Senior RHP Adam Norton.

Irish Open Spring Break With Michigan, LSU

March 9, 2012

Notre Dame Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

THE MATCHUP
Notre Dame (5-4), Michigan (6-6), LSU (11-2)
Alex Box Stadium

PROBABLE PITCHERS
Saturday (Noon CT)
RHP Will Hudgins (1-1, 2.41 ERA) vs. LHP Bobby Brosnahan (2-1, 3.26 ERA) or RHP Ben Ballantine (1-0, 2.08 ERA)

Sunday, Game-1 (10:00 a.m. CT)
RHP Adam Norton (2-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. TBA

Sunday, Game-2 (3:00 p.m. CT)
RHP Sean Fitzgerald (1-1, 9.82 ERA) vs. RHP Kurt McCune (1-1, 3.29 ERA)

Monday (6:30 p.m. CT)
LHP Steve Sabatino (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. TBA

LIVE GAME COVERAGE
Television: Cox Sports Television (Sunday, Game-2)
Live Video: LSUSports.net/live
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp); UND.com
Live Stats: LSUsports.net

IN THE BATTERS BOX — Notre Dame hits the road this weekend to open its annual Spring Beak trip with four games at six-time NCAA champion LSU. The Irish will play two games against both Michigan and the host No. 11 Tigers. Notre Dame and the Wolverines will meet at Noon CT Friday and then again at 10:00 a.m. CT Saturday. The Irish and LSU will play at 3:00 p.m. CT Saturday and 6:30 p.m. CT Monday. All four games can be heard on WHME 103.1 FM and UND.com. Sunday’s game with the Tigers will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Notre Dame’s other three games this weekend will be available via a live streak at LSUSports.net.

IRISH AT A GLANCE — Notre Dame enters this weekend with a 5-4 record, but riding a three-game losing streak. The Irish were swept last weekend in a three-game series at No. 21 Texas State (6-0, 6-0, 5-0).

  • Notre Dame ran into a buzz saw with the Bobcats pitching staff last weekend. The Irish were shutout in three consecutive games for the first time in school history. Notre Dame had been blanked in back-to-back games just 10 times over the 120 years of Irish baseball.
  • Texas State pitchers nearly set an NCAA record after not allowing a run over 57.2 consecutive innings. The Bobcats came up just 6.1 innings shy of the NCAA record of 64 consecutive scoreless innings set in 1972 by Arizona State. In addition, the Bobcats also had a streak of 61.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
  • The Texas State starting rotation has not allowed an earned run – and just one run total – over its last eight games.
  • The Bobcats have won eight straight, including two over Houston and mid-week wins over No. 18 TCU and No. 4 Rice.
  • Notre Dame’s 31-man roster consists of 13 freshmen and six sophomores or 19 underclassmen. The Irish have already had seven different rookies start games (Mac Hudgins, Phil Mosey, Ryan Bull, Jason McMurray, Kevin DeFillippis, Conor Biggio, Blaise Lezynski). In fact, six of the seven freshman have started at least two games.
  • Five other freshman have seen playing time and that does not include RHP Pat Connaughton, who has yet to join the squad due to his basketball responsibilities.
  • Senior SS Tommy Chase was the lone senior in Notre Dame’s opening day lineup. The Irish have not had that few of seniors start an opener since 2005 when Matt Edwards was the lone senior.

MICHIGAN INSIDER — The Wolverines, led by 10th-year head coach Rich Maloney, enter the weekend with a 6-6 record and riding a two-game losing streak.

