April 30, 2015
Non-ACC Weekend #4: Northwestern State
May 1-3, 2015
6:05 p.m. / 2:05 p.m. / 11:35 a.m. (ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 29-16, 12-12 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
Northwestern State: 24-18, 16-7 Southland (33-26, 19-11 Southland In 2014)
2014 Postseason: 2-2 at Southland Conference Tournament
Neither team is ranked
Projected Pitching Matchups:
G1: RHP Scott Kerrigan (2-4, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Adam Oller (6-2, 2.39 ERA)
G2: RHP Brandon Bielak (4-1, 3.34 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Oller (7-1, 4.34 ERA)
G3: RHP Scott Tully (3-3, 2.66 ERA) vs. RHP Jeffrey Stovall (4-4, 4.53 ERA)
Aoki vs. Northwestern State: First Meeting
Live Video: WatchND (Link on UND.com)
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: Gametracker (Link on UND.com)
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball / @NDsidRuss
Weather Report (as of Thursday, April 30):
Friday, May 1: 68 Degrees and Sunny
Saturday, May 2: 74 Degrees and Mostly Sunny
Sunday, May 3: 79 Degrees and Mostly Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team steps out of Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend, as the Southland Conference’s Northwestern State Demons venture to Frank Eck Stadium for a three-game series.
The Irish (29-16) and Demons (24-18) have never met on the baseball diamond.
Action gets underway at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Friday. A 2:05 p.m. Saturday game will be followed by an 11:35 a.m. (ET) Sunday contest to wrap up the series.
Saturday will be Notre Dame’s third-annual ALS Game, with all donations going to the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Frates, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 2012, was a former player under Irish head coach Mik Aoki at Boston College. Frates has raised awareness about the disease ever since, most noticeably by starting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took off worldwide this past summer. More information on this special day can be found here.
Fans that can’t make it out to The Eck can watch all three games through WatchND’s free online video stream that is available through UND.com and WatchND.tv.Â
Northwestern State, which is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, have won four of its last five games and sports a 16-7 record in the Southland Conference. The Demons have a 106 RPI and are 8-12 in road games this season.
The Demons sport a .261 batting average (9th in the Southland) and have a 3.57 team ERA (4th in the Southland). First baseman Chase Daughdrill paces the squad and is second in the conference in batting average (.362) to go along with 12 doubles, four homers, 24 RBI and 29 runs scored. Leftfielder Cort Brinson is batting .349 with team highs in hits (60), homers (6) and RBI (33).Â Â Â
On the mound, Northwestern State will trot out brothers Adam (6-2, 2.39 ERA) and Josh Oller (7-1, 4.34 ERA) on Friday and Saturday, respectively, before turning to RHP Jeffrey Stovall (4-4, 4.53 ERA) in the series finale.Â
For the Irish, the series offers another chance for them to boost their NCAA Tournament resume, as a series win or a series sweep would put them over the 30-win mark for the first time since 2013 and would give them more wins over a team that is a few spots from being ranked in the top 100 in the RPI. Coming into the weekend, Notre Dame is 25-7 against teams ranked 51 or lower in the RPI, but just 4-9 against squads ranked in the top 50.Â
Notre Dame is coming off a 2-0 shutout win over Sacramento State Wednesday night at Frank Eck Stadium. The shutout victory was the fourth for the Irish this season during midweek action and the fifth overall (2nd — ACC, 14th — DI) and lowered their team ERA to 2.89, which is second in the ACC and 18th nationally.
The Irish turned four double plays in the contest, which tied a season high and upped their Division I leading total to 59 for the year. Notre Dame also notched its 21st error-free game of the year to move into 17th place in Division I in fielding percentage (.977). The Irish are 14-7 in games where they don’t commit an error.
Individually, sophomore Cavan Biggio is turning in an outstanding campaign, as he leads the team in on-base percentage (.426), slugging percentage (.463), home runs (6), walks (40), stolen bases (14-14) and runs scored (35) to go along with a .265 average. His walk total ranks third in the ACC and sixth nationally.
Behind the dish, sophomore catcher Ryan Lidge has a team-best .300 batting average to go along with 10 doubles, 26 walks, 26 runs scored and a .418 on-base percentage. He has picked off five runners and tossed out 12 runners trying to steal a base with his cannon arm.
Kerrigan, who has worked his way back nicely from shoulder soreness a little under a month ago, picked up his second win of the season last weekend at Wake Forest, as he pitched a solid 3.2 innings in relief of starter Ryan Smoyer.
Bielak has turned in an outstanding rookie campaign in locking down the Saturday role for the entire year. He has produced five quality starts this year, with four coming in his last five starts.
After pitching in just five innings last season, Tully has been as solid as any pitcher on the Irish roster this year. The Reading, Massachusetts native has played virtually every role in the book, picking up a save against then-No. 7 Florida State April 12, turning in back-to-back quality starts in midweek games against Toledo (April 15) and Indiana (April 21) and making several long-relief appearances early in the year.
Notre Dame wraps up its regular season home schedule next weekend when ACC foe North Carolina comes to town for a three-game series. Saturday will mark senior day for 12 student-athletes and two managers.Â
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director