Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Fiala and Hearne Named Baseball Captains

Sept. 15, 2016

By Michael Scholl

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame baseball head coach Mik Aoki has announced Michael Hearne and Kyle Fiala will serve as captains for the upcoming 2017 campaign.

Hearne has been an anchor of the Irish pitching staff, posting a career ERA of 2.51. After just two starts in 2015, Hearne underwent Tommy John surgery before rebounding in 2016 to go 8-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 13 starts. Opponents hit just .223 off Hearne in 80.1 innings, while he twice went the distance including a complete-game shutout of Michigan State.

Hearne is already thinking about the leadership aspect of being selected team captain.

“It is important on a daily basis to be consistent in your message and live out the kind of baseball team we want to be,” Hearne said. “It is important to be a voice to your team as a senior and to stay true to yourself and your teammates. This fall, the goal is to get one percent better each day.”

Fiala (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) is an All-ACC performer who has already played in 150 games as an infielder. The career .269 hitter had his top season as a sophomore, hitting .301 while starting all 60 games and adding 28 RBI. He strung together a 47-game on-base streak, the longest in the conference, while posting a .323/.417/.495 slash during the run. Despite some struggles at the plate last season, Fiala still played in 40 games and made just four errors in the infield.

Fiala knows the leadership of team captains is instrumental for a successful team.

“It means a lot to have a group of guys you call your family trust in you enough to lead them both on and off the baseball field,” Fiala said. “Great teams have great leadership, so it is very important (Michael and I) set a good example and make sure everyone is buying into our culture. We have a Gold Standard that we expect every guy on the team to follow.”

@NDBaseball asked several of the players their thoughts on Hearne and Fiala:

Positive. Hard-working. Reliable.

Words used to describe our captains, @_mearne & @fialala20, by fellow teammates!

– Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) September 14, 2016