  • Michigan is averaging 6.67 runs per game and hitting .268 with a .356 on-base percentage. The Wolverines have also totaled 28 stolen bases in 36 attempts.
  • Sophomore OF Michael O’Neill leads the team with a .480 batting average, 15 runs scored, 24 hits, eight doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI. He has also added one walk, two hit by pitches, one sacrifice fly and nine stolen bases (in 10 attempts). O’Neill also leads Michigan in on-base percentage (.500) and slugging percentage (.940). Freshman OF Will Drake is hitting .372 with 15 runs scored, 16 hits, four doubles, three triples and 12 RBI. He has collected eight walks, one hit by pitch, one sacrifice bunt and six stolen bases (in eight attempts).
  • Sophomore 1B Brett Winger is batting .357 with six runs scored, 15 hits, three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 10 RBI. He has drawn three walks, but has also struck out eight times. Junior OF Patrick Biondi has scored 14 runs, drawn seven walks and posted a .418 on-base percentage. He has also stolen nine bases (in 13 attempts).
  • The Wolverines have a 4.29 ERA and .264 opponents’ batting average along with 78 strikeouts and 50 walks in 107.0 innings of work. Michigan averages 4.21 walks and 6.56 strikeouts per nine innings. Either redshirt junior LHP Bobby Brosnahan or junior RHP Ben Ballantine will start the first game against Notre Dame. Brosnahan is 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 19.1 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. He has allowed 10 runs, seven earned, on 17 hits and his opponents are hitting .243 against him. Brosnahan has struck out 11 and walked only four. Ballantine is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 21.2 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. He has allowed six runs, five earned, on 17 hits and his opponents are hitting .227 against him. Ballantine has struck out 12 and walked only four.
  • Senior RHP Brandon Sinnery will start Friday night against LSU. He is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 17.1 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. He has allowed 10 runs, eight earned, on 19 hits and his opponents are hitting .279 against him. Sinnery has struck out 10 and walked only four.
  • Michigan has yet to announce a starter for its second game with the Irish, but candidates include freshman RHP James Bourque (0-0, 3.00 ERA in two appearances, one start), redshirt sophomore LHP Logan McAnallen (1-0, 4.00 ERA in three appearances, one start) and junior RHP Kyle Clark (1-2, 10.61 ERA in three appearances, one start).
  • Sophomore RHP Alex Lakatos (0-1, 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances), senior RHP Kevin Vangheluwe (1-0, 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances), freshman RHP Matt Ogden (0-0, 4.50 ERA in three relief appearances) and freshman LHP Trent Szkutnik (0-1, 9.00 ERA in four relief appearances and one save) makeup the Wolverine bullpen. The group has fanned 19 and walked 14 in 19.0 innings of work.
  • Michigan has committed 13 errors in 12 games and field at a .973 clip.

LSU INSIDER — The Tigers, led by sixth-year head coach Paul Mainieri, enter the weekend with a 11-2 record and riding a six-game winning streak.

  • LSU is averaging 9.15 runs per game and hitting .325 with a .407 on-base percentage. The Tigers have also totaled 10 stolen bases in 17 attempts.
  • Junior INF/OF Mason Katz leads the team with a .477 batting average, 18 runs scored, 21 hits, seven doubles, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBI. He has also added nine walks, two hit by pitches, one sacrifice fly and one stolen base (in two attempts). Katz also leads the Tigers in on-base percentage (.571) and slugging percentage (.886). He was named Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week Monday after he hit a remarkable .684 (13-for-19) in five games with five doubles, three homers, eight RBI, 12 runs, a 1.421 slugging percentage and a .760 on-base percentage. He was also recognized as the SEC Player of the Week. Beginning with a walk in his final plate appearance on Feb. 26 versus Appalachian State, Katz reached base safely in 17 consecutive plate appearances, falling just one shy of the NCAA record of 18 straight set by Shaun Larkin of Cal State Northridge in 2002.
  • Junior OF Raph Rhymes is hitting .460 with 14 runs scored, 23 hits, three doubles and 18 RBI. He has collected four walks, one hit by pitch and two sacrifice flies. Senior INF Tyler Hanover is batting .396 with 12 runs scored, 19 hits, six doubles and 11 RBI. Senior INF Austin Nola is hitting .333 with 14 runs scored, five doubles and 11 RBI. He has added 10 walks. Sophomore C Ty Ross is batting .333 with four runs scored, two doubles and 12 RBI. Sophomore OF/INF JaCoby Jones leads the Tigers with four stolen bases (in five attempts).
  • The Tigers have a 3.38 ERA and .244 opponents’ batting average along with 122 strikeouts and 31 walks in 117.0 innings of work. LSU averages 2.38 walks and 9.38 strikeouts per nine innings. Sophomore RHP Kurt McCune will start the Tigers’ first game against Notre Dame. He is 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 13.2 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. McCune has allowed six runs, five earned, on 14 hits and his opponents are hitting .269 against him. He has struck out 10 and walked seven.
  • Sophomore RHP Kevin Gausman will start Friday night against Michigan. He is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. He has allowed five runs, four earned, on 18 hits and his opponents are hitting .240 against him. Gausman has struck out 20 and walked only two. Sophomore RHP Ryan Eades will start Saturday night against Michigan. He is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings of work over three appearances, all starts. He has allowed two runs, both earned, on 10 hits and his opponents are hitting .167 against him. Eades has struck out 18 and walked only three.
  • LSU has yet to announce a starter for its second game with the Irish, but candidates include freshman RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 2.00 ERA in five appearances, two starts), sophomore RHP Joe Broussard (1-0, 7.56 ERA in four appearances, one start) and freshman RHP Cody Glenn (1-0, 7.71 ERA in three appearances, one start).
  • Junior RHP Nick Goody (0-0, 0.00 ERA in six relief appearances), junior RHP Joey Bourgeois (0-0, 1.42 ERA in five relief appearances), junior LHP Chris Cotton (1-0, 1.69 ERA in seven relief appearances), junior LHP Brent Bonvillain (0-0, 4.50 ERA in four relief appearances) and sophomore RHP Nick Rumbelow (0-0, 9.82 ERA in seven relief appearances) makeup the Tiger bullpen. The group has fanned 31 and walked nine in 29.2 innings of work.
  • LSU has committed 12 errors in 13 games and field at a .975 clip.
TALE OF THE TAPE                                   Notre Dame     Michigan       LSUBatting Average                    .285           .268           .325Runs Per Game                      5.22           6.67           9.15Home Runs                          4              10             5Slugging Percentage                .372           .430           .470Batters' BB+HBP-SO Margin          -18            -23            -3On-Base Percentage                 .397           .356           .407Stolen Bases                       12-13          28-36          10-17Team ERA                           5.77           4.29           3.38Opponent Batting Average           .291           .264           .244Pitchers' SO-BB Ratio              1.73           1.56           3.94Pitchers' SO Per 9 Innings         6.57           6.56           9.38Pitchers' BB Per 9 Innings         3.81           4.21           2.38Fielding Pct. (Errors)             .951 (17)      .973 (13)      .975 (12)Double Plays Turned                13             12             7Record at Home                     0-0            0-0            9-2Record on Road (including neutral) 5-4            6-6            2-0Record in One-Run Games            2-0            2-1            1-1Record in Extra Innings            0-0            0-0            0-0

