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    Irish Back On The Road For Yearly Spring Break Trip

    FIGHTING IRISH Freshman Trey Mancini ranks among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in slugging percentage, home runs and total bases.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Freshman Trey Mancini ranks among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in slugging percentage, home runs and total bases.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 10, 2011

    Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    THE MATCHUP
    Notre Dame vs. UAB, Coastal Carolina, Kent State
    March 12-13
    Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field
    Conway, S.C.

    PROBABLE PITCHERS
    UAB, Saturday (11:00 a.m.)
    RHP Brian Dupra (1-1, 1.71 ERA) vs. Ryan Woolley (2-0, 1.80 ERA)

    Coastal Carolina, Saturday (2:30 p.m.)
    RHP Cole Johnson (1-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. LHP Stefan del Pino (2-0, 1.06 ERA)

    Kent State, Sunday (11:00 a.m.)
    RHP Todd Miller (1-1, 3.98 ERA) vs. LHP David Starn (2-1, 1.29 ERA)

    LIVE GAME COVERAGE
    Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp); UND.com
    Live Stats: UND.com

    WEATHER REPORT

    Saturday, March 12
    Sunny, Breezy, Pleasant
    High 63, Low 49

    Sunday, March 13
    Sunny, Breezy
    High 67, Low 44

    IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Notre Dame hits the road for South Carolina for the second straight weekend. The Irish travel to Coastal Carolina for the Caravelle Resort Classic. Notre Dame will open the weekend with a doubleheader against UAB and the host Chanticleers at 11:00 a.m. on Sat., March 12. Notre Dame and Coastal Carolina should get underway around 2:30 p.m. The Irish return to action at 11:00 a.m. on Sun., March 13, against Kent State.

    IRISH AT A GLANCE -- Notre Dame enters this weekend with a 1-5 record over its last six games. The Irish had captured three straight games, before dropping a doubleheader to Seattle University and then posting a 1-3 mark at last weekend's Coca-Cola Classic in Rock Hill, S.C.

  • Notre Dame continues to play solid defense and benefit from quality pitching. The Irish have posted a .967 fielding percentage with 12 errors over their first 10 games. Notre Dame owns a 3.00 ERA and opponents are batting just .263 against the Irish staff.
  • Notre Dame's starting rotation of senior RHP Brian Dupra, RHP Cole Johnson and RHP Todd Miller registered nine straight quality starts (at least 6.0 innings with three earned runs or less). The Irish had not gone that many consecutive games with a quality start in nearly 10 years. Notre Dame also recorded nine straight quality starts from Mar. 31-Apr. 10, 2001. The starters that posted those nine straight quality starts: Aaron Heilman (2), Danny Tamayo (2), J.P. Gagne (2), Mike Naumann (2) and Peter Ogilvie.
  • The Irish staff has been quite stubborn in 2011 in terms of issuing walks. Notre Dame has walked only 16 batters in 87.0 innings, good for a 1.66 average per nine innings. That would shatter the all-time school record for fewest walks per nine innings (2.48 in 2001).
  • Even more impressive when you consider Notre Dame averaged 3.65 walks per nine innings in 2010 and 3.73 per nine innings combined in 2009 and 2010. The 3.82 free passes per nine innings in 2009 was the highest for an Irish staff since 1999.
  • The Notre Dame starting rotation of Dupra, Johnson and Miller did not walk a single batter last weekend in 22.2 innings of work. In fact, the entire Irish staff walked only three (and one was intentional) in 35.0 innings of work. Notre Dame has already posted eight games with two issued walks or less.
  • Notre Dame's offense has struggled mightily over the last two weekends. The Irish batted only .181 with 14 extra-base hits (11 doubles, one triple and two home runs) and totaled 18 runs in the seven games.
  • Notre Dame recently concluded a five-game span (Feb. 25-March 4) without exceeding six hits in any game. The Irish, who went 1-4 over the span, had not registered such a streak without six or more hits in a single game since the 1993 campaign. Notre Dame actually went six games without exceeding six hits in a game (Apr. 25-May 1). Remarkably, the Irish managed to post a 3-3 record.
  • Notre Dame scored only seven runs in the three-game series at Seattle. The seven runs were the fewest for the Irish over any three-game series since Michigan State in 2010. In fact, Notre Dame, which hit .151 in the series, had not posted a lower batting average in a weekend set since the Irish managed a .149 batting average in a three-game series at FIU in 1999.

    THIS WEEKEND'S STORY LINES -- Notre Dame will face a pair of unfamiliar foes this weekend. The meeting with Coastal Carolina will be the second in school history, while the matchup with UAB will be the inaugural. The Irish were in a similar scenario last weekend. Notre Dame and Winthrop had met just once prior to the weekend and the Irish had never previously played Manhattan.

