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    No.15 Irish Open BIG EAST Play Against Seton Hall

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 22, 2013

    Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    THE MATCHUP
    #15 Notre Dame
    Fighting Irish (12-5, 0-0)
    vs
    Seton Hall
    Pirates (7-10, 0-0)
    South Bend, Ind.
    Coveleski Stadium (5,000)

    PROBABLE PITCHERS
    Friday (7:00 p.m.)
    RHP Sean Fitzgerald (1-1, 4.40 ERA) vs. RHP Jon Prosinski (2-2, 3.38 ERA)

    Saturday (4:30 p.m.)
    RHP Adam Norton (5-0, 1.25 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Prevost (1-0, 2.25 ERA)

    Sunday (11:00 a.m.)
    RHP David Hearne (0-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. TBA

    LIVE GAME COVERAGE
    Live Video: None
    Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp); UND.com
    Live Stats: UND.com

    IN THE BATTERS BOX -- No. 15 Notre Dame opens its BIG EAST and home portion of the schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Seton Hall. The Irish and Pirates open the series at 7 p.m. Friday. Saturday's game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and Sunday's is slated for 11 a.m. Notre Dame (12-5) is ranked among the top-25 in all five major polls. Notre Dame is ranked No. 15 by both Perfect Game and Baseball America, No. 19 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 22 by NCBWA and No. 22 by the USA Today Coaches.

    THIS WEEKEND'S STORY LINES -- Notre Dame will look for a BIG EAST opening series victory for the third consecutive season. The Irish took two of three from Georgetown in 2011 and swept Pittsburgh in 2012.
    • Notre Dame owns a 33-16 series edge over Seton Hall, including a 19-5 mark at home. The two teams have split the last 10 meetings in the series. Eight of those 10 meetings have been decided a single run, and two and three runs decided the other two matchups.
    • This marks Notre Dame's first game at Coveleski since Apr. 20, 2005, when the Irish knocked off Purdue, 9-7, in 12 innings. Craig Cooper launched a walk-off home run over the left-field fence in a wild game that marked the first action for the Irish at downtown Coveleski Stadium in more than a decade.
    • The previous game for the Irish at Coveleski came in the 1994 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament (Eck Stadium opened earlier in that '94 season).
    • The Notre Dame-Purdue game scheduled to be played at The Cove in 2001 was rained out.
    • Notre Dame played portions of its regular-season schedule at Coveleski during the 1988-93 seasons, compiling a 59-20 (.747) overall record in the facility (including the 1988-94 MCC tournaments).
    • Coveleski Stadium is home to the single-A South Bend Silverhawks (affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) of the Midwest League.

    LOOKING BACK -- Notre Dame took two of three at No. 20 Cal Poly to close its seven-game California road trip. The Irish dropped the opener, but rebounded with back-to-back one-run victories (1-0 and 6-5) over the Mustangs.

    PLAYING THE BEST -- Notre Dame has already played six games against top-25 opponents (No. 25 Virginia Tech, No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 Oklahoma and three games at No. 20 Cal Poly). The Irish have captured four of those six meetings.
    • Notre Dame also defeated unranked Florida Gulf Coast, 6-5, in 10 innings in the season opener and the Eagles have since moved into the top 25.
    • The Irish will play nine top-25 foes over their first 25 games when you include next weekend's series at No. 5 Louisville.

    HOME OPENERS -- Notre Dame owns a record of 20-4-1 in home openers dating back to the 1988 season. The Irish are 3-1-1 in their last five openers and 14-4-1 in home openers at Frank Eck Stadium.

    BIG EAST OPENERS -- Notre Dame is opening BIG EAST play at home for the third straight year, but just the seventh time in 18 years as a member of the league. The Irish are 12-5 all-time in their BIG EAST season openers, including a 6-0 mark at Frank Eck Stadium.
    • Notre Dame has opened BIG EAST action on five different occasions with Georgetown (4-1), twice with West Virginia (2-0), Villanova (1-1), Pittsburgh (2-0) and USF (1-1), as well as Boston College (1-0), Connecticut (0-1) and twice with this weekend's foe Seton Hall (1-1).

    BIG EAST OPENING WEEKENDS -- Notre Dame is 31-22 overall in BIG EAST opening weekends, including a 13-6 mark when opening league play at Frank Eck Stadium. The Irish had dropped their two previous BIG EAST opening weekends at home prior to the past two seasons (2011, 2012). Notre Dame took two of three from Georgetown to open conference action in '11 and swept Pittsburgh last year.
    • Notre Dame has opened BIG EAST action at home on six different occasions, including three series with Georgetown (6-2), twice with Seton Hall (3-2), once with USF (1-2) and once with Pittsburgh (3-0). The 2005 Irish squad opened conference play at home with back-to-back doubleheaders with the Hoyas and Pirates.
    • Overall, Notre Dame owns the following records in BIG EAST opening weekends: Boston College (2-0), Providence (1-1), Seton Hall (3-4), Georgetown (11-3), West Virginia (5-0), Villanova (3-3), Pittsburgh (5-0), Virginia Tech (0-2), Connecticut (0-3) and USF (1-5).

    FAST OUT OF THE GATE -- Notre Dame has opened 12-5 and has not collected more wins prior to its home opener since 2004 when the Irish opened 13-2.
    • Notre Dame collected its 10th victory in game-13 of the season. The '04 campaign is the only in the last 20 years (dating back to the 1993 season) in which the Irish reached the 10-win mark in fewer than 13 games. In fact, only four Irish squads ('04, '92, 1960 and 1959) over the last 76 years have reached the 10-win plateau faster than the '13 team.

