Next Up: Cincinnati

Notre Dame's 7-3 win over Oakland on Tuesday was just what the doctor ordered. The Irish were coming off a 0-2 weekend at Pittsburgh, which included a Sunday rainout. Notre Dame is just 1-4 in the Big East play and head out on the road this weekend to Cincinnati for a three-game series. To make matters worse, the Irish are only 1-5 on opponents' home field this season.

Notre Dame (13-14) will get a chance to improve on that mark against the Bearcats on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. On Friday, the two teams will battle with game-time also set for 6:30 PM. The finale is on Saturday at 1 PM before the teams heads home for Easter. The weather is not going to be much warmer than South Bend. On Thursday, the high is forecasted to be 46 degrees with a 20 percent chance of precipitation. On Friday and Saturday, the weather will be much the same with a slight shot at rain.

Notre Dame will send Dan Kapala to the mound Thursday night. The senior right-hander has not won a game this season at 0-2 in three games started. But Kapala leads the team in ERA at 1.45. The senior has allowed only three earned runs in 18.2 innings pitched. On Friday, David Phelps will get the call. The sophomore right-hander is 4-2 on the year with a 1.58 ERA. Phelps has struck out 39 batters in 45.2 innings pitched. He was on a roll before suffering a 4-2 loss last Friday at Pittsburgh. Head coach Dave Schrage was unsure after the Oakland victory as to who'll pitch for Notre Dame in the finale on Saturday.

In the hitting category, A.J. Pollock leads the team with a .394 average. The freshman third baseman has had a fabulous start to his first season with the Irish. Pollock is third in runs and RBI‘s and second in hits and on-base percentage among Notre Dame players. Brett Lilley sports a second-best .384 average. The junior shortstop leads the team in hits, runs and on-base percentage. Ross Brezovsky, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI's and two runs scored in the win over Oakland on Tuesday, leads the Irish with 19 RBI's while Mike Dury provides the big bat with six home runs and a .596 slugging percentage.

Cincinnati is 15-13 heading into the three-game series and 2-4 in the Big East. The Bearcats are coming off a 5-2 win on Tuesday over Dayton. In conference action, Cincinnati has lost two of three to both Pittsburgh and Georgetown. Tony Campana leads the team in hitting with a .342 average. Campana has an OBP of .445 and scored 27 runs on the year. John Harrison leads the Bearcats with 35 RBI's, including eight home runs and a slugging percentage of .606. Neall French adds 33 RBI's to go along with a .330 average.

As for pitching, Cincinnati's top three starters have combined to go 11-6. Dan Osterbrock is 4-1 on the season with a 2.96 ERA. Osterbrock has struck out 46 batters in 48.2 innings of work. Steve Blevins is a 4-4 in 2007 with a 3.06 ERA. Blevins has 40 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched. Michael Hill sports a high 5.06 ERA but still has a 3-1 mark. Out of the bullpen, Billy Welsh is the closer. Welsh is 1-1 on the season with a 1.37 ERA in 10 appearances and has three saves in 2007. Top Stories