  • Notre Dame and Kent State have played 14 times in school history with the series tied, 7-7. The Irish and Golden Flashes have not faced one another since the 2004 South Bend Regional. The two foes split the two meetings in that year's NCAA Tournament.
  • The Irish own an all-time record of 22-31 against the C-USA, 1-4 against the Big South and 214-158-3 against the MAC.

    IRISH NO LONGER SO UNFAMILIAR WITH THE PALMETTO STATE -- Notre Dame will be making just its fourth all-time trip to the state of South Carolina and third-ever in the regular season. Interestingly enough, it marks back-to-back weekends to the Palmetto State for the Irish as they participated in last weekend's Coca-Cola Classic at Winthrop University. In 2007, Notre Dame dropped two of three games at the Baseball at the Beach tournament. The Irish upended TCU, 4-1, but lost to UNC Wilmington, 9-4, and Coastal Carolina, 4-0. Notre Dame had an impressive performance at the 1994 NCAA East Regional that was played at Clemson, bouncing back from a 9-5 loss to Old Dominion by beating the host Tigers, 8-1, and The Citadel, 5-1, before losing to Auburn, 8-0. The Irish also have limited playing experience in North Carolina, with previous trips to Duke and Elon. The previous trip to North Carolina came in a two-game series at Duke to open the 1988 campaign.

    ALL-TIME MONOGRAM WINNERS MISSING SOUTH CAROLINA NATIVES -- Some 885 all-time Notre Dame baseball monogram winners include players from 44 states (plus Canada and Panama). The only states not represented among the Irish baseball monogram winners are Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Vermont. Former Notre Dame executive vice-president Rev. Edmund P. Joyce - a legend in the history of collegiate athletics - was the first Notre Dame student who was a native of South Carolina.

    UAB SET TO BECOME OPPONENT #305 -- Seattle and Manhattan became the 303rd and 304th different opponents faced by Notre Dame in 119 seasons of Division I baseball, with UAB set to join that all-time opponents list this weekend. The Irish have faced roughly 63% of the teams currently competing on the Division I level (195 of 308), including all teams currently in the BIG EAST, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Big Ten, Ivy League, Pac-10 and SEC.

    SCOUTING UAB -- The Blazers enter the weekend with an 8-3 record. UAB opened the season with a 1-3 mark, including losses to No. 13 Virginia and No. 23 Auburn, but have since ripped off seven consecutive victories, including back-to-back three-game series sweeps of Xavier and Cleveland State. UAB led Mississippi State, 4-3, in the top of the sixth inning on Wed., March 9, but the game was halted by rain.

  • The Blazers have compiled a .291 batting average this season. UAB is led offensively by junior Jamal Austin. The centerfielder and No. 3 hole hitter is batting a robust .488 with three doubles, seven RBI, 10 runs scored and 10 stolen bases (13 attempts). Nick Crawford is hitting .350 on the year. He has registered 10 scored, two doubles and six RBI. Crawford has drawn four walks, collected three sacrifice bunts and swiped three bases (three attempts). Patrick Palmeiro, son of MLB great Rafael Palmeiro, is batting .340 with seven runs scored, four doubles, one triple, two home runs and a team-best 14 RBI. Ryan Ussery is the fourth Blazer hitting over the .300 clip. He owns a .333 batting average with six runs scored, three doubles, one home run and six RBI.
  • The UAB pitching staff has combined for a 3.06 ERA this season, yielding 3.43 walks per nine innings and a .237 opponents' batting average. Ryan Woolley serves as the Blazers' Friday starter, as he has a 2.84 ERA and 2-1 record in three starts. Woolley has allowed 19 hits in 19.0 innings of work and foes are batting .264 against him. He has issued four walks and struck out 17. Woolley fanned 11, walk one and surrendered four hits in 7.0 scoreless innings of work in his last outing against Cleveland State on March 4. Dillon Napoleon (2-0, 1.80 ERA) and David Hayes (0-0, 2.57 ERA) round out the Blazers' weekend rotation. Blake Huddleston (1-0, 2.25 ERA in three appearances, one start) and Michael Busby (0-1, 9.00 ERA in two starts) have started the other three games this season for UAB. Huddleston has allowed two earned runs on five hits in 8.0 innings of work with eight strikeouts and six walks. Busby has allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits in 7.0 innings of work with two strikeouts and six walks. Ryan Nance serves as the UAB closer. He had made five appearances out of the Blazer bullpen and has yet to allow a run. Nance has a pair of saves and yielded just three hits in 8.2 innings of work. He has fanned 12, walked one and opponents are batting just .094 against him. Ben Bullard (1-0, 4.50 ERA), Mark McKinley (0-0, 4.50) and Trey Waltman (1-1, 8.10) round out the UAB relieving corp.
  • The Blazers have committed 15 errors for a .966 fielding clip over their first 11 games.

    SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA -- The Chanticleers enter the weekend with a 9-4 record. Coastal Carolina opened the season with victories over Boston College, Tennessee Tech and Virginia Tech (dropped a meeting with Indiana). The Chanticleers then dropped three of their next four (defeated Western Kentucky, but lost to Kansas State, California and NC State). Coastal Carolina has won its last five outings, including a 10-2 rout of Wake Forest on Wed., March 9.

  • The Chanticleers have compiled a .233 batting average this season. Coastal Carolina is led offensively by senior Scott Woodward. The centerfielder and leadoff hitter is batting .333 with 13 runs scored, four doubles, one home run, four RBI, 10 walks and 11 stolen bases (12 attempts). Woodward has posted a .500 slugging percentage and .517 on-base percentage. Hayes Orton is hitting .320 on the year. He has registered nine runs scored, three doubles, one home run and nine RBI. Orton has drawn seven walks, collected two sacrifice bunts and swiped five bases (six attempts). Tommy La Stella is batting .250 with 11 runs scored, two doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBI. Daniel Bowman is hitting only .235, but leads the Chanticleers with three home runs and 11 RBI (second most). Rich Witten leads Coastal Carolina with 12 RBI.
  • The Chanticleer pitching staff has combined for a 3.34 ERA this season, yielding 3.27 walks per nine innings and a .206 opponents' batting average. Stefan del Pino serves as the Coastal Carolina Saturday starter, as he has a 1.06 ERA and 2-0 record in three starts. del Pino has allowed 13 hits in 17.0 innings of work and foes are batting .217 against him. He has issued three walks and struck out 13. He fanned four, walk two and surrendered one earned run on two hits in 5.0 scoreless innings of work in his last outing against Marshall on March 5. Anthony Meo (1-1, 6.75 ERA) and Jim Birmingham (1-1, 4.96 ERA) round out the Chanticleers' weekend rotation. Josh Conway (3-0, 1.06 ERA in four appearances, three starts) and Tyler Herb (0-0, 3.24 ERA in three appearances, one start) have started the other four games this season for Coastal Carolina. Conway has allowed two earned runs on eight hits in 17.0 innings of work with 25 strikeouts and six walks. Herb has allowed three earned runs on 12 hits in 8.1 innings of work with nine strikeouts and six walks. Ryan Connolly serves as the Chanticleer closer. He had made six appearances out of the Coastal Carolina bullpen. He has one save and yielded just three hits in 8.2 innings of work. He has fanned 11, walked five and opponents are batting just .107 against him. Jordan Coons (1-1, 0.00 ERA), Matt Laney (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Matt Rein (1-1, 1.64 ERA) and Aaron Burke (0-0, 5.06 ERA) round out the Chanticleer relieving corp.
  • Coastal Carolina has committed 20 errors for a .963 fielding clip over their first 13 games.

    SCOUTING KENT STATE -- The Golden Flashes enter the weekend with a 5-5 record. Kent State opened the season with a three-game series at Georgia Tech. The Flashes dropped two of three games. Kent State then swept its four games at the Johnny Gill Memorial Tournament in Rock Hill, S.C. The Flashes knocked off Wagner twice and Winthrop twice. Kent State traveled to Louisville last weekend and dropped all three meetings, but could have easily won any of the games. The Flashes lost a pair of one-run contests (3-2 in 11 and 1-0) and a two-run decision (5-3).

  • Kent State has compiled a .262 batting average this season. The Flashes are led offensively by senior Ben Klafczynski. The outfielder and No. 3 hitter is batting .465 with 12 runs scored, two doubles, one triple, two home runs and 10 RBI. Klafczynski has posted a .543 slugging percentage and .479 on-base percentage. Jimmy Rider is hitting .391 on the year and enters the weekend with a 10-game hitting streak. He has registered eight runs scored, three doubles, two triples and nine RBI. Derek Toadvine is batting .324 with nine runs scored, two doubles and five RBI. Evan Campbell is hitting .302 with eight runs scored, two doubles, one triple and five RBI. David Lyon is batting .289 with five runs scored, three triples, one home run and a team-best 10 RBI. Travis Shaw is hitting only .184, but has smacked two home runs and driven in eight.
  • The Flashes' pitching staff has combined for a 2.68 ERA this season, yielding 3.61 walks per nine innings and a .248 opponents' batting average. David Starn serves as the Kent State Sunday starter, as he has a 1.29 ERA and 2-1 record in three starts. Starn has allowed 12 hits in 21.0 innings of work and foes are batting .176 against him. He has issued four walks and struck out 16. He fanned seven, walk one and allowed just one unearned run on three hits in 8.0 innings of work in his last outing against Louisville on March 6. Andrew Chafin (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and Kyle Hallock (1-2, 3.18 ERA) round out the Kent State weekend rotation. Ryan Mace (1-1, 2.45 ERA in three appearances) has started the other two games this season for the Flashes. Mace has allowed four earned runs on 18 hits in 14.2 innings of work with eight strikeouts and five walks. Kyle McMillen serves as the Kent State closer. He has made three appearances out of the Flashes bullpen. McMillen has one save and yielded just three hits and three earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. He has fanned four, walked one and opponents are batting .250 against him. Justin Gill (0-0, 6.75 ERA), Casey Wilson (0-0, 16.88 ERA), David Wright (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Ryan Adams (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Spencer Bryant (0-0, 0.00 ERA), George Roberts (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Christian Lockett (0-0, 0.00 ERA) round out the Kent State relieving corp.
  • The Flashes have committed 11 errors for a .973 fielding clip over their first 10 games.

