March 21, 2017
|Northern Illinois Game||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
By Michael Scholl
Five Things To Know
- The Notre Dame baseball team opens the gates at Frank Eck Stadium this week, playing host to Northern Illinois on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit UND.com/BuyTickets. The game can be seen live on ACC Network Extra via WatchESPN, while Chuck Freeby will have the radio call on 103.1 FM in South Bend and via WatchND.
- The Irish were scheduled to play host to Toledo on Wednesday, but due to a forecasted game time windchill of 30 degrees, the game has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 12 (6:05 p.m.).
- Notre Dame is 17-5-1 in home openers at Frank Eck Stadium after a 10-3 win over Toledo in last year’s first home date. Under seventh-year head coach Mik Aoki, the Irish are a perfect 6-0 in home lid-lifters. Notre Dame has not lost the season’s first home game since 2010 when Michigan State swept a three-game set. Notre Dame is playing the second-latest home opener in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with only Boston College yet to play a home game (the Eagles open this Friday, hosting Clemson). With Michigan State also set to open on Tuesday, only four power conference clubs open at home later than the Irish – BC, West Virginia (March 24), Penn State (March 24) and Purdue (March 28).
- Northern Illinois and Notre Dame have met on the diamond nine times, with the Irish winning seven of those games. The teams played a doubleheader in South Bend in 1976, with the Irish sweeping. They met five times in 1995 as members of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, with NIU winning two games in DeKalb on April 29, then Notre Dame winning a pair the next day. The Irish took a 12-4 decision at Coveleski Stadium that year in the MCC Tournament. Since then Notre Dame took a 10-6 victory in 2005 and a 5-4 win at the Chicago White Sox U.S. Cellular Field.
- The Irish defense has stabilized since Aoki shifted to put Kyle Fiala at third, Cole Daily at shortstop, Nick Podkul at second and Daniel Jung at first. Over the first six games of the season, the defense committed 15 errors while the Irish went just 1-5. In the dozen games since the infield move, Notre Dame has committed just 12 errors while posting an improved 5-7 record.
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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.