IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Notre Dame and Hofstra will open a three-game series with a doubleheader at 12:05 p.m. ET, Sat., Feb. 25, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The Irish and Pride will return on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. ET to conclude the series.
IRISH TRAVEL TO THE TAR HEEL STATE -- Notre Dame will make its first appearance in North Carolina since 1989.
The Irish own an all-time record of 11-14 against schools from the Tar Heel State, including Camp Lejeune (2-1), Duke (4-5), Elon (2-0), North Carolina (1-2), North Carolina State (0-1), UNW Wilmington (0-1) and Wake Forest (2-4).
Notre Dame has played a total of 14 games in the state of North Carolina, including 10 at Duke (6-4), two at Elon (2-0) and two at Wake Forest (0-2).
4.7.55 at Duke L 1-4
4.8.55 vs. Ohio (@ Duke) W 3-2
4.9.55 vs. Yale (@ Duke) L 5-8
4.8.63 at Camp Lejeune W 6-3
4.9.63 at Camp Lejeune W 13-5
4.10.63 at Camp Lejeune L 4-8
4.11.63 at Duke W 4-3
4.13.63 at Duke W 6-2
4.15.63 at Elon W 7-0
4.15.63 at Elon W 9-2
2.25.88 at Duke W 14-11
2.26.88 at Duke L 6-9
2.27.88 at Wake Forest L 10-17
2.28.88 at Wake Forest L 5-12
3.18.89 at Duke W 5-4
3.19.89 vs. St. Bonaventure (@ Duke) W 5-2
3.19.89 at Duke L 2-8
Irish legendary skipper Jake Kline took the 1955 and 1963 squads to both Duke and Elon. Notre Dame opened '55 in Durham against the host Blue Devils before playing Ohio and Yale. In '63, the Irish spent their spring break trip in North Carolina and played Duke, Elon and Camp Lejeune.
Notre Dame made trips to Duke and Wake Forest in 1988 and '89. Notre Dame opened the '88 campaign with a 14-11 victory over the Blue Devils, but lost the next three days. Murphy and Notre Dame returned to Durham in '89 and split two meetings with Duke (also upended St. Bonaventure).
NORTH CAROLINA NATIVES -- Notre Dame's list of all-time baseball monogram winners includes 895 players who hail from 47 states, Washington, D.C., Panama and Ontario. Interestingly, the Irish have had only one player from the State of North Carolina earn a monogram (and it was just a single monogram at that). Cody Wilkins - a native of Hudson, N.C., and South Caldwell H.S. - was a left-handed pitcher for the Irish from 2001-04. Wilkins earned his only monogram as a senior in '04.
HOFSTRA SET TO BECOME OPPONENT #306 -- Hofstra becomes the 306th different opponents faced by Notre Dame in 120 seasons of Division I baseball, with Houston Baptist and Kansas set to join the all-time opponents list later in the season. The Irish have faced roughly 64% of the teams currently competing on the Division I level (196 of 308), including all teams currently in the BIG EAST, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Big Ten, Ivy League, Pac-10 and SEC.
BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE RECAP -- The 2012 challenge ended in a tie, 15-15, for the first time in the four-year history of the event. The BIG EAST still owns a slim lead in the all-time head-to-head standings, 55-53.
Notre Dame was one of three squads to capture each of its first two contests, joining Purdue and USF - both of whom finished the weekend undefeated.
