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Notre Dame Baseball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at FIU

February 23, 2024
9,202

Notre Dame (3-0) at Florida International University (3-1)


When: February 23rd

Time: 6:30 PM ET 

Where: FIU Baseball Stadium | Miami, Fla. 

Watch: ESPN+ 


QUICK FACTS

- FIU leads the all-time series 6-1.

- FIU head coach Rich Witten worked under Shawn Stiffler at VCU for five seasons, which included two trips to the NCAA Tournament and 162 wins

- Notre Dame’s 3-0 start is the best open to a season since 2010, when they also started 3-0

- Radek Birkholz, Bennett Flynn and Nate Hardman have been named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List:

- Notre Dame’s five home runs in game three against Rice were the most in a game since 2021

- The Irish are No. 2 in the ACC in fielding percentage (.991) 

PROBABLE STARTERS
FRIDAY

SCHOOL NAME RECORD (APPEARANCES) ERA IP STRIKEOUTS
Notre Dame RHP Caden Spivey 0-0 (1) 3.00 3.0 1
FIU RHP Jackson Ritchey 0-0 (1) 12.00 3.0 4

SATURDAY

SCHOOL NAME RECORD (APPEARANCES) ERA IP STRIKEOUTS
Notre Dame RHP Jackson Dennies 0-0 (1) 8.10 3.1 2
FIU TBA - - - -

SATURDAY

SCHOOL NAME RECORD (APPEARANCES) ERA IP STRIKEOUTS
Notre Dame RHP Matt Bedford 0-0 (1) 9.00 3.0 1
FIU TBA - - - -

SUNDAY

SCHOOL NAME RECORD (APPEARANCES) ERA IP STRIKEOUTS
Notre Dame TBA - - - -
FIU TBA - - - -

NOTRE DAME LINEUP

NAME POSITION BATTING AVERAGE
DM Jefferson DH .125
David Glancey LF .167
Jack Penney SS .125
Tito Flores RF .231
Simon Baumgardt 3B .250
Connor Hincks 1B .250
Estevan Moreno 2B .200
Carson Tinney C .250
TJ Williams CF .667

FIU LINEUP

NAME POSITION BATTING AVERAGE
Brylan West 1B .812
Jeff Liquori RF .333
Ryne Guida DH .400
Armando Becerra CF .333
Kishon Frett LF .100
Chase Engelhard 3B .625
Alex Ulloa SS .500
Roylan Quevedo 2B .333
Brendan Roney C .333

Notre Dame will need to find its offense this weekend as FIU has scored 49 runs in four games and tallied 51 hits. Yes, the Panthers hosted Long Island University, so while it’s not the best competition, FIU still scored 39 runs in game two and three.

1B Brylan West will have Notre Dame’s attention as he’s hitting .813 with 13 hits, nine runs scored, two doubles, one triple, two home runs and 10 RBI. For his efforts to start the season, West was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week, which appears to be well deserved. 

Shawn Stiffler will go with the same pitching rotation as last week for the first three games and Sunday’s starter will be determined later. It will be interesting to see how the rotation is managed, given it’s a four-game series, so there will be multiple players who will pitch twice this weekend. 

The Irish pitched better than the ERA shows coming out of last weekend’s sweep of Rice as the Irish gave up 16 runs and 25 hits. What Notre Dame’s pitchers didn’t do was get strikeouts as the Irish enter the weekend last in the ACC with 17. 

What Notre Dame’s pitchers did well was throw strikes and get several ground balls. If they can bump the strikeout totals up a bit, it would certainly wouldn’t be a bad development. 

At the plate, Notre Dame demonstrated more power than a year ago, but still managed only 20 hits in the three games. The Irish did hit seven home runs last weekend and all but one game from new faces. Grad transfers David Glancey and Simon Baumgardt hit two home runs, while Tito Flores and Carson Tinney also went deep. Connor Hincks was the only returning players to hit a long ball, but it’s worth noting he saw action in just seven games in 2023. 

First base will be something to watch this weekend as Hincks batted .250 with two hits while UCLA grad transfer Josh Hahn went 0-for-7 with two walks against Rice. It’s early, so both will play, but the Irish need production at the plate. 

Centerfielder TJ Williams enters the FIU series batting .667 with four hits and two RBI. He was in the nine-hole last weekend, so it’ll be interesting to see where Stiffler puts him on Friday. A year ago, Williams was often in the lead-off role or ninth in the order. 

Jack Penney came out of the weekend leading the ACC in walks with seven, but he batted just .125 with one hit. Notre Dame needs Penney and DH DM Jefferson to get the bats going. Jefferson did reach base on three walks and was hit four times. 

That said, this series comes down to Notre Dame getting the bats going. The Irish did a great job of scoring runs without hits against Rice, but it’s also not a sustainable strategy long-term, especially in ACC play. 

*Lineups will be added when released 

** Saturday’s doubleheader will not be televised or streamed

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