April 27, 2015
Midweek Game #9: Michigan State
April 28, 2015
7:05 p.m. (ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 28-15, 12-12 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
Michigan State: 25-17, 9-6 Big Ten (31-26, 11-13 Big Ten In 2014)
2014 Postseason: 2-2 in Big Ten Tournament
Neither team is ranked
Projected Pitching Matchup:
RHP Ryan Smoyer (6-0, 214 ERA) vs. LHP Alex Troop (4-2, 4.26 ERA)
Notre Dame trails 54-78
First Meeting: W, H, 1-0 (5/7/1907)
Last Meeting: W, H, 7-3 (4/23/2013)
Aoki vs. Michigan State: 1-3 (all at ND)
Live Video: ESPN3 (Link on UND.com)
Live Audio: WatchND (Link on UND.com) &WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: Gametracker (Link on UND.com)
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball / @NDsidRuss
Weather Report (as of Monday, April 27):
Tuesday, April 28: 57 Degrees and Partly Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In a key non-conference contest, the University of Notre Dame baseball team welcomes in the Michigan State Spartans for a 7:05 p.m. (ET) Tuesday game at Frank Eck Stadium.
The Irish (28-15) and the Spartans (25-17) are both ranked in the top 40 in the NCAA Division I RPI released Monday, with Michigan State ranked No. 31 and Notre Dame checking in at No. 38.
Michigan State sits sixth overall in the Big Ten and boasts two wins over Indiana, a three-game sweep at Oregon, a win versus nationally-ranked Illinois and a victory in a neutral site game against Clemson among its 28 victories this season.
The Spartans swing a big bat (.286 AVG) and average 5.4 runs per game. Sparty also plays outstanding defense with a .977 fielding percentage and boasts a team ERA of 3.87.
Junior outfielder Cam Gibson leads MSU at the plate with a .325 average to go along with team bests in hits (54), runs (44), walks (26) and stolen bases (15-19). In addition to Gibson, three other regulars bat above a .300 clip — Ryan Krill (.322), Mark Weist (.318) and Anthony Cheky (.315).
MSU will send LHP Alex Troop to the mound against the Irish. The Batavia, Illinois native has a 4-2 record and 4.26 ERA in 38.0 innings of work.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, brings a 16-3 non-conference record into the game with the Spartans. The Irish are batting .285 in non-Atlantic Coast Conference games and have an impressive 2.41 team ERA. Four regulars have a .300-plus batting average in those contests, led by catcher Ryan Lidge’s bloated .410 average.
The Irish are coming off a tough ACC series loss at Wake Forest that featured a 4-2 loss Saturday and a 5-4 defeat in 11 innings Sunday in the rubber game after a 9-5 win to open the series Friday night.
Getting set to make its final push towards securing an ACC Tournament berth, the Irish sit fourth in the Atlantic Division and sixth overall in the ACC heading into this weekend’s slate.
Against the Spartans, the Irish will turn to RHP Ryan Smoyer (6-0, 2.14 ERA), who has been more than impressive in almost all of his starts this year. In seven starts, the Bowling Green, Ohio native is 5-0 with a 1.63 ERA.
Michigan State leads the all-time series, 78-54, which dates back to May 7, 1907 (1-0 ND victory). Last year’s game in East Lansing, Michigan was cancelled due to inclement weather. Notre Dame won the last meeting in 2013, 7-3, at The Eck.
Tickets are available for Tuesday night’s game against the Spartans and can be purchased at the Frank Eck Stadium ticket window or by logging onto UND.com/buytickets. For fans that can’t make it out, ESPN3 will stream the game live online, while WatchND and WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend will offer audio coverage. Links for ESPN3 and WatchND are available on UND.com.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director