March 16, 2017
|Game One||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
|Game Two||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
|Game Three||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
By Michael Scholl
Five Things To Know
- The University of Notre Dame baseball team concludes its season-opening 18-game road swing this weekend with an Atlantic Coast Conference series at Pittsburgh. The Irish are concluding a spring break trip, having made the trek from Davidson where Notre Dame took a 2-0 decision from Mik Aoki’s alma mater on Tuesday night. Inclement weather has caused a change in the schedule. The goal is to play a doubleheader on Friday, starting at Noon ET, then conclude the series with game three on Saturday at Noon ET. All three games can be seen on ACC Network Extra (via WatchESPN) and heard on WatchND and 103.1 FM in South Bend.
- The Notre Dame-Pitt series dates back to 1951, with the Irish holding a 41-20 overall edge but the Panthers owning a 14-11 advantage in Pittsburgh. The teams met twice in Pittsburgh in 1951, before playing a pair in South Bend the following year, with Notre Dame taking all four games. After a 16-9 Irish win in Orlando in 1989, the teams began to meet on a regular basis in 1996 when the Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST Conference. As both teams moved to the ACC, the Irish and Panthers have met on the diamond at least twice a season since 1996. Last year, Pitt took two-of-three at Frank Eck Stadium.
- Since rearranging his infield, Mik Aoki has seen the Irish defense stabilize. With Kyle Fiala at third, Cole Daily at short, Nick Podkul at second and Daniel Jung at first over the last eight games, the Irish have committed just six fielding errors. The Notre Dame defense has gone its last three games without committing an error (games two and three at Clemson, at Davidson).
- With freshman Daniel Jung failing to reach base against Davidson, he saw a seven-game on-base streak come to an end that coincided with his entry into the starting line-up. With that end, Matt Vierling inherits the team’s longest on-base streak at six games. Vierling, a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American a season ago, leads the team with 13 RBI, while he’s second on the team with a .309 average. Additionally, Vierling has been exceptional on the mound in late-game situations. He has made four appearances without allowing a hit or walk. while striking out three to earn a pair of saves.
- Notre Dame will finally open the gates at Frank Eck Stadium following the Pitt series, playing host to Northern Illinois on Tuesday, March 21, at 6:05 p.m. Assuming the Irish and Panthers get at least one game in this weekend, Notre Dame will have the second-latest home opener in the ACC, with Boston College set to make its home debut on March 24 (vs. Clemson). Among 62 Power Five conference baseball teams (ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten), Notre Dame is one of just seven (ND, BC, West Virginia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue) clubs to have not played a home game entering the weekend.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ ND Ã¢â‚¬â€
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.