    NOTRE DAME-SETON HALL SERIES NOTES -- Notre Dame owns a 33-16 series edge over Seton Hall (2-1 in the BIG EAST tournament) and won eight straight from the Pirates (2000-03). Seton Hall won seven of the next 13 in the series, but the Irish captured five of six prior to last season's series when the Pirates swept the Irish.
    • Notre Dame swept the Pirates in 2010 and took two of three in 2011. Eight of the last 10 meetings between the Irish and Seton Hall have been decided by a single run and the other two were decided by two and three runs, respectively. Prior to '10, the Irish had not swept Seton Hall in South Orange since 2002. In fact, the Pirates had not been swept in a BIG EAST series at home by anyone since April of 2007.
    • Notre Dame has won 11 of the previous 16 season series against Seton Hall (plus one split of a two-game series).
    David Mills carried the Irish in the 2010 series sweep. He not only registered two saves, pitched in all three games, but did not allow a run in 4.2 scoreless innings of relief. He also batted .500 (7-for-14) for the series with two runs scored and three RBI. In fact, two of his RBI came with two outs, including his game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth inning in Sunday's series finale with the Pirates to secure the sweep.
    • Notre Dame took two of three from Seton Hall at Eck Stadium in 2007, but the Pirates returned the favor in Notre Dame in 2009. The Irish dropped two of three at Seton Hall in 2006.
    • The home teams have combined to go 29-16 in the series (Notre Dame 19-5, Seton Hall 10-11). The Pirates swept the 1997 series from Notre Dame (at home) and then took two-of-three from the visiting Irish in 2006 (7-6, 12-14, 2-1).

    NO SECRET TO PROBLEMS IN REGULAR-SEASON SERIES WITH SETON HALL in 2012 -- Notre Dame was swept at Seton Hall in 2012 and the formula was simple. The Irish struggled mightily defensively and simply could not produce with runners in scoring position. Just how much? Here is an interesting graphic:
    • All three losses for the Irish in the regular-season series were decided by less than two runs, including a pair of one-run, extra-inning defeats.

    2012 SETON HALL SERIES, A WEEKEND TO FORGET -- Notre Dame took no-hitters into the eighth and sixth inning, respectively, in its doubleheader with Seton Hall on Apr. 5, 2012, and limited the Pirates to three earned runs combined in both games, but it was not enough to overcome nine errors and 19 runners left on base in the twin bill.
    • The Irish entered the doubleheader with the Pirates sporting a 14-0 record when leading after seven innings, but Seton Hall rallied from a pair of seventh-inning deficits and swept the Irish, 5-4 in 10 innings and 3-2 in 11 innings.
    • Notre Dame held a 3-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of the opener, but Zack Granite's two-strike, RBI double off Dan Slania tied the game, 3-3. Ryan Bull made a sliding effort on the sinking line drive, but the ball bounced out of his glove. After Notre Dame regained a one-run lead, 4-3, in the 10th inning, Seton Hall answered in its half of the 10th. Will Walsh and Chase Gray collected back-to-back triples to open the 10th - both balls glancing off the gloves of Irish outfielders - against Slania to tie the game, 4-4. After a walk, Slania was pulled in favor of Joe Spano, who plunked a batter to load the bases with no outs, but rebounded with a fielder's choice ground out to third base. Eric Jagielo fielded the ground ball cleanly and threw home in time to retire the lead runner. Spano induced an identical grounder from Dale Anderson, and again, Jagielo threw home in time to get the runner, but Joe Hudson attempted to complete an inning-ending double play and his throw to first base caromed off the back of Anderson. As the ball bounced away from Trey Mancini, Ryan Sullivan scampered home to give the Pirates a 5-4 victory on Notre Dame's seventh and final error of the game.
    Will Hudgins did not allow a hit or earned run in 5.1 innings of work, but failed to render in the decision. He struck out six and walked five, but was victimized by a trio of errors that led to a pair of unearned runs.
    Adam Norton was just as brilliant in the second game of the doubleheader, but did not factor in the decision. He did not allow a base hit until a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Norton had retired 15 of the first 16 Pirates in the game. Markson collected a second-inning RBI single and Hudson drilled a sixth-inning solo home run. Notre Dame took that 2-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.
    • After Norton got a ground out to open the Seton Hall eighth, Dillon Hamlin doubled a 0-2 offering into left centerfield. Jagielo then committed an error that not only allowed Michael Betz to reach but also allowed Hamlin to reach third base. Granite followed with a single to centerfield and the Pirates were within a run, 2-1. Mike Genovese followed with a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield and just like that the game was tied, 2-2.
    • The game remained tied, 2-2, until the bottom of the 11th inning. Spano appeared to strikeout D.J. Ruhlman on a 2-2 pitch, but was called a ball. He ultimately walked Ruhlman. Sal Annunziata and Hamlin followed with back-to-back singles, the latter rolling just past a diving Mancini at first base to give the Pirates a 3-2 victory.

    OPPONENTS -- Notre Dame has faced 311 opponents over its 120 years of baseball. Recent first-time opponents include: Liberty, Albany, Lehigh, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Buffalo and Mississippi Valley State (2008); Gonzaga and Grambling (2009); Manhattan, Seattle and UAB (2011); Hofstra, Houston Baptist and Kansas (2012); Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Cal Poly (2013).
    • One more first-time foes remains on the '13 slate: Quinnipiac. After those games, the program will have faced 202 of 291 current D-I teams (69.4%).
    • Notre Dame's most common opponents: Western Michigan (133), Northwestern (131), Michigan State (131), Michigan (129), Purdue (121) and Wisconsin (119).
    • Noteworthy teams that Notre Dame has yet to face (pre-2013): Oklahoma State, Maryland, VCU, East Carolina, Southern Mississippi and UNLV.

