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    Baseball Opens Season This Weekend With BIG EAST / Big Ten Challenge

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior David Mills.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior David Mills.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 18, 2009

    Full Notes Package in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    THE MATCHUP


    BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge
    February 20-22
    vs. Ohio State (Knology Park)
    vs. Illinois (McKechnie Field)
    vs. Purdue (Jack Russell Stadium)

    PITCHING MATCHUP


    Ohio State, Friday (7:30 p.m.)
    RHP Brian Dupra (3-3, 5.44) vs. RHP Alex Wimmers (0-3, 4.50)
    Illinois, Saturday (7:30 p.m.)
    RHP Eric Maust (6-3, 4.52) vs. RHP Kevin Manson (8-2, 5.42)
    Purdue, Sunday (1:00 p.m.)
    RHP Evan Danieli (0-0, 5.00) vs. LHP Connor Sestak (1-3, 6.65 ERA)

    LIVE GAME COVERAGE


    Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Sean Stires, p-b-p); UND.com
    Gametracker: UND.com

    SERIES HISTORY


    All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 26-18, and Purdue, 78-37-3, but the Irish trail the all-time series with Illinois, 37-23.
    2008 Results: Notre Dame did not face any of its three opponents this weekend last season.
    Series Notes: The Irish and Buckeyes have not met since the 2002 NCAA Regional in South Bend. Notre Dame and Purdue have met every season since 1981 except 1983, 1989, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2008. The Irish and Illini have met just once (2006) since the 2001 campaign.

    IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Notre Dame opens the 2009 season this weekend at the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. The Irish will play Ohio State (Fri., 7:30 p.m., Knology Park), Illinois (Sat., 1:00 p.m., McKechnie Field) and Purdue (Sun., 1:00 p.m., Jack Russell Stadium). All three games can be heard on WHME 103.1 FM and UND.com.

    BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE INSIDER -- In addition to Notre Dame, seven other BIG EAST representatives will participate, including Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John's, USF and West Virginia. All 10 of the Big Ten's baseball-playing institutions will compete in the inaugural event, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue.

    The BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge will be similar in format to the popular conference collegiate basketball challenges that have emerged over the past decade, with participating teams competing against schools from the opposing conference. However, this tournament is unique in that it provides teams from two northern-based conferences with an opportunity to travel to Florida and compete against one another in outstanding, professional-quality venues located in a warm climate.

    WARMING UP IN FLORIDA - The Irish baseball team owns a 67-58-1 all-time record (.536) in the state of Florida, but found the Sunshine State to be an especially welcome home-away-from-home site between 2000-07, racking up a 41-14 record (.732). Notre Dame struggled in Florida a year ago, posting a 4-9 mark, including five straight losses to close the season. Notre Dame is opening the season in Florida for just the fourth time over the last 31 years.

    NOTRE DAME IN THE SUNSHINE STATE - The Notre Dame baseball team has made regular visits to Florida, totaling a 67-58-1 record against various top teams in games played in Boca Raton, Ft. Myers, DeLand, Gainesville, Homestead, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Santaluces, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Winter Park, Tampa and Clearwater. In addition to this week's BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge, the Irish will return to Clearwater and Brighthouse Networks Field for the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament in May.

