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Notre Dame Baseball Closes Out Season With Home Series Against Pitt

May 14, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



Baseball Closes Out Season With Home Series Against Pitt

The Irish will honor seniors Sean Fitzgerald, Donnie Hissa and Forrest Johnson in a
pre-game ceremony Friday night.


ACC Series 10: Pittsburgh

May 15-17, 2014

5:35 / 5:35 / 1:05 p.m. (ET)

Frank Eck Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)



Team Information:

Notre Dame: 19-31, 6-21 ACC (34-24, 10-14 BIG EAST In 2013)

2013 Postseason: Lost To UConn In BIG EAST Final



Pittsburgh: 22-27, 11-16 ACC (42-17, 18-6 BIG EAST In 2013)

2013 Postseason: 2-2 at BIG EAST Tournament (2 Lís to ND)



Rankings:

Neither Team Is Ranked



Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Pat Connaughton (2-5) vs. T.J. Zeuch (2-5)

G2: LHP Michael Hearne (4-6) vs. RHP Matt Wotherspoon (5-5)

G3: TBA vs. TBA



Series History:

Notre Dame leads 34-18

First Meeting: W, A, 5-3 (4/27/1951)

Last Meeting: W, N, 3-2 (10) (5/25/2013)

Aoki vs. Pittsburgh: 6-5 (all at ND)



Game Coverage:

Live Video: WatchND (Links on UND.com)

Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp) or

WatchND (Links on UND.com)

Live Stats: Gametracker (Links on UND.com)

Twitter Reports: @ND Baseball / @NDsidRuss



Weather Report (as of Wednesday, May 14):

Thursday, May 15: 47 Degrees / 50% chance of showers

Friday, May 16: 47 Degrees / 40% chance of showers
Saturday, May 17: 54 Degrees / 30% chance of showers

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On the heels of a thrilling home series win over then-No. 22
Clemson, the University of Notre Dame baseball team closes out its 2014 season on
graduation weekend with a three-game home series against former BIG EAST rival and
current Atlantic Coast Conference foe Pittsburgh at Frank Eck Stadium.

The Irish (19-31, 6-21 ACC) enter the Pitt series after the best ACC weekend of
their season where they knocked off the ranked Clemson Tigers twice - including an
impressive 11-3 victory Sunday - to claim their second conference series victory of
the season in addition to winning the first series played on the new
state-of-the-art FieldTurf that was installed recently on Jake Kline Field at Frank
Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame made the most of its first true home series of the season as it earned a
gritty 2-1 victory Friday night before bouncing back from its seventh shutout of the
season (8-0) Saturday to blast Clemson Sunday. The highlight of the 11-3 offensive
showcase was a four-run fifth inning where juniors Phil
Mosey<http://www.und.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/phil_mosey_783357.html> and Robert
Youngdahl<http://www.und.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/robert_youngdahl_866580.html> and
freshman Cavan
Biggio<http://www.und.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/cavan_biggio_866581.html> all cracked
homers.

For Youngdahl, Sunday (4-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) put the finishing touches on
an impressive turnaround last half of the season for the Iowa Western transfer from
New Brighton, Minn. After starting off his Irish career with 10 hits in his first
seven games (.370 avg.), Youngdahl went into a tough slump that saw his average dip
to .169 over the next 18 contests.

However, since April 4 (23 games) he has hit .288 with seven doubles and three
triples (.488 SLG%) to up his average to .227. Youngdahl is tied for third in the
ACC with four triples on the year and leads the Irish in homers (3) and three RBI
games (3) in addition to triples. He is also tied for third on the team with nine
multi-hit outings.

Biggio has also shown great improvement as of late. After hitting a season-low
average of .228 on March 30, the Houston, Texas native is batting .283 with 15 hits,
five doubles, seven RBI, six walks and three sac flies since. He is tied for first
in the ACC (8th in DI) in sac flies for the year with eight.

On the mound, junior Scott
Kerrigan<http://www.und.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/scott_kerrigan_783356.html> has been
absolutely splendid since his reemergence in the lineup (March 22) as he sports a
1.03 ERA (3-0) in a team-best 52.2 innings of work. During that span, the Saugus,
Calif., native has allowed just six earned runs and is holding opposing bats to just
a .198 average. Kerrigan's season has put him in elite company among some dominating
ACC arms as he is fifth in the league in ERA (1.77).

Heading into this weekend, the Irish are looking to play spoiler as the Panthers sit
in a tie for 10th place in the ACC with NC State. Only 10 teams make next weekend’s
ACC Tournament and an Irish series win would probably spell the end of Pitt’s
season.

Pittsburgh (22-27, 11-16 ACC) enters the series after getting swept at home by
Maryland last weekend (21-1, 5-1, 6-4). The Panthers sport a .238 team batting
average and a 4.07 team ERA. In ACC play, those numbers are .227 and 4.46. At the
plate senior Casey Roche leads the team in average (.275) while senior Stephen
Vranka paces the squad in doubles (13), walks (31) and slugging percentage (.411).

The Panthers will send RHP T.J. (2-5, 3.02 ERA) to the mound Friday and RHP Matt
Wotherspoon (5-5, 4.71 ERA) to the bump Saturday to faceoff against RHP Pat
Connaughton (2-5, 4.42 ERA) and LHP Michael Hearne (4-6, 2.77 ERA).

Connaughton picked up the unusual win last Friday night, as he looked dominant at
times in going eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits. However, he
also walked eight, had three wild pitches and no strikeouts in the 2-1 Irish
victory.

After going seven innings in an outing just once in the first 26 appearances of his
career, the Arlington, Mass., native has been an innings eater the second half of
this season as he has gone at least 6.2 innings in his last five appearances
including a complete-game win against Boston College and two-consecutive
eight-inning performances at Maryland and versus the Tigers.

Game one and two of the three-game set are slated to get underway at 5:35 p.m.
Thursday and Friday with Saturday’s season-finale beginning at 1:05 p.m.

Notre Dame’s three seniors (Fitzgerald, Hissa and Johnson) will be honored in a
pre-game ceremony around 5:15 p.m. Friday.

Thursday is Military Appreciation Day and all veterans get in free to the game.
Tickets for other fans are available and are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and
seniors. Notre Dame faculty, staff and students get in free with their ID.

Fans that can’t make the series can watch all three games online for free through
WatchND. Gametracker will also be up and running.

For the latest news and promotions surrounding Notre Dame baseball, follow the Irish
on Facebook (/NDBaseball) and Twitter (@NDBaseball).


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