Here is a run down of the '12 participants and their respective records over the weekend:
BIG EAST Big Ten
USF 3-0 Purdue 3-0
West Virginia 3-1 Indiana 2-1
Louisville 2-1 Michigan 2-1
Notre Dame 2-1 Ohio State 2-1
Seton Hall 2-2 Iowa 1-2
Connecticut 1-2 Michigan State 1-2
St. John's 1-2 Minnesota 1-2
Pittsburgh 1-3 Northwestern 1-2
Cincinnati 0-3 Illinois 1-2
Penn State 1-2
BIG TEN/ BIG EAST RECORD BOOK -- Notre Dame, which hit .379 (44-for-116) last weekend, nearly bested the tournament record for team batting average. St. John's still holds the record for single tournament batting average when they hit .387 in 2009. The 44 hits for the Irish also approached the Red Storm's record of 48 hits in 2011. Notre Dame drew 17 walks - the second-most ever in a single tournament - and did set a tournament record with 11 batters hit by a pitch
Notre Dame set challenge records for highest team batting average/game (.490), runs scored/game (19), hits/game (25), RBI/game (tied 18) and total bases/game (tied 30) in a 19-2 rout of Purdue in 2010.
The Irish plated 11 runs in the third inning of the victory over the Boilermakers, which is the second-most runs in an inning in challenge history.
Senior OF Alex Robinson went 5-for-5 in the rout of Purdue. He is one of two players in challenge history to register five hits in a single game.
MORE ON THE OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION -- Notre Dame batted .239 in 2011 - the lowest batting average for an Irish squad since 1978 (the last year when the NCAA still used wooden bats). Notre Dame had 12 or more hits in just five games last season, yet the Irish had three such games last weekend.
Notre Dame had not opened a season with three consecutive games of 10 or more hits since 1993.
This surge was led by a potent middle of the lineup combination of sophomore LF Eric Jagielo, sophomore 1B Trey Mancini and junior C Joe Hudson. The trio went a combined 20-for-36 with three home runs and 17 RBI on the weekend.
HUDSON EARNS HONORS -- Notre Dame junior C Joe Hudson was not only named BIG EAST Player of the Week, but he also earned CollegeBaseballInsider.com Northeast Player of the Week.
Hudson stared all three games this weekend behind the plate and helped the Irish to a pair of victories at the Big 10/BIG EAST Challenge. He batted .700 (7-for-10) with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. Hudson added three runs scored, three walks and three hit by pitches. He posted a slugging percentage of 1.600 and an on-base percentage of .813. Hudson reached based in 13 of his 16 plate appearances.
Hudson not only equaled the tournament record for batting average, but he also set records for single-game total bases (11 in the victory over Illinois), single-tournament total bases (16) and single-tournament slugging percentage (1.600). Hudson also tied tournament records for single-game home runs, single-game doubles and single-tournament home runs.
Hudson, who had just nine multi-hit and five multi-RBI games in 2010, has already registered three and two, respectively, in 2012. If his prowess at the plate was not enough, Hudson was dynamic behind the dish as well. He gunned down two of the three attempted base stealers over the weekend.
In the season-opening victory over defending Big Ten tournament champion Illinois, Hudson went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two home runs and seven RBI, including the a solo home run in the 8th inning that broke up a 12-12 tie and ultimately gave the Irish a 13-12 victory over the Illini. He was the first Irish player to ever hit multiple home runs in a season opener. Hudson also was the first Irish player with a multi-home run game since Brayden Ashdown had two against St. John's on April 30, 2010.
Hudson is the first Notre Dame player to be named BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week since Casey Martin on Feb. 22, 2010 - ironically enough also following the opening week of the season.
NORTON GOES THE DISTANCE -- Notre Dame junior RHP Adam Norton tossed his first career complete game victory to lead Notre Dame to a 5-2 victory over Iowa on Feb. 18. He tossed the first complete game in Big 10/BIG EAST tournament history - a total of 111 games. Norton allowed just two earned runs on seven hits (three of which never left the infield), struck out four and walked only one. Norton blanked the Hawkeyes over the final 7.1 innings of the contest.
His complete game was the first for an Irish hurler in a season's opening week of the year since Tom Price on Mar. 5, 1994.
Norton has actually registered back-to-back quality starts against Iowa. He limited Hawkeyes to an earned run on six hits over 8.0 innings on Mar. 17, 2011, but did not render in the decision.