    FAR & WIDE -- Notre Dame's 2013 roster includes 35 players from 17 different home states.
    • The top 10 position players and top three starting pitchers hail from 10 different states, including three from Illinois, two from Ohio and one each from Florida, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia and Indiana.

    ROAD TRIPPERS -- Notre Dame played its first 17 games away from home, in six different cities: Sarasota, Fla., New Orleans, Cary, N.C. and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    • The Irish virtually spend all of April (12 of 17 games) in the friendly confines of Eck Stadium, including the first seven games of the month.
    • Notre Dame's final seven games of the regular season will all take place on the road, including BIG EAST three-game series at St. John's (May 11-12) and at Cincinnati (May 16-18). The Irish will also travel to Western Michigan on May 14.

    WALKING A TIGHTROPE -- Notre Dame has already played in a total of 10 games decided by one run. The Irish own a 7-3 record in those outings. Six of Notre Dame's last eight games have been decided by one run.
    • The nip-and-tuck battles are nothing new to Notre Dame. The Irish played 18 games decided by one run in 2012. Notre Dame went 11-7 in those outings. In fact, the Irish also played in 20 such games in 2011 as well (going 10-10).
    • In all, Notre Dame has played in 48 different one-run contests since third-year head coach Mik Aoki arrived on campus. That's 48 of 128 games or 37.5 percent of Aoki's tenure in an Irish uniform. Notre Dame is 28-20 in one-run games under Aoki.
    • The 11 wins by a single run in 2012 is tied for the most in single-season school history (1990, 1981).
    • Notre Dame established the school record for most games decided by a single run in 2011. The 2001 squad also played in 18 games decided by the slimmest of margins.
    • Here is a look at the top 10 seasons in terms of most games decided by a single run and those teams records in those contests.
    • Notre Dame played in nine more games decided by two runs in 2012. In all, 27 of Notre Dame's 58 games were decided by two runs or less.
    u Over the last three seasons, 66 of Notre Dame's 128 games (over 51 percent) have been decided by two runs or less.
    • Notre Dame topped No. 20 Cal Poly, 1-0, on Mar. 15. The previous 1-0 victory for the Irish came almost a year to the date. Notre Dame defeated Kansas, 1-0, on Mar. 16, 2012 in San Antonio at the Irish Baseball Classic. Notre Dame has captured 40 games by a score of 1-0 over the 120-year history of the program, including four under third-year head coach Mik Aoki. The Irish have not captured a 1-0 game on the road since Apr. 1, 1989 when Notre Dame upended Saint Louis.

    MLB CONNECTIONS -- In addition to several current Major League players who honed their craft with the Irish baseball program, a number of Notre Dame graduates have served as top executives in Major League Baseball: Cleveland Indians owner and CEO Lawrence Dolan ('54, '56 Notre Dame Law), Indians president Paul Dolan ('83), MLB senior VP of operations/former Arizona Diamondbacks GM/VP Joe Garagiola, Jr. ('72), Oakland A's president Mike Crowley ('85), retired Los Angeles Dodgers VP of External Affairs Tommy Hawkins ('59, Notre Dame basketball star), MLB Executive VP of Administration John McHale ('71), MLB Director of Special Events Brian O'Gara ('89) and former Tampa Bay owner/CEO/VP Vince Naimoli ('59).
    • Brad Lidge ranked as one of MLB's top rookies in his first full season with the Houston Astros and was the winning pitcher in the historic no-hitter versus the New York Yankees on June 11, 2003 - the first no hitter versus the Yankees since 1958 (6,980 games). Lidge set the NL record for strikeouts by a reliever in 2004 and currently pitches for the Washington Nationals. Six other recent Irish hurlers have pitched in MLB, including Aaron Heilman ('01) with the N.Y. Mets, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks, Jeff Samardzija ('06) with the Chicago Cubs, Jeff Manship ('06) with the Minnesota Twins, John Axford with the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Parker and David Phelps with the Yankees and Kyle Weiland ('09) with the Boston Red Sox, while two early-1990s Notre Dame players - INF Craig Counsell ('92) and LHP Chris Michalak ('93) - have played for multiple MLB teams.
    • Notre Dame had seven former players appear in a MLB game in 2012, including Axford (Brewers), Lidge (Phillies), Manship (Twins), Samardzija (Cubs), Weiland (Red Sox), Phelps (Yankees) and A.J. Pollock (Diamondbacks).
    • The remaining 10 members of the BIG EAST Conference had 14 former players participate in a MLB game in 2012.
    u Phelps ('08) made his big league debut for the New York Yankees on Apr. 8, 2012, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Phelps then tossed 2.1 perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles on Apr. 10.
    • Pollock ('09) made his big league debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Apr. 18, 2012, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started in centerfield and batted seventh in the order.
    • A total of 73 all-time former Notre Dame players have suited up in a MLB uniform - more than any other BIG EAST school and tied for fifth-most in Division I history.

    NOTABLE ALUMNI -- Notre Dame's 901 baseball monogram winners include several in successful administrative careers: recently retired Notre Dame Alumni Association executive director Chuck Lennon (C; 1960-61); former Notre Dame assistant vice president for special events Jim Gibbons (P/OF; 1952-53); former U.S. Congressman from Ohio Ron Mottl (RHP; 1955); former Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst (OF; 1981-83); former Xavier associate vice president/athletic director and current Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski (P; 1978-79); recent Indiana governor Joe Kernan (C; 1967-68); Major League Baseball executive John McHale (1B; 1943); and former Notre Dame athletics director Dick Rosenthal (1B; 1952-53).

