March 31, 2017
|NC State Series|
|Game One||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
|Game Two||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
|Game Three||ACC Network Extra||WatchND|
By Michael Scholl
Five Things To Know
- The Notre Dame baseball team concludes an eight-game homestand this weekend as NC State visits for a three-game series. The Irish host the Wolfpack at 6:05 p.m. on Friday, 4:05 p.m. on Saturday and 1:05 pm. on Sunday. All three games can be seen on ACC Network Extra and heard on WatchND.
- NC State leads the all-time series with Notre Dame 8-3. The teams only met once prior to Notre Dame’s ACC membership for the 2014 season, with the Wolfpack winning a 10-8 decision in Orlando, Florida. NC State swept a three-game set in 2014 in Raleigh, before the Irish won two-of-three in 2015 at Frank Eck Stadium. NC State also took a 3-0 win at the ACC tournament that year in Durham, North Carolina. Last season, NC State won two-of-three games in Raleigh, winning games one (9-1) and three (16-6), while the Irish won game two, 8-4, in 12 innings.
- The San Diego State game on Feb. 25 saw head coach Mik Aoki shuffle his infield after the Irish started 1-5 while committing 15 errors in six games. Since putting Kyle Fiala at third, Cole Daily at shortstop, Nick Podkul at second and Daniel Jung at first, the Irish are 7-10 while making 18 errors in 17 games. The defense has been especially strong since the start of ACC play, with Notre Dame playing errorless baseball in six of the nine conference games.
- After earning Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors a season ago, Matt Vierling has emerged as one of the most versatile players in the country this season. In addition to a .310 average and team-best 18 RBI, he boasts Notre Dame’s longest on-base streak of the year with a 13-game streak that ended against Chicago State. Meanwhile the starting center fielder has become Mik Aoki’s go-to on the mound in late-game situations. Vierling has made six appearances on the season, earning a pair of saves and a win while allowing three earned runs in eight innings of work.
- Nick Podkul enters the NC State series with Notre Dame’s longest active on-base streak, having reaching in the last 11 games. He has moved into second on the team with a .315 average, trailing only Daniel Jung’s .322. He’s become the latest option in the leadoff spot for Aoki, topping the batting order the last two games, going 2-6 with a run scored in that spot.
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.