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Before There Was Mike and Mike ...

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... there was, well, Mike and Mike.

(Very) Super Regionals - Game 3

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nd-celebrate-061002-lg.jpg Irish Underground takes a look at the 10-year anniversary of Notre Dame baseball and its trek to the World Series with a glance at the final game of the 2002 Super Regionals.

Notre Dame halted the Seminoles' 25-game winning streak, an Atlantic Coast Conference record and one of the longest winning streaks in Division I baseball history.

 

Game 3 - June 10, 2002 - Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Photos

Baseball Advances To College World Series With 3-1 Win

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - No. 11 Notre Dame (49-16) became the eighth team to earn a spot in the College World Series field with a 3-1 Super Regional victory over No. 1 Florida State (60-14) as 5,195 fans looked on at Dick Howser Stadium. Freshman right-hander Chris Niesel (4-0) held the Seminoles in check all day, allowing just six hits and one earned run in eight innings of work.

Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Steve Sollman singled home Joe Thaman from second base with two outs. Thaman was on after drawing a walk and had moved to second on a groundout.

The Irish got another two-out run in the fourth to make it 2-0. Kris Billmaier singled to center, moved to third on Paul O'Toole's single and scored on a base hit by Javier Sanchez. Notre Dame got an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh to push the lead to 3-0. O'Toole singled and Thaman grounded to second with one out on what looked to be an inning-ending double play, but

FSU second baseman Bryan Zech committed an error to put runners on first and second. Steve Stanley's bunt single loaded the bases and O'Toole scored on Steve Sollman's sacrifice fly to center.

The Seminoles mounted a late rally in the top of the eighth. Bryan Zech doubled and came around to score on Tony Richie's two-out single off the wall in right. Notre Dame left fielder Brian Stavisky ended the inning with a sliding catch of Jerrod Brown's fly ball in fall territory. Florida State starter Marc LaMacchia (10-2) pitched well in the loss, giving up two earned runs on six hits in 6.1 innings. LaMacchia walked two and struck out two.

Notre Dame now advances to the College World Series in Omaha, NE to play the Stanford Cardinal. It is the second World Series trip ever for the Irish and their first since 1957.

(Very) Super Regionals - Game 2

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76560_ssollmann.jpg Irish Underground continues its presentation of a flashback to Notre Dame's 2002 World Series run and its 10-year anniversary of conquering Florida State in the Super Regionals.

Game 2 - June 8, 2002 - Recap | Box Score | Quotes

Irish Fall To Florida State, 12-5

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - No. 1 Florida State (60-13) scored eight runs in the top of the first inning and went on to defeat No. 11 Notre Dame (48-16) by a score of 12-5 in NCAA Super Regional action at Dick Howser Stadium Sunday afternoon. Stephen Drew led the way for FSU with a career-high five hits and four runs scored while Jerrod Brown added three RBI. The 2002 Seminoles tied an ACC record with their 60th win and became just the second team in school history to win 60 games, joining the 1986 team that went 61-13.

After getting behind early in each of their four previous NCAA Tournament games, the Seminoles reversed that trend in dramatic fashion with eight runs in the top of the first inning. Drew led off with a double and Tony McQuade and Ryan Barthelemy walked to load the bases. Brown knocked in two with a double to right, making him 14-for-17 on the season with the bases loaded. Nick Rogers walked to load the bases again and Blair McCaleb did the same to bring in another run. Mike Futrell followed with an RBI-single to left. A pair of Notre Dame errors on Bryan Zech's grounder to second cleared the bases and made it 7-0. In his second at bat of the inning, Drew scored Zech from second with a base hit.

The Irish answered with four runs in the bottom half of the first to cut the lead in half. Steve Stanley, Steve Sollman, Brian Stavisky and Andrew Bushey started the rally with four straight singles. Stavisky and Bushey each picked up an RBI. After a sacrifice fly from Matt Bok scored Stavisky, Kris Billmaier made it 8-4 with an RBI-double.

Drew sparked FSU again in the fourth with a double off the screen to start the inning. McQuade knocked him in with a single up the middle. A Tony Richie single put McQuade on third before Brown came through with his third RBI of the day on a fielder's choice to make it 10-4.