    A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION -- Notre Dame captured five of its nine BIG EAST series in 2012, including four of its last six. The Irish had not collected more conference series victories in one season since 2006. The '06 Notre Dame club captured seven BIG EAST series and posted a 45-17-1 overall record and 21-5-1 mark in conference play.
    • Notre Dame registered 31 victories in 2012, the most by the Irish since the 2009 campaign. Notre Dame managed just 23 and 22, respectively, in 2011 and 2010.
    • Notre Dame picked up multiple victories and advanced to the BIG EAST tournament semifinals for the first time since 2009. In fact, it only marked the second time the Irish have accomplished the feat since 2006.

    IRISH PICKED THIRD BY BIG EAST COACHES -- Notre Dame was picked to finish third in the 2013 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll, as determined by a vote of the league's 11 head coaches. The Irish received a total of 81 points.

    TeamPoints
    1.Louisville (8)98
    2.St. John's (3)82
    3.Notre Dame81
    4.Connecticut74
    5.USF67
    6.Seton Hall52
    7.Pittsburgh46
    8.Rutgers43
    9.Cincinnati30
    10.Georgetown18
    11.Villanova14

    FRESHMAN FORCE -- Notre Dame's 2013 opening-day lineup included two seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen. It marked the second consecutive season opener that three freshmen appeared in the Irish starting lineup. The only season opener over the last 19 years with more than three freshman starters was 2003.

    Notre Dame Freshman Starters
    1995 - no freshman starters
    1996 - Jeff Wagner (C), Paul Turco (SS)
    1997 - Brant Ust (2B), Jeff Felker (1B), Jeff Perconte (RF platoon)
    1998 - Alec Porzel (LF)
    1999 - Steve Stanley (CF), Paul O'Toole (C), Andrew Bushey (3B)
    2000 - Brian Stavisky (RF)
    2001 - Steve Sollmann (2B)
    2002 - Matt Macri (SS,injured)
    2003 - Craig Cooper (LF), Cody Rizzo (RF), Greg Lopez (3B), Steve Andres (DH)
    2004 - none (Danny Dressman later started 28 games)
    2005 - Brett Lilley (2B/3B), Ross Brezovsky (3B/2B)
    2006 - none (Jeremy Barnes later had 55 GS)
    2007 - Billy Boockford (RF), A.J. Pollock (3B), Michael Wright (LF)
    2008 - David Casey (DH), Mick Doyle (3B)
    2009 - None
    2010 - None (2B Frank Desico later had 47 GS and Adam Norton had 31)
    2011 - Eric Jagielo (1B) (1B Trey Mancini later had 52 GS)
    2012 - Mac Hudgins (CF), Phil Mosey (3B), Ryan Bull (DH)
    2013 - James Nevant (RF), Lane Richards (SS) Zak Kutsulis (LF)

    PLENTY OF WAYS TO FOLLOW THE IRISH -- Notre Dame baseball fans will have several options for tracking the 2013 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.
    • 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.

    AROUND THE BASES -- Notre Dame's bullpen has been nearly flawless in 2013. Irish relievers have collected a 1.26 ERA in 57.0 innings of work. Junior RHP Dan Slania, freshman RHP Nick McCarty, sophomore RHP Cristian Torres, sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek, junior RHP Donnie Hissa and freshman LHP Zak Kutsulis have limited foes to a .197 batting average. They have struck out 44, walked 13 and allowed just 38 hits (only four extra base hits). They've also posted a 5-2 record with four saves and have allowed just six runs after the sixth inning this season. • Due in large part to its bullpen, Notre Dame has outscored its opponents, 23-6, after the sixxth inning. The Irish have yet to surrender a lead after the sixth inning (7-0).
    • The Irish are 9-0 when they hit at least one home run.
    • Notre Dame led the BIG EAST in both fewest walks per nine innings (2.81) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.61) in 2012. Both totals ranked fourth in single-season school history. The Irish also led the league in fewest walks per nine innings in 2011.
    • Notre Dame is off to a similar start in both categories in 2013. The Irish not only lead the BIG EAST in fewest walks per nine innings (2.05), but also rank fourth in the NCAA. Notre Dame ranks second in the league in WHIP (1.15), which ranks 23rd in the country. Louisville leads the league in WHIP (1.01). The Irish (3.19), who rank 13th in the nation, trail only the Cardinals (3.85) in the BIG EAST for the top strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    • Notre Dame committed a season-high five errors in the 4-3 loss to Rhode Island on Mar. 3. The Irish failed to comit a single error over the next three games and actually went 36.0 consecutive innings without a defensive miscue before they recorded an error on Mar. 12 at UC Santa Barbara.
    • Notre Dame ranked 10th in the BIG EAST in fielding percentage in 2012, but the Irish have made major improvements in 2013. Notre Dame ranks fourth in the league with a .969 fielding percentage this season.
    • Junior All-American candidates Eric Jagielo and Trey Mancini continue to carry the load offensively for the Irish. Jagielo is batting .393 with three doubles, six home runs and 20 RBI, while Mancini is hitting .339 with one double, two triples, three home runs and 15 RBI.
    • Jagielo leads the BIG EAST in slugging percentage (.738), tied for the league lead in home runs, ranks second in RBI, third in total bases (45), tied for third in batting, fifth in on-base percentage (.487) and tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (three).
    • Mancini ranks tied for third in the BIG EAST in sacrifice flies (four), fourth in home runs and eighth in slugging percentage (.565).
    • Notre Dame was the only team in the BIG EAST with a pair of players with 10 or more home runs in 2012. Jagielo (13) and Mancini (12) combined for 25 round trippers. Jagielo was second in the BIG EAST, while Mancini ranked tied for third in the league.
    • Jagielo and Mancini form one of the nation's top power-hitting duos. They are the only returning tandem in the country with 12 or more home runs last year.
    • Junior Forrest Johnson leads the BIG EAST in sacrifice bunts (six).
    • Senior co-captain Frank Desico ranks tied for eighth in the league in stolen bases (seven), ninth in at-bats (76) and nine in stolen base attempts (nine).
    • Senior Adam Norton is tied for the BIG EAST lead in wins (five).
    • Junior Dan Slania leads the BIG EAST in saves (five) and games finished (eight).

