Jan. 5, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame has been picked to finish sixth in the 2012 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll, as determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. The Irish received a total of 69 points.
Notre Dame placed sophomore 1B Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) on the preseason all-BIG EAST squad. Mancini, who earned third-team all-BIG EAST in 2011, led the Irish in batting (.323), hits (61), triples (three), home runs (nine), RBI (34), total bases (109), slugging percentage (.577), on-base percentage (.385), multiple hit games (17), multiple RBI games (nine) and runs scored (33) in 2011. He ranked sixth in the BIG EAST in slugging percentage and tied for seventh in home runs. Mancini earned BIG EAST honor roll three times this season.
Mancini was the first Notre Dame freshman and eighth player in program history to lead the Irish in all three triple-crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI). Only seven players have accomplished the feat since 1948. The other players to lead Notre Dame in all three categories included Ryan Connolly (2010), Dan Peltier (1989), Mike Trudeau (1985), George Sefcik (1962), Dick O'Leary (1961) and Elmer Kohorst (1956, although tied for home run lead).
Notre Dame returns 17 monogram winners, seven position starters and five of its top eight pitchers from 2011. The Irish will also welcome 13 newcomers this spring.
St. John's was selected as the favorite. The Red Storm received eight first-place votes and a total of 118 points. Louisville was picked to finish second in the conference, receiving four first-place votes and 110 total points. Connecticut was the coaches' pick to finish third with 105 points.
Rounding out the preseason poll in predicted order of finish are USF (88 points), Seton Hall (77), Notre Dame, Cincinnati (64), Pittsburgh (60), Rutgers (42), West Virginia (39), Villanova (19) and Georgetown (14).
The Irish open the 2012 season in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg, Fla., area for the fourth annual Big Ten-BIG EAST Baseball Challenge on Feb. 17-19. The Irish play at 1:00 p.m. on Friday against Illinois at the Walter Fuller Complex, 10:00 a.m. on Saturday against Iowa at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium and at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday against Purdue at Al Lang Stadium.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the upcoming baseball season, contact the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office, located inside the Rosenthal Atrium at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The ticket office is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, and also can be reached by phone at (574) 631-7356. In addition, tickets may be purchased on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (UND.com/tickets) -- all major credit cards are accepted and service charges may apply. Fans also may purchase individual tickets on game day by visiting the ticket windows outside Frank Eck Stadium beginning one hour prior to first pitch.