Barthelemy made it 11-4 when his singled home Drew in the fifth. Stavisky doubled home a run for the Irish in the bottom of the eighth and FSU added another on Barthelemly's second RBI of the day for the final of 12-5.

Senior right-hander Blair Varnes (10-3) earned the victory after giving up four runs in the first, holding the Irish scoreless over the next 5.2 innings. Notre Dame starter Pete Ogilvie (7-4) took the loss after surrendering eight runs (seven earned) and recording just one out in the first inning.

(Very) Super Regionals - Game 1

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2462974.jpegWith NCAA Super Regionals opening today, it's impossible to forget Notre Dame and its remarkable run to the 2002 College World Series. The Irish opened their 2002 NCAA Super Regional at top-ranked Florida State exactly 10 years ago yesterday. UND.com and Irish Underground will present over the next three days full recaps, stats, photos and memories from that unforgettable weekend.

Notre Dame halted the Seminoles' 25-game winning streak, an Atlantic Coast Conference record and one of the longest winning streaks in Division I baseball history. Such events have become a tradition for Irish athletic teams, led by the following:

- Nov. 17, 1957 - Dick Lynch's TD provides the only scoring as the ND football team wins at 2nd-ranked Oklahoma, 7-0, ending the Sooners' 47-game winning streak (still the NCAA record)

- Jan. 19, 1974 - Dwight Clay's jumper from the corner provides the winning points in the closing seconds as the ND men's basketball team halts UCLA's 88-game winning streak (still the NCAA record) in a 71-70 thriller

- Oct. 2, 1994 - The Notre Dame women's soccer team plays to a 0-0 tie versus perennial power North Carolina in a game played in St. Louis, stopping UNC's 92-game winning streak (still the NCAA record) ... one year later, the Irish women's soccer team claims the national title (with wins over UNC and Portland in the College Cup semifinals and final)

- Jan. 15, 2001 - The Notre Dame women's basketball team stuns BIG EAST Conference rival Connecticut, 92-76, in a midseason game at the Joyce Center - halting UConn's 30-game win streak and vaulting ND on to the national title.

- June 7, 2002 - The Notre Dame baseball team ends top-ranked Florida State's 25-game winning streak with a 10-4 win at Howser Stadium, in the first game of an NCAA Super Regional series.

The two victories by Notre Dame over the nation's top-ranked team was nothing knew for the program. The Irish defeated No.1 twice previously in NCAA Tournament action, winning 6-3 at Miami in the 1992 Atlantic Regional before posting an 8-1 win at Clemson in the 1994 East Regional. Notre Dame also had posted a pair of regular-season wins over Miami when the 'Canes were ranked No. 2 in the nation: 2-1 at Michigan on March 27, 1992, and 1-0 at Notre Dame's Eck Stadium on May 12, 1999 (the Irish were one strike from the no-hitter, with Miami suffering its first shutout loss in 248 games).

Game 1 - June 7, 2002 - Recap | Box Score

Notre Dame Defeats Florida State, 10-4, In Game 1 Of Super Regional

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (AP) Top-ranked Florida State (59-13) saw its 25-game win streak snapped by No. 11 Notre Dame (48-15) in Friday night's opening game of the Tallahassee Super Regional. The Fighting Irish downed FSU 10-4 in front of a season-high 5,388 fans at Dick Howser Stadium. Kris Billmaier went 4-for-5 and tied a career-high with five RBIs to lead the way for the Irish. Billmaier knocked in two runs with a two-out single in Notre Dame's four-run eighth.

Brian Stavisky put the Fighting Irish on the scoreboard first with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, his eighth homer of the season.

Notre Dame added another run in the third to make it 3-0. Steve Stanley led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single to left by Billmaier.

FSU got one back in the bottom half of the third when Stephen Drew doubled, took third on a passed ball, and came home on Ryan Barthelemy's ground ball to second.

Tony Richie blasted a solo home run to center, his 13th of the year, to lead off the fourth. Nick Rogers followed with a walk, advanced to second on Richie Smith's infield single, and came around to score on Drew's ground out to tie the game at three.