    IRISH DIG THE LONG BALL -- Notre Dame hit 36 home runs in 2012, which led the BIG EAST. The Irish registered just 18 long balls in 2011 and only three teams in the conference had fewer.
    • Notre Dame has hit 12 home runs over its first 17 games this season, which ranks second in the BIG EAST. Pittsburgh (18) is the only league foe with more.
    • Eleven of Notre Dame's 12 home runs this season have come with an Irish batter either hitting even in the count (seven) or ahead in the count (four). Junior 3B Eric Jagielo is the only Notre Dame player to collect a home run when behind in the count. Jagielo hit a two-run home run on a 1-2 pitch to tie the game, 4-4, with No. 10 Oklahoma on Mar. 10.
    • All 12 Notre Dame home runs this season have come in the top -four spots of the Irish batting order.
    • The junior tandem of 3B Eric Jagielo (six) and 1B Trey Mancini (three) have combined for nine home runs, which is the second-most of any BIG EAST duo this season. Casey Roche and Steven Shelinsky of Pittsburgh have combined for 11 homers.
    • Notre Dame was the only team in the BIG EAST with a pair of players with 10 or more home runs in 2012. Jagielo (13) and Mancini (12) combined for 25 round trippers. Jagielo was second in the BIG EAST, while Mancini ranked tied for third in the league.
    • Jagielo and Mancini form one of the nation's top power-hitting duos. They are the only returning tandem in the country with 12 or more home runs last year.
    • Prior to last season, Notre Dame had not had multiple players with 10 or more home runs in the same season since 2009, when Jeremy Barnes (15) and A.J. Pollock (10) accomplished the feat.
    • Mancini and Jagielo were the first set of sophomores to collect double digit home runs in the same season for the Irish since 2004. Matt Bransfield and Craig Cooper hit 12 and 10, respectively, that season.
    • Mancini and Jagielo went back-to-back with home runs on two separate occasions in 2012. The duo smacked consecutive home runs against Michigan on Mar. 11 and then did the same feat against Northwestern on May 15.

    IRISH STAFF MAKES YOU EARN IT -- As an entire staff, Notre Dame issued 160 walks in 511.2 innings in 2012. The Irish posted a 2.61 strikeout-to-walk ratio and averaged just 2.81 free passes per nine innings pitched.
    • Notre Dame walked two or less in 30 different games in 2012. The Irish did not walk a single batter in a game six times.
    • Notre Dame led the BIG EAST in fewest walks in 2012. The Irish also led the league in the same category in 2011.
    • Notre Dame is one of nine NCAA Division I schools that has averaged fewer than 3.00 walks per nine innings pitched over each of the last three seasons. The Irish have averaged 2.51 free passes per nine innings over the last three years combined, which is only bested by Cal State Fullerton (1.91), Dartmouth (2.08) and Valparaiso (2.42).
    • Notre Dame is off to a similar start in both categories in 2013. The Irish not only lead the BIG EAST in fewest walks per nine innings (2.05), but also rank fourth in the NCAA. Notre Dame ranks second in the league in WHIP (1.15), which ranks 23rd in the country. Louisville leads the league in WHIP (1.01). The Irish (3.19), who rank 13th in the nation, trail only the Cardinals (3.85) in the BIG EAST for the top strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    THOUGH SHALL NOT ISSUE A FREE PASS -- Notre Dame senior RHP Adam Norton led the NCAA in fewest walks per nine innings (0.64) and ranked third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.71) in 2012. Both totals topped the BIG EAST categories as well. Norton fanned 61 and issued seven free passes (two intentional) in 98.0 innings of work.
    • Norton has pitched into the seventh inning in four of his five starts this season. He has registered four quality starts.
    • Norton was once again spectacular on the mound in his last outing against No. 20 Cal Poly. The right-handed hurler tossed 8.0 scoreless innings and kept a potent Mustangs' lineup off-balance all night. Norton threw 103 pitches, 76 for strikes, and scattered seven hits. He struck out five and walked only one - an unintentional-intentional free pass in the sixth inning. Norton made every big pitch when it counted. He limited the Mustangs to just a pair of hits with a runner on base, retired the leadoff batter in seven of his eight innings and did not allow a single hit with a runner in scoring position (Mustangs went 0-for-8).
    • Norton improved his record to 5-0 on the season and lowered his already sparkling ERA to a miniscule 1.25. He is the first Irish pitcher to pick up a victory in each of his first five starts to open a season since Aaron Heilman in 2001.
    • Norton has a pair of victories over top-25 opponents this season. He has yet to allow a single run in 17.0 innings of work against No. 25 Virginia Tech and No. 20 Cal Poly.
    • Norton limited the USC to one earned run on five hits in 7.0 innings of work (Mar. 9). He struck out three and walked one. Norton dropped his season ERA to 1.61 with his third quality start.
    • Norton tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout of No. 25 Virginia Tech on Mar. 2. He collected Notre Dame's first complete-game shutout over a top-25 opponent since Danny Tamayo blanked Mississippi State in the Starkville Regional on May 28, 2000. The right-handed hurler completely baffled a Virginia Tech lineup that entered the game with a .337-team batting average and averaged 8.3 runs/game.
    • Norton retired the first 10 Hokies of the game before a one-out single in the fourth inning. He promptly sent down the next six Virginia Tech hitters before a bunt single in the top of the sixth inning. Norton did not allow another base runner until two outs in the top of the ninth inning - another stretch of 10 consecutive retired Hokies. He was one out away from a two-hit shutout, but Virginia Tech rallied in the ninth inning.
    • The Hokies got back-to-back singles to bring the potential tying run to the plate. All that stood in between Norton and the victory, complete game and shutout was Virginia Tech slugger Tyler Moran, who set the Cape Cod League record with 16 home runs this past summer. Norton got Moran to pop out to the catcher to end the game.
    • Norton struck out five and walked one. He faced 32 batters and needed just 108 pitches (76 strikes).
    • Norton pitched into the sixth inning in each of his first nine starts and worked into the seventh inning nine different times in 2012. He collected seven quality starts.
    • Norton failed to issue a single walk in nine of his 15 starts in 2012. He walked more than one batter just once.
    • Norton was just shy of the school record for fewest walks per nine innings pitched.
    • Norton also owns the school record in both fewest career walks per nine innings pitched and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    • Norton ranks ninth in the NCAA for fewest career walks per nine innings pitched among active pitchers. In fact, no player with at least 200 career innings has walked fewer total batters.

