A Look Back At The 2002 Super Regionals At No. 1 Florida State

The Irish defeated the Seminoles in three games to advance to the program's second College World Series.

  • Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist - 2001
  • Second Team All-BIG EAST - 2001,2002
  • All-NCAA Regional Selection - 1999, 2000,2002

    Spirited catcher who joined Alec Porzel (?01) as only Notre Dame players ever to reach 30 career home runs (31) and 30 stolen bases (54) ? began pro career with Chicago Cubs organization (21st-round draft pick; also 48th-round San Francisco Giants pick in ?01) ? ranked in 11 of ND?s 20 career categories: second in games (239), third in putouts (1,347), fourth in starts (229) and at-bats (809), sixth in SBs (27) and hit-by-pitch (28), seventh in runs (191) and total sac?s (27), eighth in hits (247), ninth in HRs (31) and 10th in doubles (49), plus 12th in RBI (163) and triples (10), with .305 career batting avg. (.506 slugging, 95 walks) ? hit .369 in 22 career NCAA Tournament games (17 RBI, 6 HR, 3B, 6 2B, 11 BB) ? three-time NCAA all-regional selection (HRs in all four regionals) ? versatile hitter who batted leadoff, second and cleanup ? late-developing catcher, after playing second base and outfield as prep ... hit with power to all fields, with strong arm and excellent blocking skills ... played for Hays (Kan.) Larks in summer of ?99 and in Cape Cod League in 2000 (all-star with champion Brewster Whitecaps) and 2001 (Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox) ? member of winningest class in Notre Dame baseball history (188-67-1).

    AS A SENIOR: Repeated as second team all-BIG EAST selection, batting .349 in BIG EAST games and ranking among league leaders in conference RBI (30, 1st), slugging (.709, 3rd), home runs (7, 4th) and doubles (8, 8th) ? third on team in overall RBI (50), batting .281 with team-leading 11 HRs (7th BIG EAST), plus .525 slugging (4 3B, 12 2B, 33 BB) ? seventh ND player to post double-digit HRs and SBs (11) in same season ? appeared in 66 games with 46 of 65 starts at catcher (15 at third, four at second) ? hit mostly in No. 5 (28 games) or cleanup spots (20) ? helped post 15-8 comeback vs. USC (RBI double, 2 R) ? drilled 2-out pitch down the line and over rightfield fence ? plating three runs to complete comeback (6-6) at West Virginia (10-6, in 10 inn.) ? had 11 total bases vs. Pittsburgh (12-2; 2-run HR, 3B, 2 2B) ? hit grand slams vs. Toledo (15-4) and Seton Hall (9-4, also solo HR) ? doubled and scored vs. Rutgers (6-5) ? walked and scored tying run in BIG EAST title game vs. Rutgers (3-2, 10 inn.) ?hit 5-for-5 in NCAA South Bend Regional vs. South Alabama (25-1; 3 RBI, 2-run HR, 2 2B), earning all-tournament honors ? singled twice and scored in 3-1 Super Regional clinching win at Florida State.

    AS A JUNIOR: Appeared in 58 games (57 starts, mostly at catcher) ... second team all-BIG EAST and national semifinalist for Johnny Bench Award ... hit .323 (fifth on squad) with 35 RBI (4 HR, 15 SB, 12 2B, 26 BB) ... hit gamewinning single at Fresno State (5-4) ? ... smacked RBI double for 7-5 lead vs. Portland in Fresno State Classic title game (7-6) ... had two-out, tying single in 11-inning win at Rutgers (5-4) ? one of four straight batters that won 2-out, 2-strike battle (single) to beat Central Michigan, 6-4, on Ken Meyer?s grand slam ... led team with 6-for-10 batting at BIG EAST Tournament ? scored tying run in 9th inning of NCAA win vs. UCSB (11-10, 10 inn.) ... hit 2-for-4 in 5-2 NCAA win over Florida International, 2-for-5 in 5-4 loss to FIU (RBI triple, stranded at third to end game).

    AS A SOPHOMORE: Appeared in 58 games, with 31 of 54 starts at catcher ... sixth on squad with .302 batting, plus eight HRs (third), 39 RBI (fourth), 15 SBs (second) and 20 walks (third) ... made starts at every batting spot but third ? hit 4-for-8 in BC series (5 RBI, 2 HR) ... smacked solo shot vs. Rutgers (10-6; BB, 2 R) ... played key role in 15-7 BIG EAST Tournament win over Pittsburgh (2-for-5, 3 RBI, 2 R) ... scored go-ahead run in rally vs. Tulane at NCAA Starkville Regional (8-4) ... also ignited 10-6 rally past Tulane (full-count BB, 2B, R) ? hit 3-for-3 in 7-0 NCAA win over Mississippi State (2-run HR, 2-run 2B) ... singled, doubled and scored in regional title-game loss to the host Bulldogs (10-9), capping his all-tournament performance.

    AS A FRESHMAN: Named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine ... also named to BIG EAST all-rookie team ... appeared in 57 games (52 starts at catcher), batting mostly in No. 2 hole ... hit .318 with team-best 55 runs, eight HRs (fourth on team), 15 doubles and 12 SBs (both third), plus 39 RBI and 16 walks (both fourth) ... his 410 putouts ranked sixth in Irish record book ... homered twice vs. Pittsburgh (9-8) ... became first Irish player to homer in four straight postseason games, including 2-run shot vs. Providence in 8-4 BIG EAST Tournament loss ... named to NCAA South Bend all-Regional team, leading all players with .583 batting (7-for-12, 6 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB) ... hit solo shot, walked and scored vs. Creighton (8-1), continuing barrage in NCAA in losses to Cal State Fullerton (HR, 2B, 2 R) and Michigan (3 H, 3 RBI, 2 R, HR).

    PREP & PERSONAL: All-state catcher at St. Ignatius High School, leading team to 1997 national ranking ... set school records for career doubles (31), RBI (102) and home runs (16) ... tight end on 1996 nationally-ranked football team ? played for Mainstreet Muffins 1997 Connie Mack state champs ... also played for Team Ohio and at CABA World Series ... member of National Honor Society ... born Feb. 24, 1980, in Cleveland ... son of Philip and Barbara O?Toole ... full name is Paul Jonathan O?Toole ... graduated with management degree from Mendoza College of Business.

    O'Toole's Career Statistics


    Paul O'Toole
    Paul  O'Toole

    Lakewood, Ohio

    High School:
    St. Ignatius

    Height / Weight:
    6-1 / 205

    Catcher/Third Baseman



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