MICHIGAN NATIVES — The 2012 Notre Dame baseball roster does not include one player from the state of Michigan.

  • The Irish baseball program’s list of all-time monogram winners includes 44 Michigan natives, highlighted by Eric Danapilis (`93), Tim Hutson (’88) and Ryan Topham (’95).
  • Danapilis, who was named consensus first team All-American in 1993, still holds Notre Dame career records for RBI (221) and on-base percentage (.494). He ranks second in career batting average (.405) and doubles (61), as well as third in slugging percentage (.643), fourth in hits (295) and sixth in walks (131). In ’93, Danapilis finished in the top five of the following single-season offensive categories: RBI (85, second), on-base percentage (.522, t-third), doubles (24, t-third), batting average (.438, fourth) and slugging percentage (.726, fifth).
  • Topham earned All-America honors as a junior in 1995 with a season that included .335 batting average, 79 RBI (t-fourth in Notre Dame single-season history), .733 slugging percentage (third), 18 home runs (t-second), five triples, 18 doubles, .506 on-base percentage (t-ninth) and 35 walks. He still holds the Irish record for walks in a season (63, 1994). Topham ranks fourth in Notre Dame career on-base percentage (.470), sixth in slugging percentage (.627), tied for sixth in home runs (34) and second in walks (149).

LAST MEETINGS (UM 2-1, May 3; UM 5, ND 3 (10), May 4) — Michigan’s Garrett Stevens lined a two-out, two-run RBI single off the glove of Notre Dame closer Dan Slania into center field to breakup a 3-3 tie in the top of the 10th inning. Wolverines’ reliever Jake Engels then struck out Joe Hudson with the bases loaded to end the game and give Michigan a 5-3 victory at Frank Eck Stadium. Ben Ballantine picked up the victory for Michigan. The righty allowed a couple hits in 1.0 scoreless inning. Engels collected his third save of the season. Slania was charged with the loss. He allowed two runs on two hits in 2.0 innings. Slania struck out four, but was also victimized by four walks. The Irish rallied in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra-innings. Herman Petzold opened the inning with a double and came around to score on David Casey’s RBI single. With the game now tied, 3-3, Hudson followed with a walk to move the winning run into scoring position, but Mick Doyle struck out swinging. Adam Norton followed with another free pass to load the bases for Greg Sherry, but Ballantine, Michigan’s third pitcher of the inning, got Sherry looking at a called third strike. Slania ran into trouble in the 10th. Michael O’Neill led off the frame with a single and promptly stole second base. After an intentional walk, Slania nailed O’Neill at third base on a nice defensive play on a sacrifice bunt attempt. He then got Derek Dennis to foul out, but issued another walk to load the bases with two outs. Slania quickly got ahead in the count 0-2, but left a fastball up in the zone and Stevens lined it sharply back up the box. Slania did appear to get a glove on the line drive, but not enough to prevent it from rolling into shallow center field. Down 5-3 heading to the bottom of the 10th, the Irish battled to the very end and all with two outs. After Eric Jagielo scorched a line drive right at the Wolverine left fielder for the first out and Petzold flew out, Trey Mancini singled to left field. Alex Robinson followed with a single to center field. Ballantine then plunked Matt Scioscia to load the bases. Ballantine fell behind Hudson 1-0 and was pulled for Engels, who missed the strike one on his first two offering to push the count to 3-0. Engels came back with consecutive called strikes to make the count full, 3-2. He then got Hudson swinging to end the game.