    FITZGERALD SETTLES INTO STARTING ROLE -- Junior RHP Sean Fitzgerald struggled in the weekend rotation in 2012. He went 2-2 with a 5.91 ERA as a starter a year ago (seven starts). On the other hand as a reliever in '12, Fitzgerald went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA. He has settled into his role as Notre Dame's Friday starter. Fitzgerald is 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA this season.
    • Fitzgerald did not factor in the decision against No. 7 UCLA on Mar. 8, but collected his third consecutive quality start nonetheless. The right-handed hurler allowed one run, it was earned, on four hits in 6.0 innings of work. Fitzgerald struck out five but also walked a career-high four (his previous career-high for free passes was just two).
    • Fitzgerald allowed just one earned run in his three outings against Tulane, Tennessee and UCLA. He only had one victory to show for it despite a 1.33 ERA and a .188 opposition batting average.
    • Fitzgerald limited Tulane to one earned run on four hits in 6.1 innings of work and registered his first victory of the season on Feb. 22. He struck out two and did not issue a walk. Fitzgerald retired 15 straight Green Wave batters at one point in the game and 16 of the first 18 batters he faced. In fact, he faced the minimum over the first six innings of the contest. Fitzgerald did not work to a three-ball count until the bottom of the seventh.
    • Fitzgerald has made two career starts in the State of Louisiana - Feb. 22 against Tulane and last year against No. 11 LSU. He has registered victories in each outing and has allowed just two earned runs in 14.1 innings of work. Fitzgerald has combined to fan six and walk one.
    • Fitzgerald was named to the BIG EAST honor roll - one week after McCarty registered a similar honor.
    • Fitzgerald did not factor in the decision against Tennessee on Mar. 1, but collected his second straight quality. The right-handed hurler struck out a career-best eight in 8.0 dominant innings of work. Fitzgerald limited the Volunteers to just five hits and one earned run. He has now made two starts in his career against SEC foes and picked up the victory in each outing. Fitzgerald allowed an earned run in 8.0 innings of work against No. 11 LSU in 2012.

    SLANIA HEADLINES A DOMINANT BULLPEN -- Notre Dame junior RHP Dan Slania is one of the top closers in college baseball. He has already been named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award watch list.
    • Slania registered saves on back-to-back days to secure the series victory at No. 20 Cal Poly last weekend. He was asked to get the final six outs of the series finale with the Irish clinging to a one-run lead and the junior All-American closer candidate delivered. Slania did surrender a leadoff single to open the bottom of the eighth inning, but retired the final six Mustangs of the game to seal the victory.
    • In last Saturday's 1-0 victory over No. 20 Cal Poly, Slania allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but collected consecutive strikeouts and enduced a pop out to secure the triumph.
    • Slania extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to open the season to 16.1. Slania is 2-0 with five saves. He has struck out 14, walked two and surrendered seven hits. Slania's opponents are hitting a miniscule .132.
    • Slania has now collected 22 saves over his brilliant Notre Dame career, which ranks second on the all-time Irish career saves list. Slania is now just four saves away from the school record of 25 held by Kyle Weiland (2006-08). He also ranks eighth among all active NCAA pitchers in saves.

    • Slania's 13 saves in 2012 ranks tied for second in single-season Notre Dame history.
    • Slania picked up a victory and save as the Irish collected a pair of victories at the Dodgertown Classic in early March. Slania earned the save in a 2-1 victory over USC and the win in a 6-5 triumph over No. 10 Oklahoma. Slania combined to throw 5.1 scoreless innings of relief over his two outings against the Trojans and Sooners. He allowed just three hits and limited USC and Oklahoma to a .167 opponent's batting average. Slania struck out three and did not issue a walk.
    • Slania picked up the save with 2.0 scoreless innings against USC. He retired the first four Trojans before working out of a jam in the ninth inning. With the Irish clinging to a 2-1 lead, he allowed back-to-back, one-out singles that placed the tying run on third base and winning run on first base. Slania the induced a game-ending double play when he caught a popped up bunt and doubled off the runner at third base.
    • Slania earned the victory in Notre Dame's 6-5 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma. He logged 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Slania struck out two and limited the Sooners to one base hit.
    • Slania picked up the victory in relief against Tennessee on Mar. 1. He tossed 3.1 perfect innings of relief - retiring all 10 Volunteers he faced. Slania also fanned three.
    • Slania captured the 2012 Russ Ford Award (given to the top relief pitcher in the Cape Cod League). He led the Cape with 10 saves and helped Cotuit post the league's best regular-season record (30-14). Slania went 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 39 punch outs.
    • Slania led the BIG EAST in saves (13), games finished (29), appearances (31) and relief appearances (31) in 2012. He owned a 3-0 record with a 2.03 ERA in 31.0 innings of work. Slania struck out 37 and walked 12.
    • Slania has been outstanding as a closer/late inning reliever over his three years with the Irish. He owns a career record of 7-3 with a 1.73 ERA and 22 saves.
    • Slania's 1.73 career ERA is the best in school history for a pitcher with at least 60.0 innings pitched. In fact, he ranks third in career ERA among all active NCAA pitchers with at least 75.0 innings of work.
    • Slania's 31 appearances in 2012 are tied for the second-most in single-season school history. It was the most appearances by an Irish hurler since Aaron Heilman had 31 in 1998.

