April 5, 2016

By Russell Dorn

Midweek Game #4:
Michigan Wolverines
April 5, 2016
6:05 p.m. (ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Team Information:
Notre Dame: 15-11, 6-6 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional

Michigan: 20-5, 3-0 Big Ten (39-25, 14-10 Big Ten In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 4-0 in Big Ten Tournament & 2-2 in NCAA Louisville Regional

Rankings: Michigan – Ranked between #17 & #25 in all 6 major polls

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 Matchups:
LHP Michael Hearne (2-0, 3.67 ERA) vs. LHP William Tribucher (1-0, 1.65 ERA)

Weather Report (as of Tuesday, April 5):
46/37 & Partly Cloudy

Series History: Michigan Leads 87-46
Aoki vs. Michigan: 2-6 (all @ ND)
First Meeting: 4/21/1892: W, 6-4 – Home

Last Four Meetings:
4/9/2014: W, 9-1 – Away
3/1/2014: L, 4-2 (10 Inn) – Neutral
4/16/2013: L, 8-2 – Away
4/9/2013: L, 4-1 – Home

Marketing Corner: Free hot cocoa while supplies last

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A rivalry that dates back to the administration of President Benjamin Harrison (1889-93) will be renewed at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, when the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines invade Frank Eck Stadium for a showdown with the University of Notre Dame baseball team.

The matchup will pit two streaking teams against each other, as the Irish (15-11, 6-6 ACC) enter with victories in seven of their last eight games, while the Wolverines (20-5, 3-0 Big Ten) sport a nine-game winning streak.

On the mound, the Irish are set to turn to midweek starter Michael Hearne (2-0, 3.67 ERA), who has earned the win in two of the three previous midweek games this season. Michigan will send LHP William Tribucher (1-0, 1.65 ERA) to the mound.

Tickets for the game are available at UND.com/buytickets or at the Frank Eck Stadium box office on game day. Adult tickets are $5, while a youth/senior ticket is $3. Irish faculty, staff and students are admitted free with a valid ID.

Here’s what you need to know about the Michigan game:

  1. An historic rivalry resumes Tuesday night with game 134 of a series that dates all the way back to 1892 … in fact, the Wolverines were the very first opponent the Irish ever played … Notre Dame won that first meeting, 6-4, on April 21, 1892 … the two schools didn’t meet last year after splitting a pair of games in 2014 … the Wolverines picked up a 4-2 win in 10 innings at the 2014 USA Baseball-Irish Classic, before the Irish gained a measure of revenge with a resounding 9-1 victory in Ann Arbor later in the season … the road win at Michigan was the first by a Notre Dame team since 1964 due to the two teams playing neutral site contests for decades … the Irish last beat Michigan at Frank Eck Stadium in 2009.
  1. Notre Dame enters the game with plenty of confidence after the offense has broken out in the last few weeks … during the last eight games, the Irish are splitting .347/.419/.531 with 33 extra-base hits, 64 RBI, 37 walks and 71 runs scored … they have also swiped 13 bases in 16 chances … Irish pitching sports a 3.65 ERA during the same time span.
  1. After getting off to a bit of a slow start in conference play, junior second baseman Cavan Biggio has been nearly unstoppable over his last 10 games … since breaking out with an impressive game at No. 13 NC State March 19, Biggio is splitting .474/.623/.816 with eight extra-base hits, 14 walks and 13 runs … he is also a perfect 4-for-4 in steals … for the season, the Houston, Texas native is tied for first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and in Division I in walks (34), is fourth in the league in on-base percentage (.527) and sits tied for seventh in stolen bases (8).
  1. The Irish have gotten a monster boost on offense from a freshmen trio composed of Cole Daily, Nick Podkul and Matt Vierling … since Daily and Podkul have seen their playing time increased due to an injury to starting third baseman Kyle Fiala, the trio has combined for a .330 batting average with 37 hits, 16 RBI, 15 walks and 26 runs scored … not surprisingly, Notre Dame is 9-3 during that time span.
  1. Notre Dame is 5-0 when senior LHP Michael Hearne earns the start on the mound … while not every start has been a gem, Hearne displays a knack for keeping his team in the game … he has one quality start and two wins … in his other three performances, he went at least three innings and allowed four runs or less in every outing to give the Irish a chance to win, a feat that accomplished each time.

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.