May 14, 2009
Notre Dame vs. St. John's
Jack Kaiser Stadium
Live Game Coverage
Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, p-b-p); UND.com
Thursday, May 14
High 65, Low 59
Friday, May 15
Early AM Showers
High 73, Low 57
Saturday, May 16
High 68, Low 58
IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action this weekend with its final regular season series of 2009 at St. John's. First pitch for Thursday and Friday is slated for 6:00 p.m., while Saturday's game will begin at 1:00 p.m. All three games can be heard on WHME 103.1 FM as well as UND.com. Saturday's contest will also be televised by CBS College Sports. This weekend's series concludes Notre Dame's treck through the top four teams in the BIG EAST standings.
THE BIG EAST RACE -- Notre Dame enters the final weekend of the regular season alone in fifth place, but could still finish anywhere from third to ninth.
- The Irish can secure a spot in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament with just one victory this weekend against the Red Storm.
- Notre Dame trails third-place West Virginia by 3.0 games and fourth-place St. John's by two games. However, the Irish lead both Connecticut and Seton Hall (each of whom took two of three from Notre Dame) by just 1.0 game. Notre Dame owns a 1.5 game lead over Pittsburgh and a 2.0 game advantage over Cincinnati, but both the Panthers and Bearcats also own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Irish.
- The rest of the league schedule for this weekend, includes USF at Louisville, West Virginia at Pittsburgh, Seton Hall at Cincinnati, Connecticut at Villanova and Rutgers at Georgetown.
THE RED STORM INSIDER -- St. John's, led by 13th year head coach Ed Blankmeyer, enters the series with a 28-18 overall record and a 15-9 mark in BIG EAST action.
- The Red Storm are averaging 9.3 runs per game and hitting .351 as a team with a .425 on-base and .515 slugging percentage. St. John's has also totaled 50 stolen bases in 69 attempts.
- The Red Storm have 11 players that have started at least 18 games and each is batting over .311. In fact, seven among that group are hitting at a clip over .340. Tim Morris leads the attack with a team-best .419 batting average. He has added 62 runs scored, 80 hits, 17 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 56 RBI. Jimmy Parque is hitting .375 with 48 runs scored, 75 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 55 RBI. Brian Kemp is batting .372 with 59 runs scored, 73 hits, 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 32 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Matt Wessinger is hitting .360 with 34 runs scored, 45 hits, 12 doubles, two home runs and 25 RBI. Gino Matias is batting .342 with 35 runs scored, 55 hits, 18 doubles, one home run and 34 RBI. Joe Panik is batting .341 with 38 runs scored, 59 hits, 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 44 RBI. Carlos Del Rosario is hitting .333 with 32 runs scored, 50 hits, 16 doubles, one triple, one home run and 32 RBI. Greg Hopkins is also batting .333 and has smacked seven home runs and driven in 42. St. John's has hit 39 home runs this season and struck out 224 times.
- The pitching staff has a 5.87 ERA and .312 opponents' batting average along with 289 strikeouts and 200 walks in 408.0 innings. Eddie Medina is 5-3 with a 2.76 ERA over 49.0 innings, while Ryan Cole (2-0, 3.04), Miguel Valcarcel (1-0, 4.70), Steve Forster (0-1, 4.75), Nick Luisi (3-2, 6.93) and Stephen Rivera (2-3, 7.86) are other options out of the Red Storm bullpen. Cole has registered five saves. St. John's has committed 70 errors in 46 games and is fielding .962.
SERIES NOTES -- Notre Dame leads the all-time series with St. John's, 21-13, overall, but trails the series, 5-4, when the contests are played in Queens.
- The Irish have taken five of the last eight meetings, including the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament title game, but the Red Storm took last season's series in South Bend.
- Notre Dame swept the Red Storm over a three-game series at Frank Eck Stadium during the 2006 regular season.
- St. John's had captured four of the previous five in the series with the Irish (three one-run wins and a two-run margin), including a series sweep in Queens during the 2005 campaign (the last Irish visit to Jack Kaiser Stadium).
- St. John's joined Seton Hall (1996), Connecticut (2002), Louisville (2007) and USF (2008) as the only teams ever to sweep a three-game BIG EAST series from the Irish.
- Notre Dame has lost just 26 all-time BIG EAST series(four have come against St. John's).
- The Irish won 9-of-10 in the series from 2000-2004.