May 7, 2009
Notre Dame vs. USF
Frank Eck Stadium
Notre Dame, Ind.
Game-1, Friday (6:05 p.m.)
RHP Cole Johnson (4-2, 4.33) vs. Randy Fontanez (6-3, 2.79)
Game-2, Saturday (1:05 p.m.)
RHP Brian Dupra (5-5, 6.09) vs. RHP Derrick Stultz (5-2, 3.72)
Game-3, Sunday (1:05 p.m.)
RHP Eric Maust (5-2, 4.81) vs. RHP Shawn Sanford (5-2, 5.27)
Live Game Coverage
Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, p-b-p); UND.com
Friday, May 8
High 75, Low 50
Saturday, May 9
High 64, Low 40
Sunday, May 10
High 58, Low 38
IN THE BATTERS BOX — Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action this weekend with another critical three-game series against USF at Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday’s game will begin at 1:05 p.m. All three games can be heard on WHME 103.1 FM as well as UND.com (which will also provide live webcasts). This weekend’s series continues Notre Dame’s trek through the top four teams in the BIG EAST standings. The Irish already took two of three from both West Virginia (4th) and Louisville (3rd). After Notre Dame hosts the first place Bulls this weekend, they close the regular season at second place St. John’s (May 14-16).
THE BIG EAST RACE — Notre Dame trails second-place Louisville by 3.5 games, third-place St. John’s by 3.0 games and fourth-place West Virginia by just two games. However, the Irish are also tied in fifth place with Cincinnati (who took two of three from Notre Dame) and lead Pittsburgh by just 0.5 games, Connecticut and Seton Hall by 1.0 games. One game separates fifth place from ninth place entering this weekend’s games. Louisville travels to St. John’s this weekend, while West Virginia hosts Cincinnati. Connecticut hosts Pittsburgh and Seton Hall plays at Rutgers.
USF INSIDER — South Florida, led by third year head coach Lelo Prado, enters the series with a 30-17 overall record and a league best 17-4 mark in BIG EAST action.
- The Bulls are averaging 7.4 runs per game and hitting .319 with a .414 on-base percentage. USF has also totaled 40 stolen bases in 64 attempts.
- The Bulls have seven everyday players that are hitting over .300. Junior Carlin leads the attack with a team-best .393 batting average. He has added 19 runs scored, 46 hits, three doubles, two triples and 23 RBI. Todd Brazeal is hitting .346 with 39 runs scored, 54 hits, 14 doubles, three home runs and 38 RBI. Jonathan Koscso is batting .342 with 47 runs scored, 64 hits, nine doubles, one triple, three home runs, 33 RBI and eight stolen bases. Trey Manz is hitting .337 with 21 runs scored, 35 hits, 15 doubles, six home runs and 23 RBI. Peter Brotons is batting .324 with 39 runs scored, 55 hits, seven doubles, one triple and 20 RBI. Ryan Lockwood is batting .322 with 40 runs scored, 58 hits, nine doubles, two triples, one home run, 26 RBI and nine stolen bases. Chris Rey is hitting .304 with 24 runs scored, 41 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 34 RBI. Stephen Hunt leads the club with seven home runs and 44 RBI. Mike Consolmagno leads the Bulls in stolen bases with 12. USF has hit 31 home runs this season, but has also struck out 288 times.
- The pitching staff has a 4.41 ERA and .271 opponents’ batting average along with 333 strikeouts and 155 walks in 416.0 innings. Joe Cole is 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA in a team-high tying 17 appearances over 33.1 innings, while Kevin Quackenbush (1-2, 5.16), Matt Quevedo (5-1, 4.05), Tedd Kaufman (2-3, 4.63), Andrew Salgueiro (1-1, 7.71) and Zach Pietrzyk (0-0, 8.03) are other options out of the Bulls’ bullpen. Quackenbush has registered six saves. USF has committed 58 errors in 47 games and is fielding .969.
SERIES NOTES — Notre Dame trails the series with USF, 7-5, including a 1-2 mark at Frank Eck Stadium (3-3 at USF). The Irish dropped their first meeting with the Bulls in 2001, but ripped off five consecutive victories, including all four meetings during the 2006 season. USF has since captured the last six meetings, including four in 2008. Notre Dame went into last season’s three-game series in Tampa (the final weekend of the regular season) with a chance to win the BIG EAST title outright, but USF took all three meetings by a run, including a 4-3 setback in 16 innings. The Bulls then upended Notre Dame again in the opening game of the BIG EAST Tournament.
- USF took two of three from the Irish in Notre Dame during the 2007 season. Notre Dame captured the opener, 1-0, before the Bulls rebounded with victories on Saturday and Sunday (10-13, 1-9). Junior David Phelps tossed a complete game, three hitter in the victory in the opener. He struck out 10 and walked just one.
- Notre Dame swept the series at USF in 2006 (9-6, 10-4, 10-1) and then beat the Bulls in the first game of the BIG EAST Tournament (3-1, in Clearwater).
- The Bulls won the first meeting (6-1, in a 2001 game played in St. Petersburg).
- Jeremy Barnes (.471, 8-for-17, 6 RBI, 3 R, 2 3B, 2B, 3 BB, 2 Ks) put up big numbers against USF in 2006.
— ND —