  • Coley Crank’s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference as Michigan slipped past Notre Dame, 2-1, at Al Fisher Field. With the game deadlocked, 1-1, Crank launched a 1-0 offering from Sean Fitzgerald over the left field wall for his team-leading sixth round tripper of the year. Michigan’s Tyler Mills, who entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning, retired Notre Dame 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to secure the victory. Mills allowed just one hit over 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. Mills punched out four and did not walk a batter. Fitzgerald was charged with the loss. He allowed a pair of hits in his inning of relief. The long ball from Crank was only the second home run allowed by the Irish bullpen in 95.1 innings of work this season. It was the first home run allowed by the pen since Fitzgerald surrendered one on March 5 against Winthrop – a span of 78.1 innings.

NOTRE DAME-MICHIGAN SERIES HISTORY — Notre Dame and Michigan are set to meet for the 128th and 129th time this weekend. The Irish and Wolverines have played one another 20 times over the last 18 seasons, including two regular season meetings each of the last four seasons.

  • Michigan leads the all-time series, 83-44, and has captured eight of the last nine meetings dating back to 2005. The Irish had won four of five and six of eight prior to the recent stretch.
  • The Wolverines swept the home-and-home from the Irish last season. Michigan picked up a 2-1 victory in Ann Arbor and 5-3 triumph in South Bend.
  • In 2010, Notre Dame made its first visit to Ann Arbor since 1977. In fact, Michigan and Notre Dame had played on a neutral site in 15 of its previous 17 meetings before a 2009 doubleheader in South Bend.
  • Notre Dame’s first varsity baseball game came against Michigan on April 21, 1892 (a 6-4 Irish win).
  • Notre Dame is 8-12 against Michigan over the previous 17 previous seasons, including a 6-6 mark at Old Kent/Fifth Third Park.
  • The Wolverines won an epic game at Old Kent Park in 1996 (7-6, in 16 innings) while the Irish posted an 8-3 home win over the Wolverines late in the 1996 season. Michigan won the 1997 game at OKP (5-3), with all the Wolverine runs being unearned after Notre Dame made three errors in the seventh inning.
  • The 9-1 victory for the Irish in 1998 featured Tim Kalita’s dominating 7.1 innings (2 H, UER, 3 BB, 5 Ks).
  • Notre Dame then won the 1999 game at OKP (14-4) before Michigan beat the Irish in the 1999 NCAAs (11-5) at Eck Stadium.
  • In 2000, the Notre Dame’s victory (5-4, in 11 innings) saw Matt Nussbaum plate the tying run in the 9th before making the game-ending tag at the plate.
  • Peter Ogilvie’s complete game (5 H, R, BB, 6 Ks) won the 2002 game, 9-1, for the Irish.
  • Michigan then won in 2003 (8-4) before Notre Dame took the 2004 meeting (7-3), with the Wolverines then edging the Irish in 2005 (7-6) and again in 2006 (3-1).

MOST COMMON OPPONENTS IN NOTRE DAME BASEBALL HISTORY
131 games Northwestern
130 games Michigan State
127 games Michigan
121 games Purdue
119 games Wisconsin

NOTRE DAME-LSU SERIES HISTORY — The all-time series between Notre Dame and LSU is tied, 2-2. The Irish captured the first ever meeting with the Tigers on Apr. 7, 1928 (5-3) in Baton Rouge.

  • LSU took the next two contests in the series. The Tigers took a pair of extra-inning games (9-2, 10; 8-7, 12) on Mar. 30-31, 1964.
  • Notre Dame was victorious in its last matchup with LSU, 6-3, on Mar. 12, 1991.
  • All four meetings have come in Baton Rouge.

FAMILIAR FACE — Paul Mainieri established an unparalleled standard of excellence during his tenure at Notre Dame (1995-2006), leading his teams to 11 40-win seasons, nine conference titles, nine NCAA Regional appearances and a berth in the 2002 College World Series, marking the school’s first CWS trip since 1957.