    IRISH PEN, NO PIG PEN -- Notre Dame's bullpen has been nearly flawless in 2013. Irish relievers have collected a 1.26 ERA in 57.0 innings of work. Junior RHP Dan Slania, freshman RHP Nick McCarty, sophomore RHP Cristian Torres, sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek, junior RHP Donnie Hissa and freshman LHP Zak Kutsulis have limited foes to a .197 batting average. They have struck out 44, walked 13 and allowed just 38 hits (only four extra base hits). They've also posted a 5-2 record with four saves and have allowed just six runs after the sixth inning this season.
    • Notre Dame has outscored its foes, 23-6, after the sixth inning and have yet to surrender a lead after six frames (7-0).

    MCCARTY ALMOST PERFECT OUT OF THE PEN -- Freshman RHP Nick McCarty has allowed three earned runs in 18.2 innings of work out of the Irish bullpen. He is 2-2 with a 1.45 ERA and foes are batting .265 against the right-handed hurler in relief outings.
    • McCarty did not allowed an earned run over his first 16.1 career innings.
    • McCarty entered the series finale at Tulane in the bottom of the sixth inning with Notre Dame clinging to a two-run lead (5-3). The rookie proceeded to retire the next nine Green Wave batters, including seven by ground out. He issued a walk and allowed a base hit to open the ninth inning, but evaded damage following a fly out and game-ending 5-4-3 double play. McCarty added a scoreless inning of relief and hold in Friday night's season-opening victory.
    • McCarty picked up the victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Feb. 16 with 5.0 scoreless innings of relief in his Notre Dame debut. He limited Florida Gulf Coast to four singles and did not issue a walk, along with four strikeouts. McCarty was the first Irish rookie to pick up a victory in the season opener since Grant Johnson on Feb. 22, 2002.
    • McCarty was named to the BIG EAST honor roll on Feb. 18. He was first Notre Dame freshman pitcher to receive BIG EAST honor roll accolades since Sean Fitzgerald on Apr. 4, 2011.

    TERNOWCHEK, TURNS IT ON -- Sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek and junior RHP Dan Slania have each yet allowed a run out of the bullpen. Ternowchek has logged 12.0 innings of work with 12 strikeouts and one walk. Ternowchek is 2-0 and the opposition is batting only .200.
    • Ternowchek picked up the victory in relief and tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief at No. 20 Cal Poly on Mar. 16 . He allowed a pair of hits and struck out one. Ternowchek threw a combined 6.0 scoreless innings of relief in the series with the Mustangs.
    • Ternowchek picked up the victory over UMass on Mar. 1. He tossed 5.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and struck out eight. Ternowchek allowed just one hit.

