May 17, 2017
|Boston College Series|
By Michael Scholl
Five Things To Know
- The Notre Dame baseball team caps its 2017 regular season with a three-game ACC series at Boston College. Action with the Eagles begins Thursday at 2:30 p.m., followed by a Friday contest at 1:30 p.m. and Game No. 56 on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Irish are looking to clinch a spot in the ACC Baseball Championship.
- Notre Dame and Boston College, the only two Catholic institutions in the ACC, have met 41 times, with the Irish holding a 30-11 edge in the series. The Irish also have won 10-of-12 meetings in Chestnut Hill. The first meeting was a 9-0 Notre Dame win at BC in 1908.The Eagles took the second meeting in Chestnut Hill by a score of 8-1 in 1928. The clubs did not meet again until Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1996, with Notre Dame sweeping a doubleheader that season. The teams met 26 times in BIG EAST action, with the Irish taking 21 of those contests. They met once in non-conference action in 2008, a 7-2 BC win in Santaluces, Florida. Since Notre Dame joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014, the teams have met for three games annually, with Notre Dame winning seven-of-nine. Last year, the Irish swept a three-game set at Frank Eck Stadium by scores of 4-1, 4-1 and 11-9.
- Matt Vierling is following a rookie season which saw him earn Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors by establishing himself as one of the best hitters in the ACC. In the last month (21 games), Vierling has hit .434 (36-83) while contributing 17 RBI, 10 doubles, four triples and two home runs. During ACC play, Vierling ranks 13th with a .330 batting average while his 12 doubles during league play rank second and he is one of nine players in the conference with multiple triples in league games. For the full season, Vierling ranks second in the league with four triples, 10th in doubles (16), 14th in total bases (110) and 19th in slugging percentage (.561). In addition, Vierling leads Notre Dame with 21 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games this year and he enters the BC series with a six-game on-base streak, tied for the longest current streak on the team.
- Michael Hearne will be looking to cement his place in the Irish record books as he caps his final season. The graduate student ranks second in the league and 19th nationally in walks per nine innings at 1.11. That mark would rank as the fifth-best single-season mark in Notre Dame history and the best since Adam Norton’s rate of 0.64 in 2012. The southpaw currently boasts a career walks per nine rate of 1.48. The career mark would rank second in program history, trailing only Norton’s career 1.21 walks per nine innings.
- The Irish are looking to capture their second trip to the ACC Baseball Championship this weekend. Notre Dame currently stands in 10th, owning a tiebreaker with 11th-place Georgia Tech (both teams currently 10-17), holding a one-game edge over Virginia Tech and a two-game lead over Pitt and Boston College. Notre Dame can still mathematically finish as high as tied for eighth. The 2017 ACC Baseball Championship will be held May 23-28 at Louisville Slugger in Louisville, Kentucky. The top-12 teams in the league will be separated into four pools, with the winners all advancing to the semifinals on Saturday, May 27.
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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.