  • Last year, Notre Dame took part in the Winning Inning Invitational (Clearwater) and Palm Beach Challenge (Santaluces). The Irish posted a 4-4 mark in those tournaments. Notre Dame dropped five straight to close the season -- all played in the State of Florida (three at USF, two at the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament).
  • In 2007, Notre Dame participated in the Stetson Invitational (DeLand), Clearwater Classic and Florida Gulf Coast Classic (Ft. Myers). The Irish posted a 6-5 record in those tournaments, including a 16-6 victory over #7 Nebraska on March 4.
  • The 2006 team swept a series at then-BIG EAST newcomer South Florida (9-6, 10-4, 10-1) and then won the program's fifth straight BIG EAST Tournament title by going 4-1 in action at Brighthouse Networks Field, in Clearwater.
  • The 2005 team opened 3-1 in games played at Central Florida (18-3 vs. Florida A&M, 1-2 vs. UCF, 4-3 vs. FAMU, 4-2 vs. UCF) and then ended its season at the NCAA regional played at the University of Florida (1-5 vs. North Carolina, 7-4 vs. Stetson, 3-0 vs. UNC and 3-23 vs. UF).
  • In addition to participating in the 2000 (7-1 record) and 2003 (6-1) Kennel Club Classics, the Irish recently have played three series at Miami (1-2 in 1992 and 1995, 0-3 in 1998) while participating in the first ACC/Disney Blast in Orlando (1998; 1-2 with win over FSU) and winning the 2004 Florida Atlantic Classic.
  • Notre Dame nearly advanced to the 1992 and 1993 College World Series, after competing in NCAA regionals at Miami and Florida State (the Irish upset the host schools and reached the final day of competition in both years). The 2002 Irish team won their NCAA Super Regional series at Florida State to earn a College World Series spot (Florida native Chris Niesel picked up the decisive win over FSU).
  • The program's first Florida trip came in 1956 (2-5 in games around the Tallahassee area). Other early Notre Dame trips to Florida included a 5-2 loss at FSU in 1958, three wins at Rollins in 1967, tournaments at Miami in 1970 (1-5) and Rollins in 1978 (3-5-1), seven games around the state in 1979 (2-5) and six games played at Rollins and Miami in 1989 (4-2).

    FLORIDA NATIVES - The 2009 Notre Dame baseball roster includes one player from Florida. Senior 3B/1B Eddy Mendiola (Miami/Palmer Trinity H.S.) hails from the Sunshine State.

  • The Irish baseball program's list of all-time monogram winners includes 17 Florida natives, among them Academic All-America first baseman and Tampa native Henry Valenzuela (Jesuit H.S.; 1979-82, hit .314 with 15 HR, 123 RBI) ... recent pitching ace Chris Niesel (Plantation; 2002-04, 3.21 ERA, 21-4, 2 SV, 233 Ks and just 57 BB in 272. IP) joined other noteworthy RHPs such as Mike Pasilla (Windemere/Bishop Moore H.S.; 1987-89), David Sinnes (Miami/Palmetto H.S.; 1990-93, 2.91 career ERA, 32-8 record, 315 Ks in 297.1 IP), closer John Corbin (Hollywood Hills H.S.; 1998-00, 20 saves) and Danny Tamayo (Miami/Ransom Everglades H.S.; 1998-01, 3.27 ERA, 141 Ks in 160 IP) ... Sinnes held ND record for career win pct. and Ks (bested by Aaron Heilman in 2001) while Corbin is the Irish career saves leader and Tamayo formed a potent 1-2 punch with Heilman ... other noteworthy ND players from Florida have included: SS Daniel Cunha (St. Petersburg; 1933-35), IF Joe LaRocca (Ft. Lauderdale/Gibbons H.S.; 1970-72), OF Mike Galloway (Cocoa Beach H.S.; 1975-77), DH Ken Meyer (Ft. Myers/Verot H.S.; 1999-02), catcher Javi Sanchez (Miami/Columbus H.S.), RHP Joey Williamson (Lantana/Santaluces H.S.; 2005-07), OF Ross Brezovsky (Naples/Collier H.S.) and LHP Wade Korpi (Lake Worth/Santaluces H.S.).
    PROBABLE POSITION STARTERS
    Pos.	# Player	B-T	Cl.	GP-GS	Avg.	HR	RBI
    C	Matt Scioscia	R-R	So.	16-5	.308	1	4
    Son of former major league catcher and current manager of L.A. Angels Mike Scioscia
    -or-	Cam McConnell	R-R	So.	15-10	.200	0	3
    Served as the primary backup catcher last season; extremely athletic back stop with powerful throwing arm
    1B	Evan Sharpley	L-R	Sr.	51-33	.324	13	40
    Led Irish in home runs last season (20th player in ND history to hit 10+ homers); ranked fourth in the BIG EAST
    2B	Ryne Intlekofer	R-R	Jr.	19-2	.286	0	5
    Versatile player that has contributed off the bench the past two seasons; earned starting nod following exception fall
    3B	Greg Sherry	R-R	So.	47-42	.315	2	14
    Spent most of 2008 in the nine-hole and was first ND player to hit over .300 in that spot of the order since `04
    SS	Jeremy Barnes	R-R	Sr.	55-53	.307	8	50
    Four-year starter (last three at second base) that was named All-BIG EAST second team in `06
    LF	Golden Tate	L-L	So.	18-9	.262	0	4
    Two-sport standout led ND football team in rec. (58), rec. yds (1,080), rec. TDs (10) and total TDs (11) in `08
    CF	A.J. Pollock	R-R	Jr.	55-55	.352	4	42
    Led ND in hitting in `07 and `08; preseason Baseball America first team All-American in `09; `08 Cape Cod League MVP
    RF	Billy Boockford	R-R	Jr.	49-44	.275	1	26
    Was listed by Baseball America as Wisconsin's fifth best high school prospect
    -or-	David Mills	L-L	Jr.	43-42	.349	2	26
    Two-way player that doubles as situational lefty in Irish bullpen; all-BIG EAST first team in `08
    DH	David Mills	L-L	Jr.	43-42	.349	2	26
    Two-way player that doubles as situational lefty in Irish bullpen; all-BIG EAST first team in `08
    -or-	Matt Grosso	L-L	Jr.	0-0	.000	0	0
    High school teammate of A.J. Pollock; Has not played each of the last two springs (after transferring twice)
    

