April 15, 2010
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Owen T. Carroll Stadium
South Orange, New Jersey
Game-1, Friday (6:00 p.m.)
RHP Brian Dupra (2-2, 5.56 ERA) vs. RHP Joe DiRocco (4-3, 4.40 ERA)
Game-2, Saturday (1:00 p.m.)
LHP Steve Sabatino (2-4, 6.57 ERA) vs. RHP Frank Morris (1-2, 1.71 ERA)
Game-3, Sunday (12:00 p.m.)
RHP Eric Maust (0-3, 6.82 ERA) vs. RHP Jon Prosinski (1-2, 3.68 ERA)
All-Time Series: Notre Dame owns a 26-12 series edge over Seton Hall and won eight straight from the Pirates (2000-03),but the Irish own just a 7-6 series edge since that win streak. Notre Dame took two of three from Seton Hall at Eck Stadium in 2007, but the Pirates returned the favor in Notre Dame last season. The Irish dropped two of three in their last trip to Seton Hall in 2006.
IN THE BATTERS BOX - Notre Dame will travel to Seton Hall for a three-game BIG EAST series this weekend at Owen T. Carroll Field. The Irish last visited the Pirates during the 2006 season. First pitch for Friday's series opener at is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Saturday's contest will get underway at 1:00 p.m., while Sunday's series finale is slated to begin at 12:00 p.m. All three contests will be broadcast on WHME 103.1 FM and UND.com. Saturday and Sunday's games will also be streamed live on SHUPirates.com.
SETON HALL INSIDER - The Pirates, led by sixth year head coach Rob Sheppard, enter the series with a 13-17 overall record and 3-6 mark in BIG EAST action, but took two of three from Cincinnati last weekend.
- Seton Hall is averaging 4.8 runs per game and hitting .244 with a .337 on-base percentage. The Pirates have also totaled 30 stolen bases in 45 attempts.
- Seton Hall has just one player that is hitting over .300. Michael Rogers leads the team, batting at a .308 clip with three doubles, three triples and 10 RBI. He has also swiped a team-best 10 bases. The Pirates have only hit five home runs this season. Sean Gusrang leads Seton Hall with two long balls. Gusang also leads the team with 17 RBI, but is only batting .214.
A.J. Rusbarsky leads the team with 15 doubles and has also added one triple, one home run and 16 RBI.
- The pitching staff has a 4.12 ERA and .253 opponents' batting average along with 211 strikeouts and 111 walks in 266.1 innings. The weekend rotation for the Scarlet Knights will be made up of Joe DiRocco (4-3, eight starts), Frank Morris (1-2, three starts) and Jon Prosinski (1-2, seven starts). Benny Meija leads the team in ERA (among pitchers who have qualified with 1 IP/game), with a 3.50 mark to go along with 11 walks and 32 strikeouts in 36.0 innings. Prosinski is right behind Meija with a 3.68 ERA, 15 walks and 25 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. DiRocco comes in sporting a 4.40 ERA. In 43.0 innings, he has walked 21 and notched 35 strikeouts. Matt Singer is the Seton Hall closer. The stopper has made 18 appearances and recorded two saves, while recording a 3.70 ERA, striking out 20 and walking two in 24.1 innings.
- Seton Hall has committed 30 errors in 30 games and is fielding .974.
SETON HALL-NOTRE DAME ALL-TIME SERIES - Notre Dame owns a 26-12 series edge over Seton Hall and won eight straight from the Pirates (2000-03),but the Irish own just a 7-6 series edge since that win streak. Notre Dame took two of three from Seton Hall at Eck Stadium in 2007, but the Pirates returned the favor in Notre Dame last season. The Irish dropped two of three in their last trip to Seton Hall in 2006. Notre Dame has won nine of the previous 13 season series against Seton Hall (plus one split of a two-game series).
AROUND THE HORN
- LOTS-O-LINEUPS: Notre Dame's first 31 games have featured 29 different batting orders.
- YOUR UP: 12 different Irish players have already started at least 10 games this season.
- IT'S ALL ABOUT HITS: Notre Dame is 10-2 when it out-hits its opponent, but 2-15 when out-hit.
- DeSICO LOVES SOUTHPAWS: Freshman second baseman Frank Desico continues to feast on left-handed pitching. The second baseman is now batting .517 (15-for-29) on the season against southpawks.
- MILLS SACRIFICES FOR TEAM: Senior outfielder David Mills had two sacrifice flies in the victory over Oakland on April 6, which moved him into fifth place in Notre Dame history for total sacrifices in a career with 39 (28 sacrifice flies, 11 sacrifice bunts).
- ND SACRIFICES: The Irish finished with four sac flies against Oakland and now have registered 21 this season, which leads the BIG EAST. Notre Dame's school record is 41 set during the in 2002 campaign.
- CONNOLLY REACHES FOR A MILESTONE: Senior outfielder Ryan Connolly extended his streak of reaching base to 43 consecutive games on Tuesday against Chicago State. Connolly has now driven in 37 runs during the streak to go along with 10 home runs, 14 doubles, and averages of .353 (batting average), .660 (slugging), and .479 (on-base).
