May 23, 2016
By Russell Dorn
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame baseball player Matt Vierling earned a spot on the Atlantic Coast Conference all-freshman team Monday following a rookie campaign that saw him become a mainstay in the Irish outfield from day one while providing the program with plenty of memorable moments at the plate, on the mound and in the outfield.
A starter in all 54 games during the regular season, Vierling finished the year splitting .258/.322/.366 with 55 hits, three doubles, one triple, six homers, 29 RBI, 20 walks, three stolen bases and 26 runs scored. The St. Louis native placed second on the team in homers, RBI and runs, tied for second in walks and third in hits.
While making 52 starts in the outfield (31 RF, 20 CF, 1 LF) and two at designated hitter, Vierling posted a .985 fielding percentage in 134 chances and finished 2-1 on the mound with a 3.60 ERA over 10 appearances and 10.0 innings pitched. He struck out 12 batters and only allowed one run over his final seven inning of work.
Vierling finished with 17 multi-hit games and six multi-RBI contests, recorded 12 two-out RBI and posted a 13-game on-base streak to begin the season.
The righty was especially impressive during the non-conference portion of the season, posting a .320/.389/.474 split with 31 hits (1 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR), 21 RBI, 11 walks and 13 runs scored.
Two of his biggest moments came in clutch situations against non-conference foes Niagara and Central Michigan.
In a game against Niagara March 6, Vierling hurled a clean 10th frame against the Purple Eagles before bashing a 3-1 pitch over the leftfield wall at the USA Baseball Complex to give the Irish a 5-4, extra-inning victory.
A month later against Central Michigan April 20, Vierling tied the game in the seventh with a three-run homer, pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts and hit a game-winning single in the ninth to give the Irish the 7-6 win.
Vierling also hit homers at Santa Clara, versus No. 17 Michigan and Boston College and at No. 20 North Carolina.
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.