May 6, 2016
By Russell Dorn
ACC Series #8: Pitt
May 6-8, 2016
7:05 p.m. / 4:05 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. (All ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 25-18, 9-10 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional
Pitt: 22-18, 8-12 ACC (20-32, 9-21 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
Rankings: Neither team ranked
Series 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 Matchups:
G1: ND RHP Peter Solomon (3-4, 3.93 ERA) vs. Pitt RHP Josh Falk (2-6, 4.79 ERA)
G2: ND TBD vs. Pitt RHP T.J. Zeuch (5-1, 2.62 ERA)
G3: ND LHP Michael Hearne (6-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. Pitt RHP Aaron Sandefur (3-3, 3.73 ERA)
Weather Report (as of Friday, May 6):
Friday, May 6: 73/55 & Sunny
Saturday, May 7: 61/40 & Cloudy (20%)
Sunday, May 8: 67/48 & Mostly Sunny
Series History: Notre Dame leads 40-18
In ACC Regular Season Play: ND leads 6-0
In ACC Tournament Play: Never met
Aoki vs. Pitt: 12-5 (all @ ND)
First Meeting: 4/27/1951: W, 5-3 – Away
Last Four Meetings:
4/5/15: W, 7-3 – Away
4/4/15: W, 7-1 – Away
4/4/15: W, 8-1 – Away
5/17/14: W, 5-4 – Home
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After a week off for final exams, the University of Notre Dame baseball team gets back into Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend with a critical three-game series against former BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh at Frank Eck Stadium.
The Irish (25-18, 9-10 ACC) and the Panthers (22-18, 8-12 ACC) are both jockeying for positioning in the league standings with the conference tournament set for late May.
Notre Dame is fifth in the Atlantic Division and eighth overall, while Pitt is sixth in the Coastal Division and 12th overall. However, both teams are only a couple of games out of sixth place, which is the cutoff for getting a bye directly into pool play. Teams seeded 7-10 are forced into the two play-in games on the Tuesday of the ACC Tournament.
The Eck will be full of activities this weekend, as Saturday marks Fan Appreciation Day and Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Following Saturday’s game, the Irish invite all fans to stick around for a post-game BBQ and autograph session with the players and coaches. Tickets are available at a cost of $5 for season-ticket holders and $10 for single-game buyers. Tickets are available on UND.com/buytickets or by calling 574-631-7356.
Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s series against Pitt:
– The week after final exams has treated the Irish well over the last couple of seasons … ND swept No. 20 North Carolina before taking two of three at Boston College to wrap up the regular season in 2015 … in 2014 the Irish closed out the regular season with a series win over No. 22 Clemson and a sweep of Pittsburgh.
– Since moving to the ACC in 2014, the Irish are 6-0 against Pitt after sweeping the Panthers in each of the last two years … going back to 2013 when both programs were part of the BIG EAST, the Irish made up for a regular season sweep at the hands of the Panthers by eliminating them in two consecutive games at the BIG EAST Tournament.
– Friday starter Peter Solomon has been striking out opposing batters at a prolific rate ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the sophomore sits fifth in the ACC in strikeouts (65) and third in strikeouts per game (11.62) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ in recent Irish history, Solomon is five K’s away from Adam Norton’s total (70) in 2013 and 10 away from current Major League Baseball pitcher David Phelps’ total (75) in 2008.
– After an outstanding season as the team‘s midweek starter (6-1, 2.25 ERA, 60.0 IP), senior LHP Michael Hearne is making the move to the weekend and ACC competition for the first time since 2014 … he boasts three weekend starts in 2016 against non-conference opponents and had two in 2015 before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the remainder of the season … in 2014, he posted a 3.10 ERA in seven ACC starts, including a complete game shutout of Boston College and an eight-inning dandy versus Pitt where he allowed three hits, no runs and no walks to wrap up his sophomore campaign … for his career he has a 12-7 record and 2.60 ERA in 37 appearances and 21 starts over 162.2 innings of work … Hearne also boasts three complete games and has been part of four shutouts, including two complete game shutouts … in conference play he boasts a 2.78 ERA in 13 appearances, seven starts and 58.1 IP.
– Junior 2B Cavan Biggio continues to pace the Irish offense, as he leads his squad in batting average (.327), on-base percentage (.490), walks (44) and runs (40) … he is also tied for first in hit by pitch (6) and stolen bases (11) … in his last 12 games, Biggio is hitting .400 with 18 hits, seven walks & 13 runs.
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 administration from Georgia State University in 2011.