April 11, 2017
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By Michael Scholl
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame baseball team, winners of six of its last eight, looks to keep the momentum going on Tuesday night when Michigan State visits Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch of the 135th installment between the Irish and Spartans is set for 6:05 p.m.
It’s Bingo Tuesday at The Eck. Early arriving fans can pick-up a baseball bingo at the gate and play along throughout the game for a chance to win a prize.
If you can’t make it to the ballpark, the contest can be seen live on ACC Network Extra (via WatchESPN), with audio available via WatchND and 103.1 FM in South Bend.
Five Things To Know
- After playing Michigan for the 135th time last week, Notre Dame takes on Michigan State for the 135th time on Tuesday. MSU holds the all-time series lead 79-55, as well as a 37-33 edge in games at Notre Dame. The Irish, however, have won two of the last three meeting. Last year, Michael Hearne threw a complete game shutout in a 1-0 Irish win in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans won the last contest at The Eck in 2014, winning 9-6 in 12 innings. Prior to that, the Irish took a 7-3 decision in 2013 in South Bend. MSU and Michigan are part of a group of eight schools that Notre Dame has played at least 100 times, joined by Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Detroit Mercy, Western Michigan and Wisconsin (which dropped baseball in 1991).
- Notre Dame secured its third ACC series win and first sweep of the year over the weekend, winning all three games with Georgia Tech. The Irish have posted a 7-4 record at home, but have now won six of their last seven at The Eck. Mik Aoki’s club has continued to improve since its 1-8 start. Since that skid, the Irish are 12-9. The team ERA has been 3.12 over the last 21 games, compared to the first nine, while the team batting average is up 25-points and the fielding percentage jumped from .939 over the opening stretch to .970 over the last 21.
- Cole Daily has been a catalyst for the improved offensive numbers for the Irish. Over the last 21 games, Daily is hitting .333 with two doubles and a triple to go with a .415 on-base percentage. Daily swatted down Yellow Jacket pitching over the weekend, going 6-for-8 with a triple, three RBI, three runs scored, a sac fly and a stolen base.
- Notre Dame has been impressive against teams outside the Top 25 and at home over its recent stretch of success. With a 12-9 record over the last 21 games, seven of those nine losses came against ranked teams and four of those nine came on the road (three at No. 9 Clemson, three to No. 13 Florida State and one at No. 18 Michigan). The only two losses to unranked teams came in series finales at Pitt and versus NC State when the Irish had already clinched series wins with victories in games one and two.
- The Irish are entering a stretch of 10 games in 12 days starting with tonight’s showdown with Michigan State. Notre Dame plays host to Toledo tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. before visiting No. 24 Wake Forest for a three-game set. Next week, the Irish head to Detroit’s Comerica Park to take on Central Michigan on Tuesday before a brief pit stop at home to host Illinois State Wednesday. The stretch concludes with a three-game series at No. 20 Virginia April 21-23.
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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.