OPENING-DAY HOME RUNS -- Notre Dame stroked three home runs in its 13-12 victory over Illinois in the 2012 season opener. Interestingly enough, each of the last three times the Irish registered home runs on opening day (2007, 2010 and '12), they recorded three. Junior C Joe Hudson smacked a pair of round trippers and sophomore 1B Trey Mancini added one. Hudson's second home run, a solo shot in the 9th, proved to be the difference in the game.
Hudson is believed to be the first Irish player to ever drill a pair of home runs on opening day. Since 1989, only one player - Matt Edwards - had ever hit more than one home run on opening day over their career.
Mancini was the first Notre Dame sophomore to stroke a homer on opening day since 1993 when Craig DeSensi and Paul Failla went yard in an 11-4 rout at Arizona State.
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 have combined for 22 home runs on opening day. The Prairie View A&M game was the first time since 1993 that the Irish had hit three home runs in an opener (DeSensi, Failla and Eric Danapilis all homered in the `93 opener).
Notre Dame players homered in six straight season openers before failing to do so in the 2008 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), Matt Bransfield in 2006 (vs. Indiana State, in Millington, Tenn.) and the above listed trio in 2007.
Of the program's 22 opening-day home runs in the past 24 seasons, 10 have come from seniors, seven from juniors, three from sophomores and two from freshmen. The 22 have also included five first basemen (Edwards twice) and four leftfielders, three DHs, plus three catchers (Hudson twice), two shortstops, a centerfielder, a rightfielder, a third baseman and a second 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 St., 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) Ryne Intlekofer (Sr., 2B, '10) - at Mississippi Valley State (12-4) Ryan Connolly (Sr., LF, '10) - at Mississippi Valley State (12-4) Casey Martin (Sr., 1B, '10) - at Mississippi Valley State (12-4) Trey Mancini (So., 1B, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12) Joe Hudson (Jr., C, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12) Joe Hudson (Jr., C, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12)
OPENING-WEEKEND LONG BALLS -- Notre Dame players combined to hit 42 opening-weekend home runs during the past 18 seasons (1995-11). Six 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), LF/DH Steve Andres (two; 2003, 2005), 1B Casey Martin (two; 2010) and C Joe Hudson. Billmaier and Hudson are the only Notre Dame players among those listed below who had a multi-HR game during the opening weekend. Billmaier had homers against both Newman College and Arizona State in '03, while Hudson had his pair against Illinois in '12. Trey Mancini (vs. Penn State, in St. Petersburg in 2011) is one of seven from this list to homer during the opening week of their freshman season, as did A.J. Pollock (vs. Prairie View A&M,in San Antonio in 2007), 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: first basemen (seven), rightfielders (six), designated hitters (five), shortstops (five), leftfielders (five), catchers (three), third basemen (three), centerfielders (two), second basemen (two) and pinch hitters (one).
