away
5/15/2015: W, 5-2 – Away
5/14/2015: W, 10-4 – Away
4/13/2014: W, 7-0 – Home (@ Chicago St.)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the two teams sitting a game apart in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, this weekend’s University of Notre Dame – Boston College baseball series at Frank Eck Stadium could go a long way in determining seeding – or potentially spots – in next month’s ACC Tournament.

Notre Dame (18-12, 6-7 ACC) sits just a game in front of the Eagles (18-11, 5-8 ACC) in the Atlantic Division after both teams have played solid baseball recently. Since dropping a series at No. 13 NC State March 20, the Irish have ripped off 10 wins in their last 12 games, including putting together a perfect 6-0 mark in midweek contests at home. Meanwhile, the Eagles are making their first appearance to The Eck since 2004 and are riding a four-game winning streak that began last weekend with an impressive series victory at home over the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers.

This weekend is about more than just a baseball series, however, as Saturday marks the fourth annual ALS Game with all donations going directly to the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Admission is free all weekend. For more information on the weekend, check out this link.

Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s series:

  1. Irish head coach Mik Aoki has led the Irish for six years now, but before coming to the Golden Dome, Aoki oversaw the Boston College program for four years from 2007-10 after serving as an assistant coach from 2004-06 ââ’¬¦ Aoki turned around the BC squad, securing ACC Tournament berths in each of his final two seasons with the Eagles ââ’¬¦ in 2009 BC qualified for its first NCAA Regional since 1967 and proceeded to play in a 25-inning marathon game against Texas in the regional that lasted over seven hours and was the longest game in NCAA history.
  1. Notre Dame is switching up its rotation a bit this weekend, as sophomore RHP Peter Solomon will earn the Friday start before sophomore LHP Sean Guenther and junior RHP Ryan Smoyer take the bump on Saturday and Sunday, respectively ââ’¬¦ Solomon, who struggled with his command to start the year, has really turned things around over his last four appearances, posting a 2-1 record and 3.31 ERA over 16.1 IP ââ’¬¦ during that time he has 22 strikeouts ââ’¬¦ Solomon is sixth in the ACC in fewest hits allowed (28) among qualifiers and is fourth in strikeouts per game (11.15) ââ’¬¦ Guenther is in his usual Saturday spot, but Smoyer moves back to Sunday after starting Tuesday’s midweek game win over Chicago State following missing his scheduled start versus No. 2 Miami last weekend due to a weather cancellation ââ’¬¦ in the outing against the Cougars, Smoyer hurled three no-hit innings and tossed 60 pitches.

  2. After missing 13 games with an injured hand suffered in the series finale at No. 4 Louisville, junior third baseman Kyle Fiala has been swinging the bat incredibly well over his three games ââ’¬¦ he leads the team with a .444 batting average and has four hits, an RBI, two walks and three runs scored.
  1. Baseball season can be busy for all players, but Saturday will be particularly busy for one Irish student-athlete ââ’¬¦ junior OF Torii Hunter Jr., a star wide receiver on the Notre Dame football team, will play in the annual Blue-Gold spring game at Notre Dame Stadium before making the quick trip over to Frank Eck Stadium to change into his uniform for the 3:05 p.m. ET first pitch with the Eagles.
  1. This weekend Notre Dame will go against an elite pitching unit that ranks fourth in the league with a 3.21 ERA ââ’¬¦ the rotation is particularly strong, with RHP Jacob Stevens (2-1, 0.45 ERA), RHP Justin Dunn (1-0, 1.47 ERA) and RHP Mike King (4-2, 2.52 ERA) set to go this weekend ââ’¬¦ the true freshman Stevens has been particularly impressive, as he leads Division I in ERA ââ’¬¦ the Notre Dame bats, which have a solid .279 average, will certainly be challenged over the course of the series.

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 communications from Georgia State University in 2011.