April 2, 2009
|Notre Dame vs. Villanova|
|Records:||Irish (16-10, 2-4 BIG EAST) vs. Wildcats (14-12, 1-5 BIG EAST)|
|When:||Fri., Apr. 3 – 5:05 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 4 – 1:05 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 5 – 12:05 p.m.
|Where:||Frank Eck Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.|
|Pitching Matchup:||ND: RHP Cole Johnson (3-0, 2.75)
VU: RHP RHP Brian Streilein (3-3, 6.55)
ND: RHP Brian Dupra (2-3, 6.40)
VU: LHP Kevin Crimmel (2-1, 4.15)
ND: RHP Eric Maust (2-2, 6.61)
VU: RHP Chris Pack (3-3, 3.79)
IN THE BATTERS BOX — Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action this weekend with a three-game series against Villanova at Frank Eck Stadium. First pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 5:05 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 1:05 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is slated for 12:05 p.m. All three games can be heard on WHME 103.1 FM as well as UND.com (which will also provide live webcasts).
VILLANOVA INSIDER — The Panthers come into the series with the Irish riding a two-game winning streak. Villanova routed Coppin State, 21-3, on Wednesday night after racing past Temple, 14-10, on Tuesday. The Wildcats dropped two of three last weekend to West Virginia after getting swept by St. John’s to open the BIG EAST campaign. Villanova did, however, own an eight-game winning streak heading into that series with the Red Storm.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS — Villanova, led by eighth year head coach Joe Godri, enter the series with a 14-12 overall record and 1-5 mark in BIG EAST play.
- The Wildcats are averaging 7.3 runs per game and hitting .295 with a .409 on-base percentage. Villanova has also totaled 58 stolen bases in 74 attempts.
- The Wildcats have five everyday players that are hitting over .300, but also have three everyday players batting below .240. Matt Szczur leads the attack with a team-best .400 batting average. He has added 24 runs scored, a team-high 36 hits and team-best 14 stolen bases. Szczur also has four doubles, a triple, home run and 12 RBI. David Korczirka is hitting .397 with 13 runs scored, 29 hits, eight doubles, two triples, a home run and 21 RBI. Matt McFolling is batting .388 and leads Villanova with 25 RBI and three home runs. He has also added 21 runs scored, seven doubles and two triples. Dain Hall and Joe Cotter are the final two Wildcats hitting above .300. Hall owns a .319 batting average, while Cotter is hitting .318. Hall leads Villanova with 10 doubles and 25 runs scored. Cotter leads the Wildcats with four triples. The tandem has swiped 19 bases (10 for Hall and nine for Cotter). Villanova has hit just 11 home runs this season as a team and has struck out 178 times.
- The pitching staff has a 5.50 ERA and .293 opponents’ batting average along with 165 strikeouts and 103 walks in 224.0 innings pitched. Mike Francisco is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 13 appearances over 22.0 innings, while Will Hebard (0-0, 6.43), Kyle McMyne (1-2, 8.53), Thomas Tesauro (1-1, 8.71), Kyle Carver (0-0, 9.35) and Jerry Battipaglia (0-0, 9.64) are other options out of the Wildcats’ bullpen. Villanova has committed 28 errors in 26 games and is fielding .972.
SERIES NOTES — Notre Dame has won 25 of 29 previous games against Villanova (13-1-1 over the last 15 meetings), with the Irish owning a 13-0-1 mark against the Wildcats at Frank Eck Stadium.
- Notre Dame is 8-1 all-time against Villanova at Villanova Ballpark (moved from Ashburn Field after the 2002 season).
- The Irish beat the Wildcats in a 1996 BIG EAST Tournament elimination game (7-3), but Villanova posted a pair of tournament wins over Notre Dame in 1997 (10-5, 4-4).
- The Wildcats again were a thorn in the Irish side come BIG EAST Tournament in 2007, slipping past Notre Dame, 3-2, in an elimination contest.
- The Irish swept Villanova in 2006 and 2008 at Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
- Notre Dame also took 2-of-3 from the Wildcats in 2003 in Plymouth Meeting, with that series starting a day late due to wet field conditions.
- The late finish of the first game then pushed the rest of the series to a rare Monday doubleheader.
— ND —