April 26, 2016
By Russell Dorn
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Behind home runs from senior Zak Kutsulis and junior Cavan Biggio and six shutout innings from senior left-handed pitcher Michael Hearne, the University of Notre Dame baseball team beat in-state foe Indiana, 5-0, Tuesday night at Victory Field.
With 6,607 fans in attendance, the Irish scored all five of their runs in the first five innings and used some outstanding pitching to keep the Hoosiers at bay all night.
Kutsulis opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning to put Notre Dame up 1-0. An inning later Biggio smashed a two-run homer to extend the lead to 3-0. Kutsulis continued his outstanding night with a two-run homer in the fifth frame that cleared the right-field fence.
Biggio finished with two hits and two RBI, while Kutsulis had two hits and three RBI. Catcher Ryan Lidge notched a double and two runs scored.
The five runs were more than enough for Hearne, who continued his yeoman’s effort on the mound in midweek outings. He scattered five hits and two walks while striking out three in 106 pitches during his six shutout innings on the mound.
It was business as usual for the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, who has a 4-0 record with a microscopic 0.58 ERA over 31.0 innings in his last four starts. The outings feature two complete games and two shutouts.
With the win the Irish improve to 9-0 in midweek games, including 3-0 against Big Ten foes. Notre Dame is 9-0 this year when Hearne starts on the mound.
Over Notre Dame’s nine midweek games, the Irish bats are hitting .298 with 26 extra-base hits, 52 RBI, 34 walks and 56 runs scored. The pitching unit sports a 2.33 ERA with 63 strikeouts. Hearne leads the charge with a 1.57 ERA and 6-0 record in seven starts and 46.0 innings of work. Opponents are batting just .189 against him in midweek contests.
Notre Dame (24-15) returns to action against Eastern Michigan (14-22) at 6:05 p.m. ET Wednesday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Tickets are available online at UND.com/buytickets or at the Frank Eck Stadium box office on game day. Fans can follow the game online through WatchND, listen to 103.1 FM in South Bend or track live stats. Links for all three are available on the baseball schedule page of UND.com.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball team, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.