    CAREER STATS VS. PURDUE Player AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SF SH SB Jeremy Barnes .333 2-2 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-2 Ryan Connolly .000 1-1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Eddy Mendiola .000 1-1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 A.J. Pollock .000 1-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0

    Player ERA W-L G GS CG SHO SV IP H R-ER BB-SO B/AVG Sam Elam 0.00 0-0 1 1 0 0/1 0 9.0 1 0-0 6-9 .038

    CAREER STATS VS. ILLINOIS Player AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SF SH SB Jeremy Barnes .000 1-1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0

    Notre Dame Career Stats vs. MATT BISCHOFF Player AVG AB H RBI 2B 3B HR BB HBP SO GDP SF SH SB Jeremy Barnes .333 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0 A.J. Pollock .000 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0 Ryan Connolly .000 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0 Eddy Mendiola .000 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0

    Notre Dame Career Stats vs. MATT JANSEN Player AVG AB H RBI 2B 3B HR BB HBP SO GDP SF SH SB A.J. Pollock .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0

    PURDUE Career Stats vs. Sam Elam Player AVG AB H RBI 2B 3B HR BB HBP SO GDP SF SH SB Alex Jaffee .500 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0-0 Dan Black .000 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0 John Cummins .000 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0-0 Jon Moore .000 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Eric Nielsen .000 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0-0 Nick Overmyer .000 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0-0

    PURDUE CAREER STATS VS. NOTRE DAME Player AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SF SH SB Alex Jaffee .500 1-1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0-0 John Cummins .000 2-2 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Eric Nielsen .000 2-2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1-1 Jon Moore .000 1-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Dan Black .000 1-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Nick Overmyer .000 1-1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0

    Player ERA W-L G GS CG SHO SV IP H R-ER BB-SO B/AVG Matt Bischoff 0.00 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 9.0 1 0-0 0-7 .037 Matt Jansen 13.50 0-1 1 0 0 0 0 0.2 2 1-1 1-0 .500

    ILLINOIS CAREER STATS VS. NOTRE DAME Player AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SF SH SB Dominic Altobelli .000 1-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 Joe Bonadonna .000 1-1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0-0

    ON DECK -- After this weekend's games, Notre Dame travels out west for the Phoenix Classic hosted by the University of Dayton next weekend. The Irish will play both Gonzaga (Feb. 27) and Dayton (Feb. 28) at the L.A. Angles' spring training facility Diablo Stadium. First-pitch for each game is slated for 6:00 p.m. Notre Dame then faces Creighton at Marich Field on the Phoenix College campus. First-pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

    RANKINGS -- Notre Dame is unranked in each of the four season-opening polls, but the Irish are receiving votes in three of those four polls. Ohio State, Illinois and Purdue are also all unranked. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers are each receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

    recent season openers -- The Irish have captured nine of their last 11 season openers. Notre Dame suffered a tight loss to New Orleans in the 2001 season opener (7-6 at Mississippi State) and last season (6-2 vs. Liberty in Clearwater, Fla.), but have opened season with victories in 1998 (10-1 vs. Florida State in Orlando), 1999 (8-4 vs. James Madison at FIU), 2000 (6-0 vs. Air Force in Millington, Tenn.), 2002 (7-6 vs. Missouri at New Orleans), 2003 (10-9 vs. Dayton at Arizona State), 2004 (7-1 vs. San Diego State at USC), 2005 (19-8 vs. Florida A&M at UCF), 2006 (3-0 vs. Indiana State in Millington, Tenn.) and 2007 (15-8 vs. Prairie View in San Antonio).

