April 29, 2010
Game-2, Saturday (1:05 p.m.)
Game-3, Sunday (12:05 p.m.)
Live Game Coverage
Saturday, May 1
Sunday, May 2
For complete notes, see the PDF listed above.
IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action against St. John's in a three-game series that opens at 6:05 p.m. on Friday at Frank Eck Stadium. The series resumes at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and concludes at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday. Live stats, live blogs and recaps of each game will be available on UND.com. The live web stream will be available for all three contests. Tickets for all Irish home contests this season are available through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), on-line at the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets), and at the Frank Eck Stadium ticket windows on game day.
SERIES NOTES -- Notre Dame leads the all-time series with St. John's, 25-14, overall, and 13-7 when the contests are played in Notre Dame. The Irish not only took two of three from the RedStorm in Queens to close the regular season last season, but Notre Dame upended St. John's twice at the BIG EAST tournament.
ST. JOHN'S INSIDER -- The Red Storm come into the series with Notre Dame sporting a 27-12 record, including a 10-5 mark in the BIG EAST and a 20-2 record in home and neutral site games. The squad is led by 15th-year skipper Ed Blankmeyer, who has amassed a 497-297-3 (.625) record with the Red Storm and is looking to lead St. John's to its seventh consecutive 30-win season.
TALE OF THE TAPE (2010 STATS) Notre Dame St. John's Batting Average .284 .334 Runs Per Game 5.78 8.56 Home Runs 26 31 Slugging Percentage .403 .495 Batters' BB+HBP-SO Margin -70 -7 On-Base Percentage .358 .417 Stolen Bases 25-35 52-66 Team ERA 5.28 5.42 Opponent Batting Average .289 .266 Pitchers' SO-BB Ratio 1.82 1.29 Pitchers' SO Per 9 Innings 6.66 7.43 Pitchers' BB Per 9 Innings 3.66 5.78 Fielding Pct. (Errors) .962 (61) .967 (50) Double Plays Turned 33 39 Record at Home 7-8 17-2 Record on Road (including neutral) 12-14 10-10 Record in One-Run Games 5-4 9-0 Record in Extra Innings 2-1 3-1DeSICO LOVES SOUTHPAWS -- Freshman second baseman Frank Desico continues to feast on left-handed pitching. The second baseman is now batting .459 (17-for-37) on the season against southpaws. DeSico made his 34th consecutive start at second base for Notre Dame against Valparaiso on April 28.
MILLS SACRIFICES FOR TEAM -- Senior designated hitter David Mills leads the Irish with six sacrifice flies and nine total sacrifices in 2010. Mills, who also owns the single-season school record for sacrifice hits with 19 in 2008, has 44 career sacrifices, including 30 career sacrifice hits. He ranks fourth all-time in career sacrifice hits and tied for fourth all time in total sacrifices.
NOTRE DAME SACRIFICES -- The Irish have registered 26 this season, which leads the BIG EAST. Notre Dame's school record is 41 set during the in 2002 campaign.
CONNOLLY'S STREAK COMES TO AND END -- Notre Dame senior left fielder Ryan Connolly saw his streak of consecutive games reaching base safely (via base hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch) end at 47 games after an 0-for-3 day against Michigan on April 21. The fifth-year senior had extended the streak in his last plate appearance on five different occasions, but he could not do so against the Wolverines, grounding out in his third and final at bat before being pinch-hit for in the eighth inning. The streak was the second-longest in NCAA Division I baseball this season, bested only by the current 50-game streak by Michael Choice of UT Arlington. Connolly's statistics during the streak.
AVG PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI .347 212 167 43 58 14 2 10 39
BLISTERING HOT -- Senior left fielder Ryan Connolly has 12 hits and 21 total bases in his last 17 at bats, good for a .706 batting average and a 1.235 slugging clip; the stretch has raised his season average from .333 to .377. Connolly has 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 53 games since becoming a full-time starter on May 8 of last season.