    NOTRE DAME-COASTAL CAROLINA SERIES NOTES -- Notre Dame and Coastal Carolina are set to meet for just the second time in program history on Saturday. The Chanticleers blanked the Irish, 4-0, in the only previous meeting on Feb. 25, 2007 at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

  • John Mariotti turned in the complete-game victory in final-round action at the Baseball at the Beach tournament. He struck out 10, did not walk a batter and allowed just five hits. Brett Graffy suffered the loss in his first career start with the Irish, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks in 3.0 innings (with three strikeouts). Mike Dury then allowed just an unearned run over the next thee innings (2 H, BB, 2 Ks). Coastal Carolina opened the scoring with three of runs in the bottom of the 3rd, with the sequence included bad-luck leadoff single that glanced off Graffy and ended up in no-man's land on the right side of the infield. A balk and sacrifice bunt moved the lead runner to third, followed by a hit batter and three straight RBI singles by Derek Anderson, Chris Raber and Tommy Baldridge.

    NOTRE DAME-KENT STATE SERIES NOTES -- Notre Dame and Kent State have played 14 times in school history with the series tied, 7-7. The Irish and Golden Flashes have not faced one another since the 2004 South Bend Regional. The two foes split the two meetings in that year's NCAA Tournament.

  • Then, sophomore RHP Andy Sonnanstine (now with the Tampa Bay Rays) allowed only an unearned run and six hits while striking out seven in seven innings of work to lead fourth-seeded Kent State to a 2-1 upset victory against top-seeded Notre Dame in the opening game of the South Bend Regional. Sonnanstine, fresh off a MAC Tournament in which he struck out 21 and surrendered just three earned runs in pitching a pair of complete games, won his sixth consecutive decision to move to 11-4 and improve upon his school record for victories in a season. He threw 135 pitches and walked just a pair, while striking out seven or more for the ninth time this spring. He also added to his school records for both strikeouts (now 117) and innings pitched (125.0) in a season.
  • After Kent State got a superb pitching performance to upset the Irish, Notre Dame sophomore LHP Tom Thornton returned the favor the following day, striking out a career-high 12 and giving up only three hits and one run in 8.1 innings to lead top-seeded Notre Dame to a 7-1 victory over the Golden Flashes in an elimination game.
  • Prior to 2004, Notre Dame and Kent State had not met since April 19-20, 1968, at old Jake Kline Field with the Golden Flashes sweeping a doubleheader, 7-6 and 16-8. Each team owns a four-game winning streak against the other. The Irish captured four straight from 1959-62, while the Flashes took four consecutive meetings from 1967-2004.

    TALE OF THE TAPE

    	                           Notre Dame   Kent State   Coastal Carolina   UAB
    Batting Average	                   .242         .262         .233               .291
    Runs Per Game                      4.6          6.1          6.3                6.1
    Home Runs                          3            5            10                 3
    Slugging Percentage                .342         .385         .357               .379
    Batters' BB+HBP-SO Margin          -18          -20          -12                -12
    On-Base Percentage                 .316         .344         .367               .392
    Stolen Bases                       8-12         8-10         25-28              20-27
    Team ERA                           3.00         2.68         3.34               3.06
    Opponent Batting Average           .263         .248         .206               .237
    Pitchers' SO-BB Ratio              4.56         1.77         2.80               2.22
    Pitchers' SO Per 9 Innings         7.55         6.41         9.15               7.61
    Pitchers' BB Per 9 Innings         1.66         3.62         3.27               3.43
    Fielding Pct. (Errors)             .967 (12)    .973 (11)    .963 (20)          .966 (15)
    Double Plays Turned                6            9            5                  7
    Record at Home                     0-0          0-0          1-3                7-0
    Record on Road (including neutral) 4-6          5-5          1-0                1-3
    Record in One-Run Games            0-3          0-2          1-2                2-0
    Record in Extra Innings            1-0          0-1          0-1                0-0
    

    FOR STARTERS -- Notre Dame's starting pitchers have registered a quality start in nine of 10 games for the Irish this season. The trio of senior RHP Brian Dupra, senior RHP Cole Johnson and senior RHP Todd Miller have a combined 2.77 ERA (61.2 IP, 19 ER). Opponents are batting just .253 against Dupra, Johnson and Miller. The nine quality starts is even more impressive when you consider Notre Dame totaled 10 over the course of the entire 2010 season (54 games).