  • The 2001-03 openers each produced one-run games (the Missouri game in 2002 went 10 innings), but Notre Dame has won the 2004-07 opening games by a combined 44-17 margin. The 19-8 rout of Florida A&M in 2005 was Notre Dame's largest margin of victory and most runs in a season opener since the 1963 squad won 20-3 at Indiana.

    season-opening sites -- This marks the 76th season and 19th straight that Notre Dame has opened its season away from home. The 1990 Irish team played a rare Feb. 5 home game against Goshen to open the year.

  • Florida (now with nine) is the site of the second-most season-opening games in the history of Notre Dame baseball. Tennessee ranks third with seven games and Texas and Georgia are tied for the fourth-most common site for an Irish season-opener. Other states that have been the site of multiple Irish openers include: Kentucky and Louisiana (five), California (four), Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio and Oklahoma (all with three), Mississippi, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri and North Carolina (two). Obviously, Indiana leads all states with 13.
  • The most common sites for a Notre Dame road season opener have included: Indiana University (six), Purdue (four), Georgia Tech (three) and USA Baseball Stadium in Millington, Tenn. (three).

    OPENING-DAY HOME RUNS - Three members of the 2007 team (A.J. Pollock, Michael Wright and Mike Dury) smacked home runs in the `07 season opener vs. Prairie View A&M. Pollock (3-run) and Wright (solo) homered two batters apart in the second inning (their first career ABs with the Irish) and are believed to be the first Notre Dame freshmen ever to homer in a season opener. Since 1989, Notre Dame players now have combined for 16 HRs on opening day. The Prairie View A&M game was the first time since 1993 that the Irish have hit three home runs in an opener (Craig DeSensi, Paul Failla and Eric Danapilis all homered in the `93 opener, a 11-4 win at Arizona State). Notre Dame players had homered in each of the past six season openers before failing to do so in last season's opener against Liberty. The previous six opening day home runs included Matt Bok in 2002 (vs. Missouri, at University of New Orleans), Kris Billmaier in 2003 (vs. Dayton, at Arizona State), Matt Edwards in 2004 (vs. San Diego State, at USC), Steve Andres and Edwards in 2005 (vs. Florida A&M, in Orlando) and Matt Bransfield in 2006 (vs. Indiana State, in Millington, Tenn.). Edwards is the only player among those listed below to hit multiple opening-day homers in his Notre Dame career. Of the program's 16 opening-day home runs in the past 20 seasons, seven have come from seniors, five from juniors, two from sophomores (none since 1993, when DeSensi and Failla did it) and two from freshmen. The 16 have also included three first basemen (Edwards twice), three DHs and three leftfielders, plus two catchers, two shortstops, a centerfielder, a rightfielder and a third baseman.

    Notre Dame Opening-Day Home Runs Since 1989
    Ed Lund (Jr., C, '89) - at Trinity (12-2)
    Craig DeSensi (So., DH, '93) - at Arizona State (11-4)
    Paul Failla (So., SS, '93) - at Arizona State (11-4)
    Eric Danapilis (Sr., CF, '93) - at Arizona State (11-4)
    Bob Lisanti (Sr., C, '96) - at Georgia Tech (4-12)
    Dan Leatherman (Jr., 1B, '98) - vs. Florida State, Orlando (10-1)
    Brant Ust (Jr., SS, '99) - vs. James Madison, Miami (8-4)
    Matt Bok (Sr., DH, '02) - vs. Missouri, New Orleans (7-6)
    Kris Billmaier (Sr., RF, '03) - vs. Dayton, Tempe (10-9)
    Matt Edwards (Jr., 1B, '04) - vs. San Diego State, Los Angeles (7-1)
    Steve Andres (Jr., LF, '05) - vs. Florida A&M, Orlando (18-3)
    Matt Edwards (Sr., 1B, '05) - vs. Florida A&M, Orlando (18-3)
    Matt Bransfield (Sr., LF, '06) - vs. Indiana State, Millington, TN (3-0)
    Michael Wright (Fr., LF, '07) - vs. Prairie View A&M, San Antonio (15-8)
    A.J. Pollock (Fr., 3B, '07) - vs. Prairie View A&M, San Antonio (15-8)
    Mike Dury (Sr., DH, '07) - vs. Prairie View A&M, San Antonio (15-8)