    JAGIELO EARNS RAVE REVIEWS -- Third-year Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki raved about the hitting prowess of junior 3B Eric Jagielo as a rookie in 2011, but the Downers Grove, Ill., native had an up-and-down first year. Jagielo batted .269 with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 28 RBI, but took off in 2012.
    • Jagielo has not only started every game of his Irish career - a span of 128 games dating back to the start of 2011 - but he has hit in the three hole from the start.
    • Jagielo is a career .303 hitter with 24 home runs and 91 RBI in 128 games.
    • Jagielo leads the BIG EAST in slugging percentage (.738), tied for the league lead in home runs, ranks second in RBI, third in total bases (45), tied for third in batting, fifth in on-base percentage (.487) and tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (three).
    • Only four current NCAA players have both a higher batting average (.393) and more home runs (six) than Jagielo.
    • Jagielo has either been named BIG EAST player of the week (Mar. 11) or to the league honor roll (Feb. 18, Feb. 25 and Mar. 18) in all but one week this season.
    • Jagielo batted .500 (7-for-14) last week, including .545 (6-for-11) in the series victory at No. 20 Cal Poly. He collected a double, home run, two RBI and scored three runs in the series with the Mustangs. Jagielo added a pair of walks, and registered a slugging percentage of .909 and on-base percentage of .615. He recorded multi-hit games in each of the three games in the series. Jagielo went 2-for-4 with a run scored, double and RBI single in the opener. He then went 2-for-4 in Notre Dame's 1-0 triumph in the second game of the weekend and closed the series with a solo home run, two walks and two runs scored (2-for-3) in the series finale.
    • Jagielo was named BIG EAST player of the week on Mar. 11. He batted only .286 (4-for-14) in his three games against No. 7 UCLA, USC and No. 10 Oklahoma, but two of his four hits left the ball park and each tied the game. Jagielo smacked a sixth-inning solo home run off the scoreboard in right centerfield that squared the game with the Trojans, 1-1, and then blasted a towering two-run shot in the fifth inning that nearly cleared the UCLA hitting building in right centerfield and tied the Sooners, 4-4. Jagielo now leads the Irish in home runs (five) and RBI (17). All five of Jagielo's home runs have come in the fifth inning or later and four has either given Notre Dame the lead or tied the game.
    • Jagielo, a second-team all-BIG EAST selection, batted .310 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 2012. He was the first Notre Dame sophomore with double-figure home runs since 2004 when Craig Cooper (10) and Matt Bransfield (12) accomplished the feat. Jagielo ranked among the top-10 in the BIG EAST in home runs (second), slugging (fourth) and total bases (fifth).
    • In BIG EAST games only, Jagielo ranked tied for third in home runs (five) and tied for eighth in walks (14). Jagielo had 20 multi-hit games, which ranked third on the Irish, including eight three-hit affairs (tops on Notre Dame). He also ranked second on Notre Dame in multi-RBI contests with 11, including a season-high five RBI in the victory over Georgetown on Apr. 20, 2012.
    • Jagielo batted .444 (4-for-9) with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBI in the three-game sweep of Tulane. He registered a slugging percentage of .889 and on-base percentage of .462. Jagielo provided all the offense the Irish would need in Friday night's 2-1 victory. He smacked a two-run home run in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie. Jagielo went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly in the 3-1 triumph on Saturday and finished the weekend with a multi-hit game on Sunday. Jagielo went 2-for-4 in the series finale with another sacrifice fly.
    • Jagielo batted .545 (6-for-11) for the weekend with a double, two home runs and eight RBI. His batting average was the fifth-best by an Irish player over the season's opening weekend since 1995 and none of the previous four players with a higher batting average had multiple home runs. Jagielo posted a slugging percentage of 1.182, on-base percentage of .667 and OPS of 1.849.
    • Jagielo opened the season with a 2-for-4 effort against Florida Gulf Coast, including a massive two-run home run to centerfield in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game, 5-5, before Notre Dame won in the bottom of the 10th. He followed up that performance with a three-hit game in a 13-3 rout of Ohio State. Jagielo went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a three-run home run and career-high five RBI. He was named Perfect Game's top player across the nation from Saturday's contests.

    TREY "BOOM-BOOM" MANCINI -- Junior 1B Trey Mancini, who was named second-team all-BIG EAST, hit .317 with 47 runs scored, 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 45 RBI in 2012. He recorded a .545 slugging percentage and .395 on-base percentage. Mancini and Jagielo were the first Notre Dame sophomore tandem with double-figure home runs since 2004 when Craig Cooper (10) and Matt Bransfield (12) accomplished the feat.
    • Mancini had 17 multi-hit games, including a four-hit affair and seven three-hit games. Mancini also led the Irish in multi-RBI contests with 15, including a trio of three RBI outings. He ranked tied for third in the BIG EAST in home runs (12), fifth in slugging percentage (.575), tied for seventh in RBI (45) and tied for seventh in runs scored (47).
    • Mancini is a career .322 hitter with 24 home runs and 94 RBI in 123 games.
    • Mancini currently ranks tied for third in the BIG EAST in sacrifice flies (four), fourth in home runs and eighth in slugging percentage (.565).
    • Mancini carried the Irish offensively at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. He was injured in his final at bat of the victory over Massachusetts and missed the game against Tennessee, but did not miss a beat against No. 25 Virginia Tech. Mancini provided all of Notre Dame's offense in a 3-0 victory. He drilled a two-run home run and added an RBI single.
    • Mancini added a three-run round tripper in the rout of the Minutemen. In all, he batted .385 (5-for-13) over the weekend with two home runs and six RBI. Mancini registered a .846 slugging percentage. He also played flawless defense over the weekend. Mancini did not commit an error in 25 fielding chances.
    • Mancini was named 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year after leading Notre Dame in batting (.323), hits (61), doubles (15), triples (three), home runs (nine), RBI (34), total bases (109), slugging percentage (.577), on-base percentage (.385), multiple hit games (17), multiple RBI games (nine) and runs scored (33).
    • Mancini was the first Irish rookie and eighth player in program history to lead Notre Dame in all three triple-crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI). He also was named third team all-BIG EAST and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

    BULLISH EFFORT -- Sophomore LF/DH Ryan Bull is hitting a crisp .358 this season with a team-best equalling 24 hits, as well as one home run and six RBI. He spent the first five games of the year in the No. 5 hole, but moved into the No. 2 spot and exploded for a career-best four hits in the series finale at Tulane on Feb. 24.
    • Bull went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, one coming on his first home run of the season and second of his career.
    • Bull already has a trio of three-hit games and a four-hit outing over Notre Dame's first 17 contests.
    • Bull has rasied his batting average an astouding 104 points from his rookie campaign in 2012 (.254).

    RATHER FRANK EVERYDAY -- Senior co-captain 2B Frank Desico is a three-year monogram winner that has started 175 of Notre Dame's 177 games. He has hit in the leadoff spot in all 17 games this season and 94 times over his career.
    • Among NCAA active players, DeSico ranks 19th in the career at bats (707) and 36th in career base hits (205). He needs 85 more at bats and 55 more hits to enter the school's all-time top-10 in each category.
    • DeSico went hitless in his first four plate appearances of the 2013 season, but followed with a walk-off RBI single to lead the Irish past Florida Gulf Coast, 6-5, in 10 innings on Feb. 16. He then doubled, homered and singled twice in his first four times to the plate against Ohio State as Notre Dame routed the Buckeyes, 13-3. DeSico's four hits spearheaded an Irish offense that totaled 16 against Ohio State. He drove in two and scored four runs.
    • DeSico earned Dean's List for the first time with a 3.778 GPA over 17.5 credit hours in the '12 fall semester.


     

     

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