Opening-Week Home Runs Since 1995
Rowan Richards (Jr., CF, '95) - game 3 vs. Pepperdine (14-5)
Ryan Topham (Jr., RF, '95) - game 3 vs. Pepperdine (14-5)
Bob Lisanti (Sr., C, '96) - game 1 at Georgia Tech (4-12)
Justin Scholl (Sr., RF, '97) - game 2 vs. USC (4-14)
Dan Leatherman (Sr., 1B, '98) - game 1 vs. Florida State (10-1)
Brant Ust (So., 3B, '98) - game 2 vs. NC State (8-10)
Jeff Wagner (Jr., C, '98) - game 2 vs. NC State (8-10)
Brant Ust (Jr., SS, '99) - game 1 vs. James Madison (8-4) Ed Golom (Fr., PH, '99) - game 2 at Florida International (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 (7-6) Andrew Bushey (Sr., C/3B, '02) - game 2 at New Orleans (7-8) Kris Billmaier (Sr., RF, '03) - game 1 vs. Dayton (10-9) Steve Andres (Fr., DH, '03) - game 3 at Arizona State (3-16) Cody Rizzo (Fr., CF, '03) - game 4 at Arizona State (8-14) Kris Billmaier (Sr., RF, '03) - 2 HRs in game 2 vs. Newman (15-5) Matt Macri (So., SS, '03) - game 4 at Arizona State (8-14) Matt Edwards (Jr., 1B, '04) - game 1 vs. San Diego State (7-1) Steve Andres (Jr., LF, '05) - game 1 vs. Florida A&M (18-3) Matt Edwards (Sr., 1B, '05) - game 1 vs. Florida A&M (18-3) Matt Bransfield (Sr., LF, '06) - game 1 vs. Indiana State (3-0) Ross Brezovsky (So., 2B, '06) - game 2 vs. Air Force (8-2) Mike Dury (Jr., 1B, '06) - game 4 vs. Oklahoma (3-4) Michael Wright (Fr., LF, '07) - game 1 vs. Prairie View (15-8) A.J. Pollock (Fr., 3B, '07) - game 1vs. Prairie View (15-8) Mike Dury (Sr., DH, '07) - game 1 vs. Prairie View (15-8) Brett Lilley (Sr., SS, `08) - game 2 vs. Iowa (14-13, 10 innings) Jeremy Barnes (Sr., SS, '09) - game 2 vs. Illinois (14-7) Matt Grosso (Jr., DH, '09) - game 2 vs. Illinois (14-7) Ryne Intlekofer (Sr., 2B, '10) - game 1 at Miss. Valley State (12-4) Ryan Connolly (Sr., LF, '10) - game 1 at Miss. Valley State (12-4) Casey Martin (Sr., 1B, '10) - game 1 at Miss. Valley State (12-4) Casey Martin (Sr., 1B, '10) - game 2 at Miss. Valley State (8-3) Trey Mancini (Fr., 1B, '11) - game 3 vs. Penn State (8-5) Trey Mancini (So., 1B, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12) Joe Hudson (Jr., C, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12) Joe Hudson (Jr., C, '12) - vs. Illinois, St. Petersburg (13-12)
TOP RECENT OPENING-WEEK STARTERS (since '88; min. 3 IP)
Pitcher (Year) R/ER IP K/BB W-L ERA
Chris Michalak (1992 v. Army) 1/0 9.0 2/1 1-0 0.00
Tom Thornton (2006 vs. Indiana State) 0/0 7.1 5/0 1-0 0.00
Scott Cavey (2000 vs. Air Force) 0/0 6.0 6/1 1-0 0.00
Jess Stewart (2005 at UCF) 1/0 5.1 1/3 1-0 0.00
Wade Korpi (2006 vs. Memphis) 0/0 5.0 7/0 0-0 0.00
Alex Shilliday (1998 vs. Florida State) 0/0 5.0 6/4 1-0 0.00
Matt Buchmeier (2001 at Mississippi State) 0/0 4.0 1/1 0-0 0.00
Chris McKeown (1999 v. James Madison) 0/0 4.0 4/2 0-0 0.00
Danny Tamayo (1998 v. Duke) 0/0 4.0 0/1 0-0 0.00
Chris McKeown (1998 vs. Florida State) 0/0 3.0 3/1 0-0 0.00
David Sinnes (1991 vs. Dartmouth) 2/0 3.0 4/3 0-0 0.00
Alan Walania (1990 vs. Goshen) 0/0 3.0 2/0 0-0 0.00
Steve Sabatino (2010 vs. Miss. Valley State) 0/0 3.0 5/3 1-0 0.00
Jeff Samardzija (2006 vs. Air Force) 2/2 5.0 8/2 1-0 1.50
Tom Thornton (2004 at USC) 1/1 6.0 4/2 1-0 1.50
Aaron Heilman (2001 at Mississippi State) 5/1 6.0 6/2 1-0 1.50
David Phelps (2007 vs. Texas State) 1/1 5.0 7/2 0-0 1.80
Jeff Samardzija (2005 vs. Florida A&M) 1/1 5.0 1/3 1-0 1.80
Tom Thornton (2005 at UCF) 1/1 5.0 3/3 0-0 1.80
Peter Ogilvie (2003 at Arizona State) 5/1 5.0 2/2 0-1 1.80
Chris Niesel (2002 vs. Southern Illinois) 1/1 5.0 10/0 0-0 1.80
Tom Price (1994, at Tulane) 2/2 9.0 5/0 1-0 2.00
Adam Norton (2012, vs. Iowa) 2/2 9.0 4/1 1-0 2.00
Chris McKeown (1997 at Long Beach State) 1/1 4.0 5/3 0-0 2.25
Alex Shilliday (1999 vs. James Madison) 3/2 7.0 8/1 1-0 2.57
Brian Dupra (2011 vs. Michigan State) 2/2 7.0 5/0 0-1 2.57
Tim Kraus (1995 vs. Pepperdine) 1/1 3.1 2/2 1-0 2.70
Note: Michalak also won in relief vs. Dartmouth in the opening week of 1991 (5.1 shutout IP, 4 Ks, BB, 2 H) and won the 1993 opener at Arizona State (9 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 Ks).
