March 16, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame will host Ball State on Tuesday, March 17 at 5:05 p.m. at Frank Eck Stadium as the Irish not only celebrate their home opener, but also St. Patrick's Day.
Notre Dame is 10-5 after taking five of its six games last week against Grambling and at the Irish Classic in San Antonio, Texas. The Irish sport their best record to open a season after 15 games since 2004 (when Notre Dame was 13-2).
Freshman Dustin Ispas (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) will take the mound for Notre Dame on Tuesday. The left-handed hurler (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has made two appearances (one start) for a total of 6.2 innings pitched. He has allowed two hits and four walks while striking out four. Ispas has not allowed a home run and opponents are batting .095 against him. He was excellent in his first career start against Grambling on March 10 surrendering one unearned run on two hits in 6.0 innings of work. Ispas struck out three and walked four.
The Cardinals (9-7) come into the contest following this weekend's series victory over Chicago State. Ball State took three of the four games against the Bobcats. Ball State is paced offensively by Jeremy Hazelbaker (.463, 1 HR, 12 RBI) and Kory Benbow (.364, 4 HR, 19 RBI).
THE IRISH ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY (March 17)
Note: This assumes St. Patrick's Day as being on March 17 and does not take into account years like this where the Pope moved it to avoid Holy Week.
OPENING DAY AT THE ECK