March 10, 2015
Midweek Game #1: Savannah State
March 11, 2015
5 p.m. (ET)
Tiger Baseball Field (Savannah, Ga.)
Notre Dame: 11-3, 1-2 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
Savannah State: 5-10, 1-2 MEAC (22-31, 11-13 MEAC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: 2-2 MEAC Tournament
Neither team is ranked.
Projected Pitching Matchups:
ND RHP Ryan Smoyer (0-0, 10.80 ERA) vs. SSU RHP Zach McCormack (0-0, 4.22 ERA)
First Meeting Between The Schools
Aoki vs. Savannah State: 0-0
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp) or
WatchND (Links on UND.com)
Live Stats: UND.com
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball / @NDsidRuss
Weather Report (as of Tuesday, March 10):
Wednesday, March 11: 80 Degrees / Partly Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Coming off a positive and productive weekend at Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech, the University of Notre Dame baseball team opens its midweek slate Wednesday evening at Savannah State, as it continues its spring break trip that will wrap up in Clemson, South Carolina this coming weekend with a three-game ACC series at Clemson.
The Irish (11-3, 2-1 ACC) and the Tigers (5-10, 1-2 MEAC) will meet for the first time on the baseball diamond at 5 p.m. Wednesday night at Tiger Baseball Stadium on the campus of Savannah State in Savannah, Georgia. Fans can follow the game through WatchND’s audio broadcast (WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend) or through live stats. Links for both are on UND.com.
Notre Dame is getting back to work three days after wrapping up its first ACC series of the season with the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. The Irish won game one, 3-2, in 10 innings, before dropping game’s two and three, 11-7 and 4-1, respectively.
Sophomore Kyle Fiala was the hero in the game one win, as he cracked an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning to help the Irish run their win streak to 10 games. On the mound, freshman Brad Bass hurled 2.2 impressive innings to move to 2-0, while fellow freshman Peter Solomon picked up his team-high third save of the season after recording the final three outs of the game.
In the final two contests of the series, the Georgia Tech bats proved to be too much for the Irish, as the Yellow Jackets had 25 hits, five doubles, two homers, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored in their two wins.
In neither game did the Irish give up, however, as they plated all seven of their runs in game two over the final five innings, and scored their lone run in game three in the ninth inning.
“Friday was big for us even though we lost the series,” said senior outfielder Robert Youngdahl. “I think that gave us a lot of confidence knowing that we really can beat anyone. The next two games we played well but just came out on the wrong side of it. Especially Saturday we showed that we could keep coming at them and score runs. But overall, it was a good weekend and a good test and it will be good to show that we can bounce back from a tough series loss this week.”
The Irish now turn their attention to their first midweek game of the season with Savannah State. The Tigers are coming off a 2-1 series loss at Florida A&M and play host to Wofford College Tuesday night.
“Midweeks are different in the fact that we’ll probably face a lot of different pitchers, kind of like a Johnny all staff sort of thing,” said Youngdahl. “So we will have to adjust to different type of arms on the fly. We can’t take any midweek opponent lightly. Midweek games are always important wins. We have to come at them hard and try and come out with a victory.”
In their only competition with a major conference opponent this year, the Tigers dropped a midweek doubleheader at Alabama, 7-2 and 4-2.
Zachary Brigham (.340 AVG, 3 2B, 12 RBI) and Charles Sikes (.340 AVG, 7 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI) lead Savannah State at the plate.
RHP Zach McCormack (0-0, 4.22 ERA) will take the bump for SSU, while Notre Dame will counter with sophomore righty Ryan Smoyer (0-0, 10.80 ERA).
In his second year as a starter in right field, Youngdahl has enjoyed a successful start to the 2015 campaign, as he is one of just three Irish regulars that has played in all 14 games and also sports over a .300 batting average. The New Brighton, Minnesota native is batting .327 with five doubles, a homer, 11 RBI, six walks and nine runs scored.
“Things have gotten off to a good start for me,” said Youngdal. “All the mental work we have done with Brian Cain has really helped me not get into a rut if things aren’t going my way. I’ve been able to bounce back quicker. I saw the ball well this weekend. I hit a couple that didn’t carry enough, but I was overall pleased. I just hit the ball on the barrel and ran around the bases.”
Joining Youngdahl in the .300+ club among regular starters are sophomore Cavan Biggio and junior Lane Richards. Biggio, despite a tough first ACC weekend, is still among the ACC leaders with an impressive .426/.759/.529 split. He leads the team in hits (23), doubles (8), total bases (41) and walks (11). He is also tied for first in triples (2) and homers (2) and remains perfect in the field in 80 chances.
Richards, meanwhile, is batting .327 with four doubles, two triples, nine RBI and eight runs scored after entering the year as a .249 hitter.
Behind the Irish pitching, the Notre Dame defense has turned 20 double plays, which places it first in the ACC and tied for third nationally. The Irish are also third nationally in double plays per game (1.43).
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director