Active NCAA Streaks for Reaching Base Safely (via base hit/walk/hit by
46 games Michael Choice (UT Arlington) Jr./CF (5/1/09-Present)
43 games Ryan Connolly (Notre Dame) Sr./OF (5/3/09-Present)
- TWIN KILLINGS: Notre Dame registered four double plays in the victory over Chicago State on April 13. The four double plays were the most for the Irish since they turned four last season against Western Michigan; the feat is so rare, however, that it has now been accomplished by a Notre Dame team just four times in the last 12 seasons.
NEW JERSEY NATIVES - The 2010 Notre Dame baseball roster includes three players from New Jersey. Junior infielder Greg Sherry (Mendham/Delbarton H.S.), junior right-handed pitcher Evan Danieli (East Hanover/Seton Hall Prep) and sophomore southpaw Joe Spano (Verona/Seton Hall Prep) all hail from the Garden State.
ON DECK - After Notre Dame travels to Seton Hall this weekend for three games, the Irish face rival Michigan in a home-and-home series that opens at 6:35 p.m. in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 20. The Irish and Wolverines will return to South Bend and conclude the midweek series at 6:05 p.m. in Notre Dame on Wednesday, April 21.
RANKINGS - Notre Dame, as well as Seton Hall, are each unranked in all four polls.
RECAPPING THE RUTGERS SERIES The Notre Dame baseball team went 1-2 against BIG EAST foe Rutgers. The Irish captured the opener of the Scarlet Knights series, 9-8. However, Notre Dame was defeated, 25-5, on Saturday afternoon and dropped a close contest, 8-6, in 11 innings.
Junior Brian Dupra made the start for Notre Dame but struggled, throwing 101 pitches in 4.0+ innings. He yielded six runs (five earned) on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts, failing to extend his streak of 6.0+-inning outings to six. Mills worked a career-high 4.0 innings for the victory (1-1) in relief of Dupra, giving up two runs on a Jaren Matthews bomb. Mills also drove in a pair of runs, giving him nine RBI in his last four games.
RECAPPING THE GEORGETOWN SERIES The Notre Dame baseball team finished last week with a 1-2 record after its BIG EAST weekend series at Georgetown. The Irish rallied from a five-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score, 9-9, only to have the Hoyas answer with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to secure a 10-9 victory in the opener. Notre Dame responded with a 12-8 triumph on Friday to even the series. The Irish battled back from an early 7-0 deficit, drew within two runs, 9-7, and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but four errors and three unearned runs proved to be too much to overcome as Georgetown held on for a 11-7 victory in the series finale.
RECAPPING THE SPRING BREAK TRIP Notre Dame finished last week with a 2-4 record after dropping both games at Texas-Pan American before splitting its four games at the 2010 Irish Baseball Classic. The Irish lost 9-7 and 10-4 to the Broncos. In San Antonio, Notre Dame opened the tournament with a 10-6 victory over Bradley, then lost to Pacific, 8-4, but rebounded with a 6-3 triumph over Gonzaga. The Irish closed the weekend with a 3-2 defeat in the title game against Pacific.
RECAPPING THE BIG TEN/BIG EAST CHALLENGE Notre Dame struggled mightily in all three major facets of the game during its weekend trip to Clearwater, Fla. The Irish dropped its first two games of the 2010 Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge to Illinois and #13 Ohio State. The Irish did rebound with a 10-inning, 9-8 victory over Penn State.
RECAPPING THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE SERIES The Notre Dame baseball team opened its season with a three-game series sweep of Mississippi Valley State this past weekend. The Irish outscored the Delta Devils, 39-10, along the way and secured their first 3-0 start to a season since 2004. In fact, it is the first ever three-game series sweep away from home to open a season in the 118-year history of Irish baseball.
Notre Dame came into the season with the mantra, "898 committed to win S one team rock solid." The coaching staff generated the number 898 by adding up every player's jersey number on the roster. The message being pushed by the coaches and players since the opening of practice has been it will take contributions from every player to have a winning season. Well, the Irish mantra was in full effect this weekend.
Notre Dame used 32 players this weekend in the series sweep, including 12 pitchers. The Irish had seven different players with at least one hit in each of the first two victories and then topped that total in the series finale when 11 different players had base hits in the 19-3 rout of Mississippi Valley State. In fact, Notre Dame also had 15 separate players account for its 19 runs scored. The team effort was also evident with the Irish pitching staff. Those 12 pitchers combined to make 14 appearances and nine of which were scoreless outings.
The Irish pitching staff also displayed significant improvement in control. Notre Dame averaged just over 3.8 walks per nine innings in 2009, the highest by an Irish staff since 1999. Notre Dame¹s pitchers walked just seven batters in 27.0 innings of work over the weekend good for just 2.3 walks per nine innings.
JOHNSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM - Notre Dame placed junior RHP Cole Johnson on the preseason All-BIG EAST squad. Johnson, who earned second-team all-BIG EAST in 2009, went 7-3 with a 4.56 ERA last season. He struck out 64 in 94.2 innings of work and opponents batted just .252 against him.
PLENTY OF WAYS TO FOLLOW THE IRISH - Notre Dame baseball fans will have several options for tracking the 2010 season on a game-by-game basis, through live streaming video (Notre Dame home games only), live-audio broadcasts, GameTracker live stats, free Irish Alert text messages and the Notre Dame Twitter page.