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. Notre Dame posted three in the series finale at Seton Hall and added three more in the midweek series against Michigan. The Irish registered just 17 double plays over their first 26 games, but have turned 15 in their last 15 outings.
NOT SO RUN OF THE MILLS -- Senior designatted hitter/pitcher David Mills did it all for Notre Dame over the week of April 11-18 as the Irish went 4-0, including a three-game series sweep at Seton Hall. Notre Dame had not swept the Pirates in South Orange since 2002. In fact, Seton Hall had not been swept in a BIG EAST series at home by anyone since April of 2007. Mills not only registered two saves, pitched in all four games, but did not allow a run in 5.0 scoreless innings of relief. He also batted .444 (8-for-18) for the week with four runs scored and two RBI. In fact, both RBI came with two outs, including his game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth inning in Sunday's series finale with the Pirates to secure the sweep. In the sweep of Seton Hall, Mills hit .500 and tossed 4.2 scoreless innings of relief with a save. Despite his prowess at the plate, Mills most critical service came on the mound. With the Irish clinging to a two-run lead over Chicago State and the tying run at the plate, the southpaw came on and retired the only batter he faced to record his first save of the season. Then, in the series opener at Seton Hall, Mills not only tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to keep the game tied, 5-5, but went 3-for-5 and scored the game-winning run. The senior then went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the 2-1 victory over the Pirates on Saturday. In the victory, Mills also registered his second save of the week. He came on with two on, two out and the tying run in scoring position, but fanned Ryan Sullivan to end the eighth. Mills then retired Seton Hall 1-2-3 in the ninth. He still managed to overshadow those performances in the series finale with the Pirates. Mills went 3-for-5 with the game-winning RBI and two runs scored. He also added 1.2 scoreless innings of relief in his third relief appearance of the weekend. The southpaw struck out two and yielded one hit.
NO ROUND TRIPS -- The Irish have not yielded a long ball since April 10 against Rutgers, a span of 12 games and 472 batters. The streak is the longest since the 2006 squad went 24 games in a row without giving up a home run.
STARTERS LIGHTS OUT -- Notre Dame is 8-3 over its past 11 games, due in large part to stellar starting pitching. In those contests, Irish starters are 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA--over the last six games, the numbers are even more striking, as the starters have combined for a 1.21 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. Sophomore Steve Sabatino, senior Eric Maust, junior Cole Johnson and junior Todd Miller have combined to give Notre Dame an active streak of 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings from its starters.
BULLPEN JUST AS GOOD -- The numbers for the Irish pen are actually even better during the 8-3 run, as the bullpen has compiled a 2.25 ERA over that stretch, giving up just 39 hits in 68.0 innings (.214 opponents' batting average). Take out the Michigan game on April 21 in which the bullpen yielded nine runs, and the ERA dips to 1.21. The Irish staff as a whole has a 2.38 ERA over the 11 games and is holding opponents to a .238 batting clip.
BULLPEN CARRIES THE IRISH TO PERFECT WEEK -- Notre Dame's depth of pitching, especially in the bullpen has been challenged in 2010 due in part to a number of injuries to key contributors, but sophomore Will Hudgins, senior David Mills, sophomore Joe Spano and senior Steven Mazur have carried the load and the quartet was instrumental in the perfect 4-0 mark and series sweep at Seton Hall over the week of April 11-18. Hudgins, Mills, Spano and Mazur tossed 9.2 scoreless innings of relief in the series against the Pirates. They combined to punch out 11 Seton Hall batters and walked only three. The Pirates managed just five hits and batted only .147 against them all weekend.
IF ONLY AN INNING ENDED WITH TWO OUTS -- Notre Dame has been victimized with two outs the entire season. Irish opponents are hitting .337 (149-for-442) with two outs and have registered 112 two-out RBI this season, which is over three per game. Notre Dame has a mere 65 two-out RBI and hitting only .272.