April 7, 2014
Games 31 & 32:
Chicago State: 9-17, 0-6 WAC (10-45, 5-23 Great West In 2013)
Michigan: 14-17-1, 4-5 Big Ten (29-27, 14-10 Big Ten In 2013)
Michigan leads Notre Dame, 87-45
Live Game Coverage:
Weather Report (as of Monday, April 7):
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame baseball team looks to continue its six-game winning streak in non-conference games this week as the Irish hit the road for a pair of mid-week tilts. The squad will head to Chicago for a 6 p.m. (CT) Tuesday game against the Chicago State Cougars (Cougar Stadium) before making the journey to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday matchup with the Michigan Wolverines (Ray Fisher Stadium).
Fans can listen to both games on WHME 103.1 FM/WatchND. In addition, live stats will be available for both contests. Tuesday's game at CSU can also be viewed through free online video. Links for all three are on UND.com and at the top of this story.
After losing three consecutive non-conference games by a total of four runs to Santa Clara (8-7), then-No. 19 UCLA (2-1) and Michigan (4-2, 10 innings) from Feb. 23-March 1, the Irish have run off six straight wins over Youngstown State (6-3), Appalachian State (4-3, 13-9), Robert Morris (IL) (3-0) and Valparaiso (4-1, 11-1).
In those six wins, the Irish are batting .314 with freshman Kyle Fiala (.458) and sophomore Lane Richards (.417) leading the way among the regular starters. Senior catcher Forrest Johnson has played in all six games and is hitting a ridiculous .636 to go along with a 1.091 slugging percentage. Freshman catcher Ryan Lidge has played in five of the games and is hitting .429. As a team, Notre Dame is averaging over 10 hits and five runs per contest.
Chicago State (9-17) is looking to snap a nine-game losing streak after being swept by Utah Valley State at home this past weekend. The Cougars are batting .268 as a team and sport a 5.21 ERA. Tuesday night's starter Andrew Wellwerts (1-5) has struggled in seven outings this season and has a 7.36 ERA in 36.2 innings of work. Wellwerts does lead the team in strikeouts with 27. Freshman Sanford Hunt leads CSU with a .367 batting average and has started 21 games.
Michigan (14-17-1) lost a series to Minnesota this past weekend after winning a series at Iowa the weekend before. The Wolverines are batting .243 as a team and are led by junior outfielder Jackson Glines, who has team highs in hits (.37), doubles (10), triples (3) and RBI (20) and is tied for the lead in multiple others. The pitching staff sports a 3.38 ERA.
Notre Dame boasts a 28-2 record over Chicago State and has won 11 straight in the series. Against the Wolverines, the Irish are looking to snap a four-game losing streak. In the first game against Michigan this season, Notre Dame took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic only to give up a pair of runs in the top of the eighth to send the game to extras. Two more runs in the 10th inning gave the Wolverines the extra-inning win.
For Michigan, Glines had a hit and two runs, while third baseman Jacob Cronenworth had three hits and two RBI at the plate before moving to the mound and earning the win with two innings of no-hit ball.
AROUND THE BASES
LEADING THE NATION
After turning five double plays at No. 1 Florida State, the Irish upped their nation-leading total to 42 for the year. Notre Dame also reclaimed the lead in double plays per game from Hofstra as the Irish are now averaging 1.40 per contest. ACC foe Georgia Tech is nipping on Notre Dame's heels, however, as the Yellow Jackets have turned 41 on the year.
Notre Dame brought out some new jerseys for Sunday's doubleheader at No. 1 Florida State and the jerseys immediately went viral on Twitter as a picture of Johnson, junior Kevin DeFilippis and freshman Cavan Biggio was retweeted over and over again. As the team was flying back from Tallahassee, ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell tweeted out the photo to his 457,000+ followers and MLB Fan Cave did the same to their 418,000+ followers. Uniswag also retweeted the photo to their 63,200+ followers. While there was certainly some mixed reaction, the jerseys as a whole were extremely popular nationally. Pictures of the jersey can be found on Twitter @NDBaseball and @NDsidRuss.
PETE FRATES #3 FUND WEEKEND REMINDER
As a reminder to fans, this weekend the Irish are set to do battle in a three-game series with rival Boston College at Chicago State. The weekend is being used to help raise money for the Pete Frates #3 Fund, a foundation set up by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki coached when he was at BC. Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 and has been raising awareness for the disease ever since. All the ticket sales from the weekend will go directly to the fund. The Irish will also auction off the red jerseys they'll wear on UND.com and donate all of that money to the fund as well. Please stay tuned to the website this week as more information is announced about this special weekend.
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director