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    Irish Picked To Finish Seventh In BIG EAST Conference Preseason Poll

    FIGHTING IRISH Senior SS Mick Doyle.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Senior SS Mick Doyle.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 6, 2011

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame has been picked to finish seventh in the 2011 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll, as determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. The Irish received a total of 56 points.

    Notre Dame returns 21 monogram winners, five position starters and two of its weekend starting pitchers. The Irish will also welcome 10 newcomers this spring, the largest recruiting class in recent memory.

    Connecticut was selected as the favorite. The Huskies received nine first-place votes and a total of 117 points. St. John's was picked to finish second in the conference, receiving two first-place votes and 107 total points. Louisville was the coaches' pick to finish third, having received one first-place vote and 105 points.

    Rounding out the preseason poll in predicted order of finish are USF (87 points), Pittsburgh (82), Rutgers (75), Cincinnati (56), Notre Dame, West Virginia (38), Villanova (31), Seton Hall (25) and Georgetown (13).

    The Irish will open the 2011 season in the Dunedin/St. Petersburg area for the third annual BIG EAST-Big Ten Baseball Challenge on Feb. 18-20. Notre Dame plays at 4:00 p.m. on Friday against Michigan State at Dunedin Stadium, 4:00 p.m. on Saturday against Purdue at Al Lang/Progressive Energy Park and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday against Penn State at the Naimoli Complex.

    Season tickets are available by contacting the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356; visiting the ticket windows at the Purcell Pavilion ticket office located between gates 8 and 10 of Purcell Pavilion or ordering on-line with a major credit card at www.UND.com/tickets. Full season packages are $50 per person for adults and $30 per person for youth/senior, while four-ticket "Fan Packs" are $120 for individuals. Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Holy Cross students, faculty and staff are admitted free for all regular-season home games with valid ID at Eck Stadium.

    2011 Preseason BIG EAST Baseball Coaches' Poll
    1.   Connecticut (9)    117
    2.   St. John's (2)     107
    3.   Louisville (1)     105
    4.   USF                87
    5.   Pittsburgh         82
    6.   Rutgers            75
    7.   Notre Dame         56
         Cincinnati         56
    9.   West Virginia      38
    10.  Villanova          31
    11.  Seton Hall         25
    12.  Georgetown         13
    
    
    
     

     

    Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year: George Springer, OF, Connecticut Preseason BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year: Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut

    Preseason All-BIG EAST Team Pos. Name, Class, School Key 2010 Stats P Matt Barnes, Sr., Connecticut * 8-3, 3.92 ERA, 82.2 IP, 75K, 25 BB, .257 OBA P Matt Iannazzo, Jr., Pittsburgh 11-2, 3.76 ERA, 93.1 IP, 58 K, 22 BB, .289 OBA P Kyle Hansen, So., St. John's 8-3, 3.71 ERA, 94.2 IP, 85 K, 38 BB, .227 OBA P Randy Fontanez, Sr., USF 5-7, 3.59 ERA, 110.1 IP, 105 K, 28 BB, .241 OBA P Andrew Barbosa, Sr., USF 8-2, 2.40 ERA, 86.1 IP, 95 K, 22 BB, .228 OBA C Erick Fernandez, Sr., Georgetown .315, 5 HR, 29 RBI C Kevan Smith, Sr., Pittsburgh .361, 5 HR, 46 RBI 1B Mike Nemeth, Sr., Connecticut * .386, 15 HR, 84 RBI 2B Ryan Wright, Jr., Louisville * .366, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 10 SB SS Steve Nyisztor, So., Rutgers .410, 4 HR, 51 RBI, 11 SB 3B Grant Buckner, Sr., West Virginia .363, 8 HR, 50 RBI OF George Springer, Jr., Connecticut * .337, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 33 SB OF Stewart Ijames, Jr., Louisville .324, 14 HR, 63 RBI OF Jeremy Baltz, So., St. John's * .396, 24 HR, 85 RBI DH Kevin Vance, Jr., Connecticut .322, 7 HR, 36 RBI DH Ryan Kapp, Jr., Rutgers .318, 9 HR, 39 RBI * - unanimous selection

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