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7:05 P.M. GAME TONIGHT: Notre Dame vs. Central Michigan

Homer Stryker Field at Mayors' Riverfront Park will play host to a game between Central Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame baseball teams tonight at 7:05 p.m. General admission tickets for the game will cost $5 each, or $3 each with a Student ID. Gates will open at 6 p.m. There will be a light ballpark concessions menu available at tonight's game – BEER WILL NOT BE SERVED.

Central Michigan comes into the game with a 25-15 record overall, but maintain a sparkling 12-3 record in MAC play. The Chippewas currently sit alone in first place atop the MAC conference standings. A huge part of Central Michigan's success this year can be attributed to 1B/OF Cody Leichman, who is signed to play for the Growlers this summer. Leichman is in the top-2 of nearly every offensive category for the Chippewas including batting average (.329), home runs (4), RBI (36), on-base percentage (.411), and slugging percentage (.500). He has spearheaded an offense that has been one of the most impressive outfits in the Midwest. Central Michigan has been on a tear recently, going 15-5 in their last 20 games, including 7-straight wins over Madonna University, and conference foes Ohio University and Miami (Ohio) University.

Notre Dame has struggle in their move to the ACC, going 16-23 overall and 4-17 in conference play thus far. However, the Fighting Irish have played several games against elite competetion this year. Their schedule includes series against #24 Florida Atlantic, #4 North Carolina State, #19 UCLA, Duke, #2 Florida State, and #11 Miami (FL).

It has been a year of transition for Notre Dame, as they have had to rely heavily on underclassmen to be immediate contributors in the lineup and pitching rotations. Several of those youngsters will be playing in Growlers uniforms this summer. Ryan Lidge and Ryan Smoyer have been thrown right into the fire of collegiate baseball and have turned in fine freshmen seasons, while junior pitcher Kyle Rubbinaccio has readjusted after losing his sophomore season to Tommy John surgery. Lidge is hitting .269 with six RBI and has appeared in 24 games as a catcher this season. Smoyer and Rubbinaccio have combined to throw 14 innings out of the Fighting Irish bullpen; Smoyer has posted an 8.10 ERA with eight strikeouts and Rubbinaccio has a 6.75 ERA with four strikeouts. The Irish will also send a key upperclassman contributor in Ryan Bull to Kalamazoo. Bull is hitting .181 this year with one home run and six RBI.

Ryan Lidge

Ryan Lidge, C


Ryan Smoyer, RHP


Kyle Rubbinaccio, RHP

Ryan Bull

Ryan Bull, OF

Tickets are still on sale in the Kalamazoo Growlers box office located at Homer Stryker Field in Mayors' Riverfront Park. Call (269) 492-9966 for ticket and event information. Tickets can be bought right at the box office window prior to tonight's game.