April 9, 2015
ACC Weekend #6: No. 7 Florida State
April 10-12, 2015
6:05 p.m. / 2:05 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. (All ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 21-10, 6-9 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
FSU: 26-9, 11-4 ACC (43-17, 21-9 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: 2-1 at ACC Tournament
0-2 at NCAA Tallahassee Regional
Florida State is ranked between No. 7 & No. 9 in all six major polls
Projected Pitching Matchups:
G1: RHP Ryan Smoyer (4-0, 2.51 ERA) vs. RHP Boomer Biegalski (2-2, 3.25 ERA)
G2: RHP Brandon Bielak (3-1, 3.77 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Carlton (2-1, 4.01 ERA)
G3: TBA vs. RHP Cobi Johnson (3-2, 6.06 ERA)
Notre Dame trails 4-8
First Meeting: L, N, 12-5 (3/31/1956)
Last Meeting: L, A, 4-3 (4/6/2014)
Aoki vs. Florida State: 3-14 (3-11 at BC, 0-3 at ND)
Live Video: ESPN3 – All 3 Games (Links on UND.com)
Live Audio: WatchND &WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: UND.com
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball / @NDsidRuss
Weather Report (as of Thursday, April 9):
Friday, April 10: 59 Degrees (Feels like 56 Degrees) / 15% Chance of Rain
Saturday, April 11: 61 Degrees (Low: 39 Degrees) / Sunny
Sunday, April 12: 68 Degrees (Low: 51 Degrees) / Partly Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Another week brings another stiff home test for the University of Notre Dame baseball team in Atlantic Coast Conference action, as the Irish welcome in No. 7 Florida State this weekend for a key three-game series at Frank Eck Stadium.
A 6:05 p.m. (ET) Friday first pitch opens the series, with a 2:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday game and a 1:05 p.m. (ET) Sunday contest wrapping up the set. All three games are available on ESPN3 with WatchND and WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend providing audio coverage.
The Irish (21-10, 6-9 ACC) enter the series with a five-game winning streak after a sweep at ACC foe Pitt sandwiched between midweek shut outs of Eastern Michigan (6-0) and Valparaiso (6-0).
Over the course of those five games, Notre Dame has a .292 batting average, a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and a slim 1.00 ERA.
The impressive week has helped the Irish move into first place in the ACC in fielding percentage (.977) and inch up to second in ERA (3.07). At the plate, the Irish are 12th out of 14 teams in average (.258).
In ACC games only, Notre Dame is first in fielding percentage (.986), fourth in ERA (3.68) and 11th in batting average (.233).
Making its first appearance at Notre Dame, Florida State (26-9, 11-4 ACC) is the third consecutive top-15 team to play an ACC series at The Eck, following No. 8 Louisville and No. 12 Virginia.
The Seminoles are 9-3 in their last 12 games, but have lost two of three after splitting a midweek, two-game series with Florida Gulf Coast and dropping the series finale at NC State this past Sunday. FSU is 5-0 in ACC series this season, including 2-0 in road series, topping Boston College and then-No. 7 Virginia on the road.
FSU boasts a formidable offense that is hitting just .272 (8th — ACC), but has cracked 69 doubles (4th — ACC) and 31 homers (2nd — ACC), while drawing an ACC-high 231 walks. The next closest team (Miami) has just 178 walks for a difference of 53.
“They (Florida State) are an offensive juggernaut,” said Irish head coach Mik Aoki. “You have to limit them to one or two runs in the innings that they score, because they are so good at turning one run into five runs. They are incredibly disciplined at the plate. You have to make pitches to get them out. They are not going to chase a lot out of the strike zone. The hits that they do get typically run themselves into the gap or over the fence.”
Leading the Seminoles is junior D.J. Stewart, who played on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team this summer and is first in the ACC in walks (41) and on-base percentage (.525), tied for third in homers (9), tied for fourth in runs scored (38) and fifth in slugging percentage (.624).
On the mound, Florida State is 11th in the ACC in ERA (4.14). The Seminoles will trot out RHP Boomer Biegalski (2-2, 3.25 ERA) Friday, RHP Drew Carlton (2-1, 4.01 ERA) Saturday and RHP Cobi Johnson (3-2, 6.06 ERA) Sunday.
Notre Dame will counter with former midweek starter and reigning ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week Ryan Smoyer (4-0, 2.51 ERA) Friday before sending freshman RHP Brandon Bielak (3-1, 3.77 ERA) Saturday. Sunday for the Irish is TBA.
Last year, the Irish were super competitive in a three-game series in Tallahassee despite getting swept, losing two games by one run each. Notre Dame lost the first game in 12 innings, 8-7, lost game two, 11-2, and dropped the finale, 4-3.
Looking at the ACC standings, FSU is second in the Atlantic Division behind No. 5 Louisville, while the Irish sit sixth out of seven teams in the Atlantic. However, Notre Dame is just one game back of Clemson and a couple games back of both NC State and Wake Forest. The Irish hold the tiebreaker over the Tigers due to their series win on the road earlier in the season and play the Wolfpack and the Demon Deacons later in the campaign.
“We have to go out there this weekend and continue to compete like we have all year long,” said Aoki. “I think we are slowly but surely returning to health, so I like where we are at and I like our chances going into the weekend.”
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director