Baseball

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Irish Baseball Opens Practice
Notre Dame first-year head coach Mik Aoki.
 
Notre Dame first-year head coach Mik Aoki.

Jan. 28, 2011

Baseball 1st Day - Short Feature

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame baseball squad began official team practice for the 2011 campaign inside Loftus Center this evening. The Irish will conduct three weeks of team practice sessions before opening its season in Dunedin, Fla., at 4 p.m. ET against Michigan State on Feb. 18.

"We were excited to get started to say the least," said Mik Aoki, who begins his inaugural season as Irish head coach. "We have a solid core group of returning players and plenty of new faces, both of which are ready to get the season underway."

Notre Dame practiced for nearly three hours. The Irish spent the first hour of practice separated into position groups. The pitching staff worked on pickoffs, the catchers concentrated on blocking and the outfielders focused on fly balls.

The catchers and outfielders each benefitted from the newest piece of equipment, the FungoMan. The machine can throw any kind of ball to any position on the field using a state-of-the-art positioning system that allows balls to be thrown every three to five seconds. With the use of a wireless controller, the machine can be controlled from anywhere on the field. The Irish were able to use one with the backstops, programming pitches to bounce out in front of home plate, while another threw all types of fly balls.

Notre Dame also held an intra-squad scrimmage for the final two hours of practice.

"Overall, I thought today went relatively well," said Aoki. "We really need the next three weeks of practice to get ready, but overall I was pretty pleased. We will continue to emphasize tempo, tempo, tempo. Our pace of play, both within the actual game, as well as in and out of innings, needs to improve. It will be a backbone of our program."

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.

The 2011 schedule will include early-season trips to Florida, Washington, South Carolina and Texas along with BIG EAST road series at Pittsburgh, St. John's, Rutgers and Louisville. The slate also features the third annual BIG EAST-Big Ten Baseball Challenge, hosted by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission.

Notre Dame's five BIG EAST home series will include games versus Georgetown, Connecticut, West Virginia, Seton Hall and USF. The Irish will also host Michigan State and play a home-and-home series with Michigan, while the midweek games at Frank Eck Stadium will feature some of Notre Dame's traditional non-conference rivals, most notably UIC, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Toledo.

In all, Notre Dame will play 11 games (St. John's, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Louisville and Kent State) against teams that reached the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Season tickets will also be available. 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.

-- ND --
 

 

Event Calendar

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February 19
9:00 PM
Santa Clara
Santa Clara, Calif. (Stephen Schott Stadium)

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February 20
9:00 PM
Santa Clara
Santa Clara, Calif. (Stephen Schott Stadium)

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February 21
2:00 PM
Santa Clara
Santa Clara, Calif. (Stephen Schott Stadium)

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February 25
7:05 PM
Incarnate Word
San Antonio, Texas (Nelson Wolff Stadium)

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February 26
12:30 PM
Bradley
San Antonio, Texas (Nelson Wolff Stadium)

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February 27
12:30 PM
Texas Southern
San Antonio, Texas (Nelson Wolff Stadium)

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February 28
12:00 PM
Gonzaga
San Antonio, Texas (Nelson Wolff Stadium)

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March 4
5:05 PM
Alabama
Cary, N.C. (USA Baseball National Training Complex)

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March 5
11:35 AM
Brown
Cary, N.C. (USA Baseball National Training Complex)

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March 5
3:05 PM
Bucknell
Cary, N.C. (USA Baseball National Training Complex)

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March 6
11:05 AM
Niagara
Cary, N.C. (USA Baseball National Training Complex)

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March 11
3:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Jim Patterson Stadium)

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March 12
3:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Jim Patterson Stadium)

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March 13
1:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Jim Patterson Stadium)

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March 16
6:05 PM
Toledo
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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March 18
6:30 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Doak Field at Dail Park)

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March 19
6:30 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Doak Field at Dail Park)

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March 20
1:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Doak Field at Dail Park)

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March 22
6:05 PM
UIC
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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March 24
5:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (English Field)

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March 25
5:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (English Field)

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March 26
12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (English Field)

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March 31
6:05 PM
Oregon
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 1
6:05 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 2
4:05 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 3
1:05 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 5
6:05 PM
Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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WHME 103.1 FM
April 6
6:05 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 8
6:05 PM
Miami
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 9
4:05 PM
Miami
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 10
1:05 PM
Miami
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 12
6:05 PM
Chicago State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 15
6:05 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 16
3:05 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 17
1:05 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 19
3:05 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (McLane Baseball Stadium)

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April 20
6:05 PM
Central Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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WHME 103.1 FM
April 22
6:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Dick Howser Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 23
6:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Dick Howser Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 24
1:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Dick Howser Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
April 26
7:00 PM
Indiana
Indianapolis, Ind. (Victory Field)

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April 27
6:05 PM
Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 29
6:05 PM
Ohio
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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April 30
4:05 PM
Ohio
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 1
1:05 PM
Ohio
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 6
7:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 7
4:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 8
1:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 10
6:05 PM
LSU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

ESPN3
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May 11
6:05 PM
LSU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
May 13
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
May 14
6:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium)

ESPN3
WHME 103.1 FM
May 16
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium)

ESPNU
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May 19
6:05 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 20
6:05 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 21
1:05 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Frank Eck Stadium)

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May 24
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

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WHME 103.1 FM
May 25
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

ESPN3/RSN
WHME 103.1 FM
May 26
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

ESPN3/RSN
WHME 103.1 FM
May 27
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

ESPN3/RSN
WHME 103.1 FM
May 28
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

ESPN3/RSN
WHME 103.1 FM
May 29
TBA
ACC Tournament
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

ESPN2
WHME 103.1 FM
June 3
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
June 4
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
June 5
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
June 6
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
June 10
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
TBD
June 11
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
TBD
June 12
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
TBD
June 13
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
TBD
June 18
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 19
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 20
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 21
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 22
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 23
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 24
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 25
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 26
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 27
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 28
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
June 29
TBA
College World Series
Omaha, Neb. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)

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