April 29, 2014
Western Michigan: 15-23, 6-12 MAC (16-38, 8-19 MAC In 2013)
Projected Pitching Matchups:
Live Game Coverage:
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After a month away, the University of Notre Dame baseball team is returning to South Bend Wednesday night for a non-conference game with the Western Michigan Broncos at Four Winds Field. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m.
Notre Dame (17-26) and the Broncos (15-23) have a long rivalry that dates all the way back to 1914 when the Irish bested WMU, 6-1, at home. The Irish lead the all-time series by three games, 68-65-1, and have won nine of the last 11 meetings.
The Irish are making their return to Four Winds Field after home games in Chicago, Kalamazoo and Gary over the last month. Notre Dame last played at the Class A ballpark April 1 when it blasted Valparaiso, 11-1, behind an impressive outing from junior Scott Kerrigan. The Saugus, Calif., native went six innings and gave up three hits and a run to earn his first career victory.
Kerrigan (2-1) will get the nod Wednesday against the Broncos and will try to continue his remarkable last month of the season. After a rough first two outings to open the season as he returned from labrum surgery, Kerrigan didn’t see action for a month. Since he returned on March 22, he has been near lights out with a 0.77 ERA in 35 innings of work. During those eight appearances (2-0), Kerrigan has allowed just six runs (three earned) while striking out 23 and walking seven. His last five outings (21.2 innings) have been even more dominant as he sports a 0.42 ERA (1 ER) and has held opponents to a .197 batting average.
The righty will face off against a Bronco lineup that has three players hitting above .300 and another that is just below. Sophomore Brett Sunde leads the team with a .329 average and also has 46 hits, 25 RBI and 17 runs scored. Junior Andrew Sohn is right behind with a .310 average, 39 hits, 16 RBI, 23 runs scored and a team-high .422 on-base percentage. Sophomore Kurt Hoekstra rounds out the .300 trio with a .302 average, 42 hits, 24 runs and 14 walks.
Western Michigan lost two of three to Northern Illinois this past weekend at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo and plays Valparaiso Tuesday night.
Notre Dame is coming off a disappointing week where it lost to Central Michigan by one run in Kalamazoo last Wednesday before losing two in a row to end the series against Northeastern in Gary this past weekend.
Last year Notre Dame went on the road and held on against the home Broncos. The Irish took a 13-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning before Western scored eight runs to make the game very interesting late.
Tickets for the game against the Broncos are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students get in for free with a current student I.D. Faculty and staff can also get in for free with current I.D.
Fans that can’t make it out to Four Winds Field can follow WatchND’s online video stream with Chuck Freeby on the call. Gametracker will also be up and running and fans can also listen by way of WHME 103.1 FM in South Bend.
Notre Dame gets back into Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend as it hits the road for its final road ACC series at Maryland.
For more information on Notre Dame baseball, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball) and Twitter (@NDBaseball).
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director