The Irish got the lead back in the sixth when Javier Sanchez drew a bases loaded walk with two outs. Lynch was able to get out of the jam when he got Joe Thaman to ground out to second.

The Seminoles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth the same way. With the bases loaded and two outs, Tony McQuade fouled off a pair of 3-2 pitches before drawing a bases loaded walk.

Notre Dame wasted no time in regaining the lead, chasing FSU starter Matt Lynch after one out in the seventh inning. Billmaier did the damage, driving in two with a base hit to right center. Daniel Davidson relieved Lynch and struck out two end the frame.

In the eighth, the Irish broke the game open with four, two-out runs to make it 10-4. Steve Sollmann and Stavisky had RBI-singles and Billmaier knocked in two more to bring his RBI total to five.

Freshman right-hander Grant Johnson improved to 9-4 with the win. Johnson allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings of work. He struck out two and walked six, throwing 131 pitches on the night.

Lynch (13-2) took the loss, surrendering six runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings. Lynch struck out four and walked two.

Lezynski Joins Holy Cross Coaching Staff

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The "president emeritus" of the Walk-on Players' Union has got a new gig.

Former Irish cornerback Nick Lezynski ('11) was named today as the assistant secondary coach at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

A friend and classmate of mine, Lezynski earned his bachelor's degree in marketing last year, before returning to ND as a fifth-year student-athlete for the 2011 season.

Read more about his new position on the Crusaders' website.

WOPU Nation, continuing to do big things. Congrats, Nick.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

Tuck Pens Children's Book

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Former Irish football standout and Super Bowl ring bearer Justin Tuck recently released his first book, "Home-Field Advantage."

The All-Pro has spent the last several days sharing the book with schoolchildren across New York. The book is based on Tuck's own childhood in Alabama, where he grew up with five older sisters.

The Giants star discussed the book on "The Dan Patrick Show."

"Growing up in rural Alabama I got a lot of stories that I felt would be both funny and in some ways educational to the demographic that I love the most, kids. Me and my wife are very passionate about kids and education. The book was a way of hopefully getting kids excited about reading. I love reading it to my son. Hopefully a lot of other parents out there will appreciate it and the kids will enjoy it and get a laugh out of it. Hopefully it's a turn on to get the kids starting reading."

Tuck has read the book for schoolchildren as part of his R.U.S.H. For Literacy foundation. He and his wife, Lauran, founded the charity in 2008 to "read, understand, succeed and hope." They are committed to raising funds for books and other reading materials to support children in the New York City and Central Alabama communities.

You Know You've Made It Big When ...

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A clean-shaven Jeff Samardzija joined the list of pitchers who got starts on their own bobblehead days when he took the mound Tuesday against San Diego at Wrigley Field.

Domer Dens - Episode 2

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If you have ever had a chance to meet Notre Dame President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C or visit his office on the thirteenth floor of the library that bears his name, you immediately realize you are in the presence of one of the truly great leaders of our time.

Father Hesburgh led the university for 35 years and has been awarded more than 150 honorary degrees in his lifetime, more than any other person. In just over a month, he will celebrate his 95th birthday. His office is not as athletic-centric as Dick Wilson's basement from the premiere episode, but featuring Father Hesburgh for 'Domer Dens' was an opportunity that Fighting Irish Digital Media could not pass up.

Check out Episode 2 of 'Domer Dens' for a unique look not just at some of the keepsakes that Father Hesburgh has accumulated during his life, but more so, his personal reflections and the incredible stories behind them.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

"1...2...3...Go Irish!"

"...doesn't want to embarrass anybody yet..."

ND Youth Sports TV: Irish Experience League

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"I just have one thing to say to Tim - 'You're huge!'"

"Kenneth - King of the Front Handspring"

Through the Irish Experience League the Notre Dame community takes the fun, spirit and values inherent in Notre Dame Sports to the community. Volunteers include varsity student-athletes, faculty, staff and students as the Notre Dame family grows stronger through community building in South Bend.

Learn more about the Irish Experience League at youthsports.nd.edu.

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