Up Next: Rutgers

After a 8-2 home stand lifted their record to above .500, Notre Dame takes a 22-18 mark and 6-8 record in Big East play on the road. This weekend, the Irish will battle conference-leader Rutgers (24-14, 12-3) in Piscataway, New Jersey. Notre Dame has won the past two conference series against Georgetown and West Virginia. But both of those were at home and Rutgers is 11-1 at home this year.

The pitching match-ups have been set. On Saturday, the two teams will engage in a doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled at noon. Irish ace David Phelps will face the Scarlet Knights' Matt Giannini. Phelps is 6-3 on the season with a team-best 1.42 ERA. The sophomore right-hander has been dominant his past two starts, allowing just two runs in the two victories. Giannini is 3-3 this year with a high 7.09 ERA. Giannini is allowing more than a hit an inning and has walked 31 batters in 53.1 innings pitched.

The second contest features Notre Dame's Kyle Weiland versus Steve Healing. Weiland is 4-0 in 2007 with a 4.50 ERA. The sophomore right-hander has 22 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. Healing is 5-3 in 10 starts with a 4.20 ERA and opponents are hitting .297 off of him.

In the finale on Sunday, the Irish's Dan Kapala will face Casey Gaynor. Kapala is 0-4 this season but has a respectable 2.33 ERA. Kapala has allowed just seven earned runs in 27 innings pitched but has fallen victim to the unearned run. Gaynor is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA and the opposition is hitting an incredible .326 against him.

Rutgers is first in the Big East in fielding percentage and fourth in hitting. As a team, the Scarlet Knights are batting .314. Dave Williams is fourth in the conference in batting average at .415. Williams has an on-base percentage of .497 and has scored 38 runs to go along with 29 RBI's. Todd Frazier is second with a .381 average. Frazier is no stranger to the long ball, blasting a league-leading 14 home runs and is tops on the team with 41 RBI's. Rutgers has hit 34 round trippers on the season. Other notable hitters include Tom Edwards (.370 BA) and Ryan Hill (.350 BA with a .492 OBP).


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