March 16, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame will host Central Michigan on Monday March 17 at 5:00 p.m. at Frank Eck Stadium as the Irish not only celebrate their home opener, but also St. Patrick’s Day.
Notre Dame is 7-7 after taking two of its three games this past weekend at the Irish Classic in San Antonio, Texas. The Irish appeared in line to sweep their three games from the weekend, but squandered a seventh inning, 7-0 lead over Texas-Pan American before losing 10-8.
Freshman Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) will take the mound for Notre Dame on Monday. The right-handed hurler (0-2, 10.22 ERA) has made three starts for a total of 12.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 22 hits and five walks while striking out five. Dupra has allowed three home runs and opponents are batting .386 against him. He struggled in his last outing against top-ranked Arizona on March 9 surrendering five earned runs on 10 hits in 3.0 innings of work. Dupra’s best outing came against St. Bonaventure on March 2. He tossed 6.1 innings and gave up just two earned runs on three hits. Dupra struckout four and did not issue a walk.
The Chippewas (4-11) come into the contest following yesterday’s 5-2 victory over Evansville. Central Michigan is paced offensively by Tyler Stovall (.397, 1 HR, 15 RBI) and Sean Hoorelbeke (.241, 4 HR, 10 RBI).
THE IRISH ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY (March 17)
- This is the fourth consecutive season the Irish have played on St. Patrick’s Day.
- The Irish have won five straight St. Patrick’s Day contests and seven of their last eight.
- This marks the first time since 1986 the Irish are playing at home on St. Patrick’s Day.
- March 17, 1986: Notre Dame swept an opening day doubleheader with St. Joseph’s (IN) 4-1 and 8-0.
Note: This assumes St. Patrick’s Day as being on March 17 and does not take into account years like this where the Pope moved it to avoid Holy Week.
OPENING DAY AT THE ECK
- The Irish are 11-3 in their home opener since the opening of Frank Eck Stadium.
- Notre Dame has split its last four openers after winning nine of the first ten in the stadium.
- The Irish last opened with Central Michigan in 2004, a 4-1 Chippewa victory.
- This marks the earliest home opener for the Irish since the 1986 St. Patrick’s Day against St. Joseph’s.
SEASON HOME GAME NOTES
- The Irish are set to play 23 games at Frank Eck Stadium in 2008.
- Highlights include BIG EAST series with rivals Rutgers (April 4-6) and St. John’s (April 25-27) in addition to a non-conference series with Mississippi Valley State (April 29-30).
- Notre Dame also takes on traditional opponents such as Ball State, Western Michigan, and Valparaiso.
— ND —