March 19, 2015
ACC Weekend #3: Louisville
March 20-22, 2015
6:05 p.m. / 2:05 p.m. / 1:05 p.m. (All ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Notre Dame: 15-4, 3-3 ACC (22-31, 9-21 ACC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason
Louisville: 15-6, 5-1 ACC (50-17, 19-5 AAC In 2014)
2014 Postseason: 2-2 in the AAC Tournament
3-0 at Louisville Regional / 2-0 at Louisville Super Regional
0-2 at College World Series
Notre Dame: No. 22 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
Louisville: Ranked between No. 8 & No. 17 in six different publications
Projected Pitching Matchups:
G1: RHP Scott Kerrigan (1-2, 3.99 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Funkhouser (1-2, 3.19 ERA)
G2: RHP Brandon Bielak (2-1, 5.26 ERA) vs. LHP Brendan McKay (3-0, 0.00 ERA)
G3: RHP Nick McCarty (3-1, 2.15 ERA) vs. LHP Josh Rodgers (2-1, 5.68 ERA)
Notre Dame trails 8-16
First Meeting: W, A, 13-4 (4/18/1922)
Last Meeting: L, A, 10-5 (3/30/2013)
Aoki vs. Louisville: 1-5 (all at ND)
Live Video: WatchND (Links on UND.com)
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend (Chuck Freeby, pbp)
Live Stats: UND.com
Twitter Reports: @NDBaseball / @NDsidRuss
Weather Report (as of Thursday, March 19):
Friday, March 20: 57 Degrees / Mostly Sunny
Saturday, March 21: 51 Degrees / Sunny
Sunday, March 22: 45 Degrees / Mostly Sunny
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Riding a three-game win streak and looking to continue the momentum from its first Atlantic Coast Conference road series win in program history last week at Clemson, the University of Notre Dame baseball team opens its home ACC slate this weekend when the nationally-ranked Louisville Cardinals come to Frank Eck Stadium for a three-game series.
The Irish (15-4, 3-3 ACC) are off to their best start in recent memory, as they get ready for the first of five home ACC series at “The Eck.” After winning two at perennial power Clemson last weekend, Notre Dame opened its home slate Wednesday night with an 8-3 victory over Central Michigan.
In the game against the Chippewas, the Irish went up 5-0 through the first three innings and cruised to victory behind some solid pitching from sophomores Ryan Smoyer and Scott Tully and an outstanding Notre Dame defense that turned two more double plays to up their ACC-leading total to 31 and went errorless on the night.
Notre Dame scored four runs in the first inning against Central Michigan to get the game off to a great start. The quick start has been nothing new for the Irishthis year, as they has outscored theiropponents in the opening frame, 21-6, which is far and away the most lopsided inning for them. When Notre Dame has a lead after the first inning this year it is 8-0.
Continuing to lead the Irish offense is sophomore second baseman Cavan Biggio, who is tied for second in the ACC in doubles (9), third in on-base percentage (.522), fifth in batting average (.394) and slugging percentage (.662), tied for seventh in total bases (47), eighth in hits (28) and runs scored (22) and tied for eighth in walks (16).
In the field, Notre Dame leads Division I in double plays per game (1.58) and is second in double plays (30). The Irish have also shown steady improvement on defense after a tough start to the year, as they sit fourth in the league in fielding percentage (.970).
Louisville (15-6, 5-1 ACC) is ranked between No. 8 and No. 17 in all six college baseball top-25 polls and enters with a four-game winning streak after sweeping ACC opponent Boston College last weekend and taking down Purdue in a Tuesday non-conference contest. The Cardinals opened ACC play with a series win over then-No. 10 Miami two weeks ago.
The reigning American Athletic Conference champions, the Cardinals are in their first year in the ACC after advancing to the College World Series last year by sweeping both the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals.
Senior Sutton Whiting leads the Cardinals at the plate, as he stands third in the ACC in hitting with a .416 average to go along with a .541 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage.
On the mound, expected first round draft pick Kyle Funkhouser (1-2, 3.19 ERA, 34 SO) headlines the rotation and is slated to start against the Irish Friday night.
Louisville will then send out Brendan McKay (3-0, 0.00 ERA) and Josh Rogers (2-1, 5.68 ERA) for the Saturday and Sunday games.
Tickets are still available for walk-up purchase all weekend. Fans that can’t make it out can watch all three games for free online at WatchND.tv or by listening to WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director