March 2, 2017
By Michael Scholl
|USA BASEBALL-IRISH CLASSIC GAMEDAY CENTRAL|
|Ticket Information // Game Notes|
Five Things to Know
- The University of Notre Dame Baseball team plays its final in-season tournament this weekend, hosting the USA Baseball-Irish Classic in Cary, North Carolina. The tournament takes place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, with the Irish taking on Maryland, UMass Lowell, Rhode Island and Monmouth. NC State, Dayton and William & Mary round out the field. Notre Dame is hosting the event for the fifth time in the past six seasons, with the lone exception being 2015 when the event was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Irish have an all-time mark of 10-5 at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic.
- Senior co-captain Kyle Fiala led the Irish in a 7-6 loss to San Diego State in the club’s most recent game. Fiala was 4-for-5 with an inside-the-park home run to cap a five-run seventh inning which gave the Irish the lead. He became the first Notre Dame player to make the 360-foot sprint for a score since Cavan Biggio on February 18, 2016, at Santa Clara in the season-opener. Prior to Biggio, the last Irish player with an inside-the-park home run was David Mills at West Virginia in 2008.
- The Irish have a history with two of the teams they will face on the diamond this weekend. Notre Dame and Maryland have only met for a three-game series during Notre Dame’s first year in the ACC, which was Maryland’s last before joining the Big Ten. Notre Dame and UMasss Lowell have never met. Note Dame does have one former player who hails from Lowell, Massachusettes, in Jack Cambell who had a 10-7 record as a southpaw from 1947-49. The Irish and Rhody met at the 2013 USA Baseball-Irish Classic, a 4-3 Rams victory. Notre Dame and Monmouth have never met, but Irish pitching coach Chuck Ristano held the same role with the Hawks for four seasons, helping Monmouth to Northeast Conference titles and NCAA Regional bids in 2007 and 2009. Notre Dame did play the Monmouth College in Illinois twice, winning games at Monmouth in 1902 and 1907.
Maryland – All-time series: 3-0 Maryland (Last: 5/4/2014, 3-2 UMD at Maryland)
UMass Lowell – First Meeting
Rhode Island – All-time series: 1-0 Rhode Island (Last: 3/3/2013, 4-3 URI at Cary, NC)
Monmouth (NJ) – First Meeting
- No Irish players hail from North Carolina, however, there are a few who have an opportunity to defeat a team from home. Peter Solomon is a Maryland native. Three Irish players hail from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Shane Combs (Wellesley), Jack Connolly (Raynham) and Scott Tully (Reading), while another five are from New Jersey in Brandon Bielak (Sayerville), Eric and Michael Feliz (Engelwood Cliffs), Evy Ruibal (Millburn) and Jack Sheehan (Brielle). The Irish roster has no players from the nation’s smallest state with the longest name, Rhode Island.
- All three Irish pitchers featured in the D1Baseball Top 100 College Prospects are slated to start for Mik Aoki’s club this weekend. Brandon Bielak (No. 82) will throw on Friday against Maryland, Peter Solomon (No. 16) will take on UMass Lowell on Saturday and Brad Bass (No. 96) gets the ball on Sunday versus Monmouth.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ ND Ã¢â‚¬â€
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.