    OPENING-WEEKEND LONG BALLS - Notre Dame players combined to hit 32 opening-weekend home runs during the past 14 seasons (1995-08). Four players in that span hit multiple opening-week homers: infielder Brant Ust (two; 1998 and 1999), RF Kris Billmaier (three, in 2003), 1B Matt Edwards (two; 2004, 2005) and LF/DH Steve Andres (two; 2003, 2005). Billmaier is the only Notre Dame player among those listed below who had a multi-HR game during the opening weekend (vs. Newman, at Arizona State). A.J. Pollock (vs. Prairie View A&M, in San Antonio in 2007) is one of six from this list to homer during the opening week of their freshman season, as did Michael Wright (vs. Prairie View A&M, in San Antonio in 2007), Andres (at Arizona State in 2003), Ed Golom (as a pinch-hitter, at Florida International in 1999), OF Brian Stavisky (at Memphis, in 2000) and RF Cody Rizzo (in the second 2003 game at Arizona State). The position breakdown of the opening-weekend home run hitters since 1995 is as follows: RF (6), 1B (4), DH (4), LF (4), SS (4), C (3), CF (2), 3B (3), PH (1) and 2B (1).

    Opening-Week Home Runs Since 1995
    Rowan Richards (Jr., CF, '95) - game 3 vs. Pepperdine, Anaheim (14-5)
    Ryan Topham (Jr., RF, '95) - game 3 vs. Pepperdine, Anaheim (14-5)
    Bob Lisanti (Sr., C, '96) - game 1 at Georgia Tech (4-12)
    Justin Scholl (Sr., RF, '97) - game 2 vs. USC, Long Beach (4-14)
    Dan Leatherman (Sr., 1B, '98) - game 1 vs. Florida State, Orlando (10-1)
    Brant Ust (So., 3B, '98) - game 2 vs. NC State, Orlando (8-10)
    Jeff Wagner (Jr., C, '98) - game 2 vs. NC State, Orlando (8-10)
    Brant Ust (Jr., SS, '99) - game 1 vs. JMU, Miami (8-4)
    Ed Golom (Fr., PH, '99) - game 2 at FIU (1-14)
    Alec Porzel (Jr., SS, '00) - game 3 at Memphis (4-3)
    Brian Stavisky (Fr., RF, '00) - game 3 at Memphis (4-3)
    Matt Bok (Sr., DH, '02) - game 1 vs. Missouri, New Orleans (7-6)
    Andrew Bushey (Sr., C/3B, '02) - game 2 at New Orleans (7-8)
    Kris Billmaier (Sr., RF, '03) - game 1 vs. Dayton, Tempe (10-9)
    Kris Billmaier (Sr., RF, '03) - 2 HRs in game 2 vs. Newman, Tempe (15-5)
    Steve Andres (Fr., DH, '03) - game 3 at Arizona State (3-16)
    Matt Macri (So., SS, '03) - game 4 at Arizona State (8-14)
    Cody Rizzo (Fr., CF, '03) - game 4 at Arizona State (8-14)
    Matt Edwards (Jr., 1B, '04) - game 1 vs. San Diego State, Los Angeles (7-1)
    Steve Andres (Jr., LF, '05) - game 1 vs. Florida A&M, Orlando (18-3)
    Matt Edwards (Sr., 1B, '05) - game 1 vs. Florida A&M, Orlando (18-3)
    Matt Bransfield (Sr., LF, '06) - game 1 vs. Indiana St., Millington, TN (3-0)
    Ross Brezovsky (So., 2B, '06) - game 2 vs. Air Force, Millington, TN (8-2)
    Mike Dury (Jr., 1B, '06) - game 4 vs. Oklahoma, Millington, TN (3-4)
    Michael Wright (Fr., LF, '07) - game 1 vs. Prairie View, San Antonio (15-8)
    A.J. Pollock (Fr., 3B, '07) - game 1vs. Prairie View, San Antonio (15-8)
    Mike Dury (Sr., DH, '07) - game 1 vs. Prairie View, San Antonio (15-8)
    Brett Lilley (Sr., SS, `08) - game 2 vs. Iowa, Clearwater (14-13, 10 innings)

