April 12, 2016

By Russell Dorn

Midweek Games #5 & 6: Chicago State & Valparaiso
April 12-13, 2016
6:05 p.m. / 6:05 p.m. (Both ET)
Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Team Information:

Notre Dame: 16-12, 6-7 ACC (37-23, 17-13 ACC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ ACC Tourney & 1-2 @ NCAA Champaign Regional

Chicago State: 7-23, 1-8 WAC (13-40-1, 6-19-1 WAC In 2015)
2015 Postseason: Did not qualify for postseason

Valparaiso: 10-15, 5-3 Horizon (22-31, 15-14 Horizon In 2015)
2015 Postseason: 1-2 @ Horizon League Tournament

Rankings: No ranked teams

Game 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 Matchup:
Tuesday: ND RHP Ryan Smoyer (2-3, 3.25 ERA) vs. CSU LHP Josh Willis (1-2, 7.12 ERA)
Wednesday: ND LHP Michael Hearne (3-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. Valpo RHP Ellis Foreman (0-0, 3.31 ERA)

Weather Report (as of Tuesday, April 12):
Tuesday, April 12: 44/40 & Sunny
Wednesday, April 13: 57/33 & Partly Cloudy

Series History: Notre Dame leads Chicago State 30-2 / Notre Dame leads Valparaiso 76-21
Aoki vs. Chicago State / Valparaiso: 2-0 vs. CSU (all @ ND) / 4-1 vs. Valpo (all @ ND)
First Meeting: CSU – 4/1/1986: W, 8-4 – Home / Valpo – 5/14/1918: W, 4-2 – Home

Last Four Meetings:
Vs. Chicago State
4/22/2015: W, 11-0 – Home
4/8/2014: W, 6-1 – Away
4/13/2010: W, 6-4 – Home
4/22/2008: W, 12-2 – Home

Vs. Valparaiso
4/8/2015: W, 6-0 – Home
4/1/2014: W, 11-1 – Home
3/26/2014: W, 4-1 – Home
4/3/2013: W, 3-1 – Home

Marketing & Promotions: Tuesday – The Bald & The Beautiful will be out offering free haircuts … fans with certain hair lengths can donate, others can shave their heads in support … fans can also buy t-shirts & hair extensions in support.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Riding a four-game midweek winning streak, the University of Notre Dame baseball team welcomes in a pair of regional foes in Chicago State and Valparaiso to Frank Eck Stadium this week.

The Irish and Cougars will play at 6:05 p.m. (ET) Tuesday before the Crusaders come to town for a 6:05 p.m. (ET) Wednesday showdown.

Notre Dame opened its home midweek slate with victories over Toledo (March 16), UIC (March 22), No. 30 Oregon (March 31) and No. 17 Michigan (April 5).

Tickets for both games are available at UND.com/buytickets or at the Frank Eck Stadium box office on game day. Adult tickets are $5 per game, while a youth/senior ticket is $3 per game. Irish faculty, staff and students are admitted free with a valid ID.

Here’s what you need to know about the two games:

  1. After missing just about a month (13 games) with an injured hand, junior third baseman Kyle Fiala made his return to the lineup this past Sunday against No. 2 Miami by totaling a hit, walk and run scored.
  1. Regular Friday starter Ryan Smoyer will take the mound for the Irish against Chicago State after missing his scheduled start this past weekend against the Hurricanes due to the weather cancellations … the Bowling Green, Ohio native has four quality starts on the year and boasts a 2-3 record and 3.25 ERA … he is 3-0 in his career when starting midweek games (4 starts).
  1. Midweek starter Michael Hearne has played a key role in the Irish getting off to such an impressive start at home … the senior is 3-0 on the year (3.18 ERA), but the Irish are 6-0 when he takes the bump to start the game.
  1. Notre Dame and Chicago State have played 32 times dating back to 1986 … meanwhile, the Irish and Valparaiso have met a remarkable 97 times going all the way back to 1918, the same year that World War I officially came to a close.

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 communications from Georgia State University in 2011.