  • Notre Dame's starting rotation of senior RHP Brian Dupra, RHP Cole Johnson and RHP Todd Miller registered nine straight quality starts. The Irish had not gone that many consecutive games with a quality start in nearly 10 years. Notre Dame recorded nine straight quality starts from Mar. 31 - Apr. 10, 2001. The starters that posted those nine straight quality starts: Aaron Heilman (2), Danny Tamayo (2), J.P. Gagne (2), Mike Naumann (2) and Peter Ogilvie.

    PITCHING THE NAME OF THE GAME ­-- Notre Dame enters this weekend with a 3.00 ERA. It is the best team ERA over the first 10 games of a season since the 2001 campaign. The Irish posted a 2.93 ERA over the first 10 games.

  • Notre Dame has already limited four opponents to two earned runs or less over its first 10 games. The Irish limited their foes to 13 such games over the entire 2010 season (54 games).
  • The Irish staff has been quite stubborn in 2011 in terms of issuing walks. Notre Dame has walked only 16 batters in 87.0 innings, good for a 1.66 average per nine innings. That would shatter the all-time school record for fewest walks per nine innings (2.48 in 2001).
  • Even more impressive when you consider Notre Dame averaged 3.65 walks per nine innings in 2010 and 3.73 per nine innings combined in 2009 and 2010. The 3.82 free passes per nine innings in 2009 was the highest for an Irish staff since 1999.
  • The Notre Dame starting rotation of Dupra, Johnson and Miller did not walk a single batter last weekend in 22.2 innings of work. In fact, the entire Irish staff walked only three (and one was intentional) in 35.0 innings of work.
  • Notre Dame has not walked more than one batter per game over its last four outings. The last time the Irish went four consecutive games with fewer than two walks was April 14-21, 2001.
  • Notre Dame has issued two walks or less in eight of its 10 games. The Irish had 18 games of two issued walks or less in 2010 (54 games).
  • Notre Dame might have scored 28 runs in its three games at the 2011 BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge, but the Irish pitching staff deserves serious kudos.
  • Notre Dame entered this season without two weekend starters from 2010 (junior LHP Steve Sabatino and graduated RHP Eric Maust). Sabatino, along with key junior LHP Irish relievers Joe Spano and Ryan Richter, will miss the entire 2011 campaign following offseason elbow injuries. All three have already begun the rehabilitation process following Tommy John surgery. The injuries left Notre Dame with exactly one scholarship LHP (freshman Anthony McIver). Despite the obvious setbacks, the Irish did not miss a beat in the opening weekend.
  • Notre Dame posted a 2.33 team ERA in 27.0 innings of work against Michigan State, Purdue and Penn State. All three Irish starting pitchers, senior RHP Brian Dupra, senior RHP Cole Johnson and senior RHP Todd Miller, registered quality starts. The trio scattered 19 hits over 19.1 innings. More importantly, the trio walked only two and registered 15 strikeouts.
  • The Irish bullpen was even more impressive. The quintet of McIver, freshman RHP Donnie Hissa, freshman RHP Dan Slania, freshman RHP Sean Fitzgerald and junior RHP Will Hudgins combined to throw 7.2 scoreless innings. They also combined to punch out nine and walk two.
  • Notre Dame's 2.33 ERA was the lowest ERA through the opening weekend of a season since 2006 when the Irish staff posted a 2.00 ERA following four games at the Service Academies Classic. The four walks were the fewest over the first three games of a season since at least 1995 (and one of the walks was an intentional pass).
  • The Irish have not completed any three-game span with fewer than three unintentional walks since March 11-13, 2010 against Bradley, Gonzaga and Pacific in San Antonio.

    PROBABLY GOING TO JINX IT, BUT -- Notre Dame has yet to play a game this year that has exceeded two hours and 48 minutes. In fact, six of the Irish games in 2011 have finished under two hours and 20 minutes, including two games last weekend at Winthrop and all three outings at Seattle.

  • The longest game of the series with the Redhawks was Friday's meeting, which lasted only two hours and 20 minutes. The final two games of the series took just one hour and 52 minutes and two hours and one minute to complete, respectively.
  • The first game of the doubleheader on Sat., Feb. 25, which lasted only one hour and 52 minutes, was the quickest nine-inning game for the Irish since Apr. 4, 2009 against Villanova. Notre Dame planked the Wildcats, 4-0, in one hour and 43 minutes.

    WALKING A TIGHTROPE -- Notre Dame has already played a trio of one-run games in 2011. The Irish are 1-2 in those outings, dropping a 2-1 decision to Michigan State on Feb. 18, losing a 1-0 affair to Seattle on Feb. 26 and upending Manhattan, 5-4, in 10 innings on March 5. Notre Dame also dropped a two-run decision to Winthrop (4-2) on March 4.

    NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART -- Notre Dame and Seattle University played a three-game series on the campus of the University of Washington. The temperature never rose above freezing (32 degrees) at any point during any of the three games. In fact, the first pitch temperature of Saturday's opening game of the doubleheader was 23 degrees and the wind chill was 16 degrees.

    ON DECK -- Notre Dame will not immediately return to South Bend following this weekend's Caravelle Resort Classic. Instead, the Irish will fly to San Antonio, Texas for the annual Irish Baseball Classic at Wolff Stadium. In addition to playing both Iowa and Gonzaga next weekend, Notre Dame play UTSA on Tues., March 15 (also at Wolff Stadium).

    DUPRA AWFULLY GOOD EARLY -- Senior RHP Brian Dupra was dominant for the second straight start, but did not factor in the decision against Manhattan on March 4. The co-captain struck out 10, did not issue a walk and allowed two earned runs in 8.0 innings. Dupra was the first Irish pitcher to register 10 or more strikeouts in back-to-back starts since David Phelps in 2007. He also was the first Notre Dame hurler to post 10 or more strikeouts in a game without a walk since Phelps in 2007. He has now fanned 26 on the season with only one walk in 21.0 innings of work.

  • Dupra picked up the victory in the series opener against Seattle on Feb. 25 and struck out a career-high 11. He blanked the Redhawks over 6.0 innings of work on just four hits. Dupra walked only one batter.
  • The 11 strikeouts were the most by an Irish pitcher since Steve Sabatino struck out 11 at Villanova on May 15, 2010. It was the most strikeouts by a Notre Dame right-handed pitcher since Phelps totaled 11 at Louisville on May 12, 2007. In fact, a Notre Dame pitcher, either right-handed or left-handed, has not posted more strikeouts in a game since Tom Thornton fanned 12 against Kent State on June 5, 2004. The last Irish righty to eclipse 11 strikeouts in a game was Chris Neisel (12 in relief vs. Ball State on May 5, 2004).
  • Dupra turned in a quality start in the season opener against Michigan State on Feb. 18. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings of work. Dupra struck out five and did not issue a walk. He tossed 92 pitches, 72 of which were strikes.

    DUPRA AMONGST RARE GROUP -- Senior RHP Brian Dupra is a two-time captain for the Irish. He has served in that leadership roll each of the past two seasons (2009 and 2010). Dupra is the 15th multi-year captain in the program's 118-year history. He is the 12th since the turn of century (as in 1900 not 2000) and 10th since the late 1970s.

  • Dupra also has the rare accomplishment of being named a captain as a pitcher and not an everyday position player. Over the last 32 seasons, Dupra is only the ninth pitcher to earn captain status. The others include Craig Allen ('96), Alex Shilliday ('99), Aaron Heilman ('00, '01), J.P. Gagne ('03), Chris Niesel ('04), Tyler Jones ('05), Tom Thorton ('06) and Cole Johnson ('09). In fact, Dupra and Heilman are the only known two-time captain pitchers in Notre Dame baseball history.

    JOHNSON QUITE INVOLVED OFF THE FIELD AS WELL -- Senior RHP Cole Johnson, a co-captain in 2009, has the rare accomplishment of being named a captain as a pitcher and not an everyday position player. Over the last 32 seasons, Johnson is only the ninth pitcher to earn captain status. The others include Craig Allen ('96), Alex Shilliday ('99), Aaron Heilman ('00, '01), J.P. Gagne ('03), Chris Niesel ('04), Tyler Jones ('05), Tom Thorton ('06) and Brian Dupra ('10).

  • Johnson was one of 12 Irish student-athletes invited to join a faculty-mentoring program based on leadership, academic performance and athletic accomplishments. Johnson was selected from over 900 Notre Dame athletes, and the only sophomore inducted in 2009.
  • Johnson was selected for the Notre Dame Rosenthal Leadership Academy, which is a special four-month program of seminars and workshops to develop leadership strategies, initiatives and skills.

    Johnson Selected As Candidate For Lowe's Senior Class Award -- Senior RHP Cole Johnson has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the baseball division. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition.

  • An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
  • The 2011 candidate class includes 15 student-athletes with cumulative grade point averages of better than a 3.5, including three with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Seven are from teams ranked in the Collegiate Baseball preseason top 35 poll.
  • Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the winner June 24 at the NCAA College World Series® in Omaha.

    DeSICO CONTINUES NEAR FLAWLESS PLAY AT SECOND BASE -- Sophomore 2B Frank DeSico has started 57 straight games at second base for the Irish, 34 of which were error-free before he committed an error in the fourth inning of the game against Penn State on Feb. 20. He went 167 consecutive chances between errors. DeSico's previous error came in the first game of the doubleheader with USF on March 27, 2010. DeSico's fielding stats in his first 18 games of his career compared to his last 42:

    	        PO	A	E	FLD%
    First 18 games	33	51	5	.944
    Last 42 games	83	118	2	.990
    Total	        116	169	7	.976
    

  • The 57 consecutive starts at second base are the most for an Irish player since Steve Sollman made 86 straight starts at second from Mar. 30, 2002 - Apr. 22, 2003.