    A.J. Pollock PRESEASON HONOR ROLL - Notre Dame junior OF A.J. Pollock was named first team preseason All-American by Baseball America. He was one of just two players from the BIG EAST Conference to be named to the first, second or third team. Pollock has already been named second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and third team by CollegeBaseballInsider.com. He has also been named to the Wallace Award Watch List and listed as the 39th overall prospect, 16th collegiate prospect and top overall prospect from the BIG EAST Conference for the 2009 MLB Draft by Baseball America. Pollock was also ranked as the seventh-best prospect from the Cape Cod League by Baseball America following his Most Valuable Player season this past summer. He was most recently recognized by Baseball America as the 10th-ranked player from the junior class.

    Irish Picked By Baseball America To Return To NCAA Tournament - Notre Dame was well represented in Baseball America's 2009 season preview. The Irish, picked to finish second in the BIG EAST, was projected to reach the NCAA Tournament's field of 64. Notre Dame was penciled into the Irvine Regional as the fourth seed. UC Irvine was the host and top-seed, while Stanford (#2 seed) and defending national champion Fresno State (#3 seed) rounded out the regional. The Irish had three players listed among the top 50 in their respective class. LHP Sam Elam was rated the 39th-best senior in the nation, while OF A.J. Pollock was the 10th-ranked junior and RHP Evan Danieli was the 48th-rated sophomore. Pollock not only was named all-BIG EAST, but was also listed by the publication as a first team All-American. He and Louisville third baseman Chris Dominguez were the only two BIG EAST players honored. Sophomore RHP Brian Dupra was also named the first team all-BIG EAST relief pitcher. Danieli and Dupra were ranked as the second and third best prospects in the league heading into the 2010 MLB Draft.

    MAUST, POLLOCK AND BARNES NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM - Notre Dame placed the trio of junior RHP Eric Maust, junior OF A.J. Pollock and senior SS Jeremy Barnes on the preseason All-BIG EAST squad. No other conference school had more players on the 14-man squad than Notre Dame.

    IRISH PICKED THIRD BY BIG EAST COACHES -- The University of Notre Dame baseball team was picked to finish third in the 2009 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll as determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Irish received a total of 99 points.

    	Team	        Points	        2008 Overall	2008 BIG EAST
    1.	Louisville	121 (11)	41-19	        16-11
    2.	USF	        103	        31-27	        14-13
    3.	Notre Dame	99	        33-21-1	        16-10
    4.	St. John's	93 (1)	        41-14	        20-7
    5.	Cincinnati	77	        23-11	        19-8
    6.	Connecticut	62	        27-28	        11-16
    7.	West Virginia	60	        35-21	        13-14
    8.	Rutgers	        58	        23-29-1	        11-16
    9.	Seton Hall	49	        31-25	        15-12
    10.	Villanova	31	        30-28	        12-15
    11.	Pittsburgh	27	        19-34	        7-19
    12.	Georgetown	12	        18-32	        7-20
    
    PLENTY OF WAYS TO FOLLOW THE IRISH - Notre Dame baseball fans will have several options for tracking the 2009 season on a game-by-game basis, through live streaming video (Notre Dame home games only), live-audio broadcasts, GameTracker live stats, free Irish Alert text messages and the Notre Dame Sports Hotline:
  • Live radio broadcasts are available in the South Bend area on WHME 103.1 FM (Notre Dame baseball is part of a small percentage of programs in the nation with its entire season airing live on a commercial station). All games are streamed live on und.com, with the links posted on the lower left corner of the und.com main page. The online broadcasts are free of charge, as part of a quick signup with Fighting Irish All-Access (which includes archives or all audio and video content). See All-Access signup link via the multimedia gold button at the top of each und.com page
  • Irish ALERT free text-message updates (three per game) are available to your cell phone or other mobile devices. See link on the right side blue sidebar on the baseball page at und.com.
  • GameTracker live stats are provided for all home games and most road games (based on phone-line availability). When Notre Dame is on the road, the home team typically provides the live stats - with bonus GameTracker stats also provided by the Notre Dame SID office for select road games.
  • The ND Sports Hotline provides a recap of each game and often will include special in-game updates for postseason action (or for doubleheader days). To access the hotline, call 574-631-3000, choose option 4 (for baseball/softball) and then press "1" for the baseball recap.
  • Complete coverage of each and every Irish home game through live streaming video.

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