Irish ready for road trip to Chapel Hill
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 5, 2020
Notre Dame will travel to Chapel Hill to compete in a three-game series against North Carolina from Friday to Sunday. The Tar Heels (10-4) are the first ACC opponent who the Irish (7-2) will face this season. So far, the team has been successful on the road, going 7-2 through its first nine games of the season. The Irish will look to continue their hot streak over the course of this weekend.
The team has traveled to Alabama, Texas and South Carolina so far this season, giving all of their opponents a home field advantage. Playing in South Bend restricts the Irish’s ability to have home games early in the season. The team’s first home game will be in late March, against non-conference opponent Western Michigan.
Last year, the Irish lost two out of three in a home series against North Carolina. At the time, the Tar Heels were ranked 21st in the country. This year, Notre Dame will be facing an unranked Chapel Hill team. The Irish will head into this series with the memory of last year’s loss on their minds.
Looking at the Irish’s progress thus far this season, there are a few players who stand out from the crowd. After the team’s three-game sweep against Presbyterian last weekend, Niko Kavadas was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week. The junior from Granger, Indiana, has earned his title as the team’s most notorious hitter.
In 2019, Kavadas led the Irish with 12 home runs. Last weekend in South Carolina, the junior hit four home runs in three games, paving the way for what is expected to be a successful season. Additionally, the Granger native had a team-high nine RBIs and a slugging percentage of 1.125 over the course those three games.
Along with Kavadas, the Irish are stacked with a strong pitching core. Notably, junior Tommy Sheehan was named ACC pitcher of the week Feb. 17. The Brielle, New Jersey, native is going to be a key piece for his team on the road against North Carolina.
The Tar Heels are 10-4 on the season, with all four of their losses coming in the last eight games. This North Carolina team is also looking to prove itself on a major stage. The Irish present the team’s toughest series of the season so far.
The first game will be played Friday at 3 p.m.