Baseball lost to UConn 3 to 1 on Friday, April 8th.
Jesse Woods, who spent three seasons coaching at Boston College, enters his third year at Notre Dame in 2013. Woods serves as the Irish outfield coach and leads the program's recruiting efforts and hitters.
Notre Dame proved to be a vastly improved offensive club under Woods' second year of tutelage in 2012. After the Irish batted .239 in 2011 - the lowest batting average for an Irish squad since 1978 (the last year when the NCAA still used wooden bats) - Notre Dame raised its team average by nearly 40 points to .277. In `11, the Irish had 12 or more hits in just five games, but recorded 18 such games last season. Notre Dame collected at least 10 hits in 28 games last year as opposed to 14 double-digit hit games in `11.
Notre Dame hit 36 home runs in `12, which led the BIG EAST. The Irish registered just 18 long balls in `11 - only three teams in the league had fewer.
Notre Dame was the only team in the BIG EAST with a pair of players with 10 or more home runs. The sophomore duo of Eric Jagielo (13) and Trey Mancini (12) combined for 25 round trippers. Jagielo ranked second in the league and Mancini was tied for third.
Jagielo and Mancini was the first Irish tandem with 10 or more home runs in the same season since Jeremy Barnes (15) and A.J. Pollock (10) in 2009. They were the first set of Notre Dame sophomores to collect double digit home runs in the same season since Matt Bransfield (12) and Craig Cooper (10) in 2004.
Woods was instrumental in last season's recruiting class that included 13 players from 11 different states, including California, Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Virginia, Illinois and Massachusetts. No class in Notre Dame history has come from such a widespread area.
Woods managed through a difficult transition for Notre Dame in 2011, factoring in the new BBCOR standard for bat testing and five first-year everyday starters into the lineup. The Irish struggled offensively for much of the season, but Woods did aid in the development of the rookie tandem of Mancini and Jagielo - whom hit third and fourth, respectively, over the entire year. Notre Dame has not had first-year players in those two spots of the lineup in at least 23 years (dating back to the 1988 season when records allow game-by-game lineups).
Mancini was the first Irish rookie and eighth player in program history to lead Notre Dame in all three triple-crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI). He also was named 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, third team all-BIG EAST and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In addition to the triple crown categories, Mancini led the Irish in hits (61), doubles (15), triples (three), total bases (109), slugging percentage (.577) on-base percentage (.385), multiple hit games (17), multiple RBI games (nine) and runs scored (33).
Mancini earned a spot on the BIG EAST honor roll three times in 2011. No player was honored by the BIG EAST more in terms of Player of the Week/Honor Roll than Mancini.
Jagielo was the first Notre Dame rookie to bat third in a season opener since at least 1988. He started all 53 games in 2011 at four different positions. Jagielo started at first base, third base, left field and center field. He hit third in the lineup the entire year.
Jagielo led the Irish in walks (25) and also ranked second on the team in slugging percentage (.418), runs scored (32), hits (54), RBI (28), doubles (13), home runs (five), total bases (84), multiple hit games (15) and multiple RBI games.
Woods was especially critical in the development of fifth-year senior OF Herman Petzold in `12. Petzold entered the season with exactly three base hits and no RBI in 10 at-bats over 11 career games -- all off the bench. Petzold also played exclusively as a middle infielder over his first four years at Notre Dame. In fact, when the new coaching staff took over the program in June, Petzold was not even listed on the roster, but he was offered an opportunity to tryout in the fall without any guarantees of a spot on the roster.
Petzold earned a starting spot in right field and started all 53 games in `12. He ranked second in batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.363) and sacrifice bunts (10). He registered a hit in 35 of Notre Dame's 53 games. Petzold also ranked third on the team with 12 multi-hit games, including a team-best equaling four games with at least three hits.
Woods also aided in Jagielo's development as an outfielder. A converted shortstop from high school, Jagielo opened the season at first base, then moved to third base before ultimately closing the season in the outfield.
In addition to his recruiting duties with the Eagles, Woods worked with the Boston College outfielders and hitters. He has developed three of the premier outfielders in New England and the Atlantic Coast Conference since his arrival in 2008. Barry Butera was drafted in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in 2009. Robbie Anston established himself as one of the best leadoff hitters in the country in 2009 and earned all-ACC second team honors. Anston was drafted in the 26th round of the 2010 draft, while John Spatola was nabbed in the 35th round.
Anston started all 118 games over his last two years at Boston College. He ranks 10th all-time in school history with 122 career runs scored. In 2010, Anston led the Eagles in doubles (21), triples (6) and steals (18), was second in batting (.324), on-base percentage (.409), runs (55) and hits (77) and third in slugging (.525), total bases (125) and walks (25). He also hit five home runs and drove in 35 runs. As a junior, Anston set the single-season Boston College hits record with 85.
Spatola, a former walk-on, went from a role player in 2009 to a power-hitting everyday starter in 2010. He entered his senior season with five career home runs, but slammed 17, which is the third most in Boston College single-season history. Spatola also led the Eagles in RBI with 61.
Spatola was second on the squad in slugging (.596), total bases (136) and steals (13) and was third in runs (47), hits (72) and triples (2). He batted .316 on the year with nine doubles and a .398 on-base percentage.
Woods came to Boston College after three seasons as an assistant coach at Wheaton College (Mass.). While at Wheaton, Woods assisted with recruiting, game management tasks, implementing practice schedules and off-field conditioning. Woods helped Wheaton win three New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships and advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament all three seasons. In 2006, Wheaton advanced to the Division III National Championship game.
Prior to his coaching career, Woods played first base, catcher and outfield at Wheaton from 2001-04. He and his teammates captured three NEWMAC Championships and made three regional appearances. Woods was voted co-captain by his teammates prior to the start of the 2004 season.
Woods graduated with a degree in history from Wheaton in 2004. He and his wife, Danielle, live in Granger.