  • Mainieri led to Notre Dame to an NCAA Regional in every season from 1999-2006, making the Irish one of 10 teams to appear in every NCAA Tournament in that eight-year span – the others were Miami, Texas, Rice, Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Stanford, Clemson, Tulane and Oral Roberts. Notre Dame also joined six other schools (LSU, Miami, Rice, South Carolina, Stanford and Texas) as the only programs to reach an NCAA Regional final every season from 2000-05.
  • Sixty of Mainieri’s Notre Dame players were drafted or signed free-agent contracts, and 19 were selected in the first 10 rounds of the Major League draft. His Irish players also combined for 14 All-America and 10 Academic All-America seasons.
  • Notre Dame was one of just four schools from 1998-2001 that produced two pitchers – Brad Lidge (’98, Houston Astros) and Aaron Heilman (’02, New York Mets) – who were drafted in the first round, with both players advancing to the Major Leagues. Mainieri and his staff consistently have molded players into top prospects, as Lidge was just a 42nd-round pick out of high school while Heilman was a 54th-round pick.
  • Seven of Mainieri’s former Notre Dame players have reached the Major League level, including seven pitchers – Brad Lidge (Astros/Phillies/Nationals), Aaron Heilman (Mets/Cubs/Diamondbacks/Mariners), Jeff Samardzija (Cubs), Jeff Manship (Twins), John Axford (Brewers/Giants), Kyle Weiland (Red Sox/Astros) and Christian Parker (Yankees). Former Irish INF Matt Macri (Twins) made his big league debut in 2008.
  • Eight other Irish players developed into high draft picks despite going undrafted as prep players: LHP Tim Kalita (7th round in ’99), RHP Danny Tamayo (10th round, ’01), RHP J.P. Gagne (13th round, ’03) and RHP Jeff Samardzija (5th round, ’06), SS Alec Porzel (13th round, ’01), CF Steve Stanley (2nd round, ’02), 1B Craig Cooper (7th round, ’06), and RHP Kyle Weiland (3rd round in 2008).
  • In the Mainieri era, nine of 13 Irish players who were drafted out of high school went on to be drafted in a higher round at Notre Dame while 24 who were undrafted as prep players went on to be drafted as members of the Irish program.
  • The 12 years of the Mainieri era at Notre Dame include over 80 noteworthy players who have gone on to distinguish themselves after their Irish careers. Among that group are: seven players who have reached the Major Leagues; nearly 50 current and former pro players; nine lawyers/law-school students; five medical/dental-school students; seven others who have received a master’s degree including two MBAs); three engineers; five involved in medical sales; 11 college/high school coaches; three teachers; three commodities brokers; a sports agent; a contractor; and a town mayor – plus others who are involved in areas such as youth services, accounting, sales, athletic administration, technology, advertising, graphic design, banking and consulting.
  • In 12 seasons of Big East Conference play, the Irish won more league games (192-67-2, .740) than any other team in the conference. Mainieri owns the top career Big East winning percentage (.740) in the history of the league and four of his teams posted 20-plus wins in Big East play.

OTHER NOTRE DAME-LSU CONNECTIONS — Two members of Paul Mainieri’s staff at LSU played at Notre Dame. Javi Sanchez (’04) enters his fifth season on the Tigers coaching staff. Sanchez worked as LSU’s volunteer coach during the 2008 season, and he was promoted to full-time assistant coach on June 26, 2008. Sanchez serves as the Tigers’ hitting coach while supervising the base running and working extensively with the LSU catchers. He also works as the Tigers’ third-base coach during games. Ross Brezovsky (’08), a four-year starting infielder and outfielder at Notre Dame, enters his fourth season as LSU’s coordinator of baseball operations. He was named to the position on August 20, 2008. Brezovsky handles a number of responsibilities, including team travel, budgeting and community relations.

LOUISIANA NATIVES — The 2012 Notre Dame baseball roster does not include one player from the state of Louisiana.

  • Arthur and Francis Carmody are one of 14 brother combinations to earned monograms for Notre Dame.
  • Jack and Casey Snyder are one of 14 brother combinations to earned monograms for Notre Dame.
  • George Restovich, father of George Restovich, Jr., was a native of Shreveport, La., and Jesuit H.S. graduate. The elder Restovich earned a pair of monograms. The father-and-son combined are one of six to suit up for the Irish baseball program. The younger Restovich was drafted in the 17th round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He batted .327 for his career with 22 home runs and 155 RBI.

— ND —