April 27, 2016

By Russell Dorn

Midweek Game #10: Eastern Michigan
April 27, 2016
6:05 p.m. (ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Indiana)

Team Information:

Notre Dame: 24-15, 9-10 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional

Eastern Michigan: 14-22, 6-6 MAC (20-35, 9-18 MAC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did not qualify for the postseason

Rankings: Neither team ranked

Game Coverage (Links on UND.com/NDBaseball):
Live Video: WatchND
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: Gametracker
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball

Projected Pitching Matchup:
ND RHP David Hearne (0-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. EMU RHP Brent Mattson (0-1, 5.61 ERA)

Weather Report (as of Wednesday, April 27):
Tuesday, April 27: 60/57 Degrees & Partly Cloudy (5%)

Series History: Notre Dame leads 4-2
Aoki vs. Eastern Michigan: 2-1 (all @ ND)
First Meeting: 4/30/1992: W, 6-1 – Home

Last Four Meetings:
3/31/2015: W, 6-0 – Home
5/1/2013: L, 12-6 – Home
3/20/2012: W, 12-4 – Home
4/15/2003: L, 5-3 – Home

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a 5-0 shutout win over in-state foe Indiana Tuesday night at Victory Field in Indianapolis, the University of Notre Dame baseball team gets right back in action at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Wednesday with a game against Eastern Michigan at Frank Eck Stadium.

The Irish (24-15) and the Eagles (14-22) are meeting for just the seventh time ever, but the fourth time under current Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki. Notre Dame holds a 4-2 lead in the series.

Last year the Irish beat Eastern Michigan, 6-0, at The Eck behind a complete game shutout from RHP Ryan Smoyer.

Tickets are still available for the midweek contest and can be purchased at the Frank Eck Stadium box office. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors. Irish faculty, staff and students are admitted free with a valid ID.

Here’s what you need to know about the game versus Eastern Michigan:

  1. The Irish enter the game against the Eagles with a perfect 9-0 record in midweek contests in 2016 … all three phases of the game have played a role in the impressive streak, as the ND bats are hitting .298, the pitching unit has a 2.33 ERA and the defense sports an impressive .985 fielding percentage … senior Ricky Sanchez leads the charge at the plate with a .412 batting average, three extra-base hits, four RBI, two walks and eight runs scored … junior LHP Michael Hearne has been sensational on the mound, going 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA over 46.0 IP and seven starts.
  1. Notre Dame starter David Hearne has a 0.00 ERA over 1.2 innings of work in the nine midweek victories … when he toes the rubber for the first pitch, Hearne will be making his first start on the mound since April 9, 2013 when he was a true freshman … Hearne missed the last two seasons with injury … this year he’s worked through the rust of not pitching for two years to turn in some outstanding efforts … in 10 appearances he has six outings where he’s allowed no runs … his best relief outing came at Virginia Tech, where he allowed just one hit over four innings of work to help the Irish secure a 5-2 victory over the Hokies.
  1. A handful of Irish players are nearing career milestones … junior Cavan Biggio is two hits away from 150 for his career … he also just moved into the top 10 in school history for career walks (113) … he can move into the top eight with nine more … junior Kyle Fiala is six hits away from 150 for his career and 11 total bases away from 200 … senior Zak Kutsulis is 12 hits away from 200 for his career and 10 RBI away from 100 … junior Ryan Lidge is one hit away from 100 for his career.
  1. As the regular season heads into the final stretch with three midweek games and four weekend series left, the Irish sit at No. 44 in the RPI, good for 11th in the ACC … the conference boasts a remarkable 12 teams in the top 52, including seven in the top 25 … Notre Dame still plays No. 11 Clemson, No. 16 North Carolina and No. 33 Pittsburgh in addition to two midweek games against No. 14 LSU … Eastern Michigan sits at No. 176 in the RPI.

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.