NOTRE DAME-HOFSTRA SERIES HISTORY -- Notre Dame and Hofstra have played 120 and 74 years, respectively, of college baseball and have never faced on the diamond.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Notre Dame Hofstra
Batting Average .379 .270
Runs Per Game 8.67 5.33
Home Runs 3 0
Slugging Percentage .534 .320
Batters' BB+HBP-SO Margin +5 -1
On-Base Percentage .490 .371
Stolen Bases 2-3 6-10
Team ERA 8.00 10.50
Opponent Batting Average .298 .343
Pitchers' SO-BB Ratio 1.06 0.48
Pitchers' SO Per 9 Innings 5.67 4.50
Pitchers' BB Per 9 Innings 5.33 9.37
Fielding Pct. (Errors) .920 (10) .971 (3)
Double Plays Turned 7 2
Record at Home 0-0 0-0
Record on Road (including neutral) 2-1 0-3
Record in One-Run Games 1-0 0-0
Record in Extra Innings 0-0 0-0
IRISH PICKED SIXTH BY BIG EAST COACHES -- The University of Notre Dame baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the 2012 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 69 points.
1. St. John's (8) 118
2. Louisville (4) 110
3. Connecticut 105
4. USF 88
5. Seton Hall 77
6. Notre Dame 64
8. Pittsburgh 60
9. Rutgers 42
10. West Virginia 39
11. Villanova 19
12. Georgetown 14
Favorite Conference Foes -- Notre Dame owns all-time winning records against nine of the 11 members of the BIG EAST. The only conference members with a winning record against the Irish are Louisville and USF.
Seton Hall 32-13
St. John's 26-18
West Virginia 40-22
PLENTY OF WAYS TO FOLLOW THE IRISH -- Notre Dame baseball fans will have several options for tracking the 2012 season on a game-by-game basis, through live streaming video (home games), live-audio broadcasts, Live Blogs (home games), GameTracker live stats, free Irish Alert text messages and Twitter (@NDBaseball, @NDsidBertschy) & Facebook (NDBaseball) pages.
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 bottom 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 are available to your cell phone or other mobile devices. See link at the top of the baseball page under multimedia tab at und.com.
GameTracker live stats are provided for every game (based on internet 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.
Live Blogs are provided for all home games.
Complete coverage of each and every Irish home game through live streaming video.
Irish On Your Radio Dial -- Beginning with the 2008-09 athletics year, the Notre Dame athletics department announced it had partnered with the LeSEA Broadcasting Network, making WHME / Harvest 103.1 FM the new radio home of Notre Dame baseball in the South Bend market.
Baseball game broadcasts also continue to be streamed live and free of charge on Notre Dame's official athletics web site (www.UND.com) through the Fighting Irish All-Access multimedia package.