    JAGIELO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ORDER -- Freshman 1B/OF Eric Jagielo started at first base and batted third for the Irish in the season opener against Michigan State. He was the first Notre Dame rookie to start at first base in a season opener since Feb. 23, 1989. Joe Binkiewicz started at first base in the first game of a doubleheader against Trinity (TX). Binkiewicz ranks eighth in Irish career history with 33 home runs.

  • Jagielo is the first Notre Dame rookie to bat third in a season opener since at least 1988. Irish records unfortunately do not have complete box scores prior to the '88 season.

    PETZOLD ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF PAYING DUES -- Notre Dame fifth-year senior OF Herman Petzold entered this season with exactly three base hits and no RBI in 10 at-bats over 11 career games - all of the bench. In fact, when first-year Irish head coach Mik Aoki took over the program in June, Petzold was not even listed on the 2011 roster. Petzold contacted Aoki over the summer and expressed interest in returning. He had already taken care of his academic paperwork in order to be eligible as a fifth-year senior and Aoki offered him a spot on the roster.

  • Petzold also played exclusively as a middle infielder over his first four years, but he started the season opener against Michigan State on Feb. 18 in right field and performed as if he had played his entire career at the position. Petzold batted .417 (5-for-12) with a walk, hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt, two doubles, three runs scored and five RBI in three starts against Michigan State, Purdue and Penn State. He also played a flawless right field. He recorded four put outs without an error.
  • Without a doubt, Petzold's biggest hit of the weekend came in the 19-2 rout of Purdue on Feb. 19. With the Irish trailing 2-0 in the top of the third inning, Petzold drilled an 0-2 offering into the left centerfield gap for a one-out, three-run double to give Notre Dame a 3-2 lead. Notre Dame continued the momentum with an 11-run fourth inning and never looked back. He went 3-for-6 against the Boilermakers with two runs scored and four RBI - career-bests in hits, at-bats, runs scored and RBI.
  • Petzold was the only Irish player to register a hit in each of the first six games this season. He leads the Irish in hits (10) and ranks second on squad in RBI (seven).

    HUDGINS ALMOST IMMACULATE -- Junior RHP Will Hudgins picked up his first save of the season in the victory over Penn State on Feb. 20. He tossed a perfect inning of relief. Hudgins struck out the side on a total of only 10 pitches. Hudgins started the inning with seven consecutive strikes, including four swinging strikes, before finally missing the zone. All nine of his strikes were either called or swinging.

    NEXT MAN IN -- Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly has the motto "Next Man In" trademarked, but the Irish baseball squad put it into affect at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. Notre Dame entered the 2011 season with a pair of first-year starters in the outfield (really three when you consider sophomore OF Charlie Markson started just a total of four games in 2010). The two first-year starters, fifth-year senior Herman Petzold and sophomore Adam Norton, both moved to the outfield from infield. Petzold was a middle infielder over the last four years, while Norton started 31 games at shortstop and third base last year.

  • If that task, breaking in brand-new outfielders, was not daunting enough, the situation grew even more difficult following injuries to Markson and Norton in the season opener against Michigan State on Feb. 18. Markson was hit with a pitch and Norton strained an oblique. Markson was available as a defensive replacement last weekend, while Norton was out. Both are fully cleared for this weekend.
  • Junior OF Alex Robinson replaced Markson in centerfield and promptly went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI. Robinson was the first Irish played with five hits in a game since Ryan Connolly had five against Cincinnati on April 24, 2010.
  • Freshman Eric Jagielo, who started the season opener at 1B, moved to left field to replace Norton. Jagielo had never previously played in the outfield. He not only went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and four RBI, including a three-run triple, but registered four putouts without an error.
  • Senior C/DH Matt Scioscia led Notre Dame in pinch hits (six) and pinch hit opportunities (14) in 2010. His .429 average as a pinch hitter also led the Irish. Scioscia has also proven to be a quality run producer in reserve duty. He has driven in 27 runs over the last two seasons in a total of 120 at bats. Scioscia continued that trend in the 19-2 rout of Purdue on Feb. 19. He replaced the previous day's starting designated hitter (senior David Casey) and went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

    IRISH OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION -- Notre Dame stranded seven on the base paths, including six in scoring position, in the one-run defeat to Michigan State on Feb. 18, but the Irish more than made up for their lack of clutch hitting in the 19-2 rout of Purdue on Feb. 19.

