Irish in Action

The second weekend of head coach Dave Schrage's debut season at the helm of Notre Dame won't be any easier than the first. The Irish travel to resort friendly Myrtle Beach, South Carolina not for the warm temperatures and beach environment. They'll have some work to handle as three contests in three days await Notre Dame in the Baseball at the Beach Tournament.

For the Irish, it gets kicked off on Friday afternoon. They'll take on UNC-Wilmington. First pitch is slated for 4 PM. On Saturday, Notre Dame is slotted to battle No. 12 TCU and that'll start at 4 PM. The finale is on Sunday against unbeaten Coastal Carolina at noon. The tournament is comprised of six teams and the level of competition is high. The Irish and UNC-Wilmington are the only two squads with below .500 records. The combined record of the six teams is 25-9.

Last weekend, Notre Dame went 1-2 down in San Antonio. The Irish blasted Prairie View A&M 15-8 in the opener. Schrage became just the second Notre Dame head coach since 1924 to win their opening contest. However, that's as good as it got for the Irish. In the next two games against Texas State, the Irish mustered one run and four hits in consecutive defeats. The biggest news out of San Antonio might have Dan Kapala's performance. The senior missed his entire junior year after undergoing shoulder surgery but pitched two innings versus Texas State, allowing one earned run. Also, freshman Michael Wright and A.J. Pollock both hit home runs in their first at-bats in a Notre Dame uniform.

On Friday, the Irish will look to even their mark at .500. UNC-Wilmington is 3-5 on the season after losing to top-ranked North Carolina 6-5 on Wednesday. The Gales still have won three of four games and two of their other losses have come against ranked opponents. The pitching duel will pit Notre Dame's Wade Korpi vs. UNC-Wilmington's Ryan Doolittle. Korpi (1-0), a left-hander, started the win last weekend over Prairie View A&M, lasting four innings while surrendering three earned runs. Doolittle, a right-hander, has pitched 1.2 innings this year and has a 5.40 ERA. The big stick in the lineup is Jes Snyder. He's hitting .323 with three home runs and 10 RBI's through eight contests.

The middle game will match the Irish versus TCU. The Horned Frogs have lost only once this season, dropping a 8-6 decision to Central Florida. After the loss to the Golden Knights, TCU came back and won the next two contests over them by a combined margin of 22-2. The Horned Frogs are led by a stout pitching staff. As a team, their ERA is 3.05. Jake Arrieta is 2-0 on the year with a 0.89 ERA, surrendering only one run while striking out 13. At the plate, it's a well-balanced lineup. They have seven guys hitting over .318 and as a team are .314. Steven Trout leads the team in RBI's with nine and is hitting .400 while Austin Adams is batting .385 with eight RBI's. The Irish's David Phelps is slated to go to the mound. The sophomore right hander pitched brilliantly in a 2-1 loss last weekend to Texas State, going five innings while allowing just a single run and striking out seven.

The finale for Notre Dame at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament is versus host school Coastal Carolina. CCU is ranked 30th in the nation and are a perfect 7-0 on the season. They've outscored teams 56-19 this year and already beat one participant of this tournament, UNC-Wilmington, 8-6. Derek Martin has been the power source on offense, knocking in 10 runs to go along with his .450 average. David Sappelt leads the team in hitting with a .545 average. On the Coastal Carolina pitching staff, Bobby Gagg is 2-0 and has not allowed a run to cross the plate in 14 innings of work. Andy DeLaGarza is also 2-0 and has a .069 ERA while John Mariotti chips in with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched but no wins to show for his solid performance. Mariotti is the probable starter for CCU against Notre Dame. The Irish are expected to go with Brett Graffy on Sunday. The sophomore right-hander pitched 4.1 innings last weekend in the 6-0 loss to Texas State, allowing two runs on seven hits. Top Stories