Notre Dame, Central Michigan baseball set for April showdown at Homer Stryker Field
Homer Stryker Field will play host to a game between Central Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame baseball teams on April 23rd. General admission tickets for the game will cost $5 each. Gates will open at 6 p.m., with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Central Michigan comes into the game with a 19-12 record overall, but maintain a sparkling 8-1 record in MAC play, good for 1st place. The Chippewas recently ripped off 7-straight wins over Madonna University, and conference foes Ohio University and Miami (Ohio) University. A huge part of Central Michigan's success this year can be attributed to Cody Leichman, who is signed to play for the Kalamazoo Growlers this summer. Leichman leads the Chippewas in nearly every offensive category including batting average (.346), home runs (3), RBI (30), on-base percentage (.424), and slugging percentage (.538). He has spearheaded an offense that has been one of the most impressive outfits in the Midwest.
Notre Dame has struggled in their move to the ACC, going 10-20 overall and 1-14 in conference play thus far. The Fighting Irish have played many games against several elite opponents this year, however, including #24 Florida Atlantic, #4 NC State, #19 UCLA, Duke, and #2 Florida State. 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 Kalamazoo Growlers uniform this summer. Ryan Lidge and Ryan Smoyer have been thrown right into the fire of collegiate baseball and have both turned in fine freshmen seasons. Lidge is hitting .231 with four RBI and has appeared in 19 games as a catcher this season. Smoyer has posted an 8.10 ERA with eight strikeouts. The Irish will also send key upperclassman contributors Kyle Rubbinaccio and Ryan Bull to Kalamazoo. Rubbinaccio has a 6.75 ERA with four strikeouts while Bull is hitting .206 with one home run and five RBI.
Tickets are on sale now in the Kalamazoo Growlers box office located at Homer Stryker Field. Call (269) 492-9966 for more information. Tickets must be picked up at the Growlers offices.