  • Notre Dame totaled 19 runs on 25 hits in the rout of the Boilermakers. The 19 runs bested the previous BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge record of 18 runs set by St. John's in 2009. The 25 hits bested the previous mark of 24 set by Louisville against Michigan State in 2010. The 17-run margin of victory also established a new challenge record.
  • The Notre Dame 11-run fourth inning was the second-largest scoring outburst in any inning in BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge history. St. John's had a 12-run frame in 2009. The Irish had not posted 10 or more runs in an inning since May of 2004. In fact, Notre Dame eclipsed 11 runs in a total game only five times during the entire 2010 season.
  • The 19 runs, 25 hits and 17-run margin of victory were all the best for the Irish since Mar. 20, 2008 against Georgetown. Notre Dame routed the Hoyas, 25-1, that afternoon and recorded 28 hits.
  • The 11-run inning marked the first inning with at least 10 runs since May 10, 2004 at Connecticut. The Irish plated 10 runs in the top of the first inning en route to a 16-8 victory over the Huskies.

    IRISH COACHING DEBUTS -- Mik Aoki was looking to join Dave Schrage (2007; 15-7 vs. Prairie View A&M) and Pat Murphy (1988; 14-11 at Duke) as the only Notre Dame coaches since 1924 to win their first game with the Irish, but Notre Dame dropped its season opener against Michigan State on Feb. 18.

  • Here's a quick look at the first-game results of new head coaches dating back to the '14 season (5-5-1; previous seasons had rotating coaches who spent only part of the season with the team).
    First-Year Head Coach Debuts
    Mik Aoki	L, 1-2 vs. Michigan State	Feb. 18, 2011
    Dave Schrage	W, 15-7 vs. Prairie View A&M	Feb. 17, 2007
    Paul Mainieri	L, 6-10 vs. Texas	        Feb. 24, 1995
    Pat Murphy	W, 14-11 at Duke	        Feb. 25, 1988
    Larry Gallo	L, 7-8 at Delta State	        Mar. 16, 1981
    Tom Kelly	L, 3-4 vs. St. Bernard          Mar. 14, 1976
    Jake Kline	L, 5-7 vs. Ohio State  	        Apr. 13, 1934
    George Keogan	W, 4-3 at Georgia Tech	        Apr. 12, 1924
    Walter Halas	T, 3-3 vs. Wisconsin	        Apr. 15, 1921
    Gus Dorais	W, 4-3 vs. Wisconsin	        Apr. 19, 1919
    Jess Harper	W, 7-2 vs. Wisconsin	        Apr. 7, 1914
    

    Oh Captain, My Captain -- Senior SS Mick Doyle and senior RHP Brian Dupra are serving as Notre Dame's team captains for the 2011 season. Each received the captain's honor following a preseason vote by their teammates. Dupra served as a team-captain in 2010.

    BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE RECAP -- For the second straight year, the BIG EAST topped the Big Ten in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, winning 14 of the 24 contests. Over the three years of the challenge, the BIG EAST owns a 40-38 advantage against the Big Ten. The BIG EAST won the challenge, 17-13, in 2010 before winning by a 14-10 margin this season.

  • Eight BIG EAST squads competed in this year's challenge, including Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers and West Virginia. Each of the eight schools registered at least one victory, while Louisville went undefeated with a 3-0 record.
  • Notre Dame established challenge records for both runs (19) and hits (25) in a game after thumping Purdue, 19-2, on the second day of the tournament. The Irish also recorded the largest margin of victory (17) in a Challenge game and registered the second-most runs in a single inning (11 in the fourth against the Boilermakers).
  • Four BIG EAST squads finished 2-1 including Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's and West Virginia. Pittsburgh, playing in its first year of the Challenge, was the final baseball-playing member of the two conferences to compete in the Challenge.

    Notre Dame On The Small Screen -- The Irish baseball team will make at least three national television appearances this spring. Notre Dame's series opener against West Virginia, which originally was scheduled at 5:35 p.m. ET on Fri., Apr. 15, will now take place at 7:00 p.m. ET and air on ESPNU. Notre Dame will travel to league foe Louisville to close the regular season and each of the final two games of the series will be featured on CBS College Sports. The first contest will air at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fri., May 20 (originally scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET), while the next meeting with the Cardinals will be broadcast at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sat., May 21.

  • ESPNU and CBS College Sports are each available to various cable sports-package subscribers.
  • What's more, the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com) is planning to produce free live webcasts of several home games that have not been picked up for commercial television broadcast. PLENTY OF WAYS TO FOLLOW THE IRISH -- Notre Dame baseball fans will have several options for tracking the 2011 season on a game-by-game basis, through live streaming video (Notre Dame home games only), live-audio broadcasts, Live Blogs, GameTracker live stats, free Irish Alert text messages and the Notre Dame/Notre Dame baseball Twitter & Facebook 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 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 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 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 and some select road contests.
  • 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.

    -- ND --
     

     

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