125 Home
    Fighting Irish
    Irish Finish Regular Season With Series Against Louisville

    FIGHTING IRISH Eric Jagielo
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Eric Jagielo
    FIGHTING IRISH

    May 19, 2011

    Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    IN THE BATTERS BOX - Notre Dame and Louisville open a crucial three-game BIG EAST series at 6:07 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 19 at Patterson Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games will begin at 7:07 p.m. and 1:07 p.m. The final two games of the series will be televised on CBS College Sports. All three games can be heard in South Bend on WHME / Harvest 103.1 FM and watched live at UND.com.

    THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT RACE - Notre Dame enters the final weekend of the 2011 regular season in sixth place and one half game behind Cincinnati and West Virginia for fourth place, but also just a half game ahead of seventh-place Louisville and 1.5 games ahead of eighth-place Seton Hall and USF. Thus, if the season ended today, Notre Dame would secure the sixth seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Irish close the regular season on the road against Louisville. The other five teams competing for the final five spots in the tournament all finish the year at home.
    •  Notre Dame's magic number to reach the BIG EAST tournament is two. Notre Dame can secure a spot in the conference tournament with two victories this weekend, regardless of the outcome in the USF-Pittsburgh and Seton Hall-Georgetown series. One Irish victory combined with a loss from either USF or Seton Hall guarantes Notre Dame's participation as well.
    •  Here are Notre Dame's scenarios to qualify for the BIG EAST tournament based upon the following win totals from this weekend:

    0-3: Notre Dame would finish the regular season with a 12-14 league record. The Irish only reach the conference tournament if Georgetown and/or Pittsburgh take at least two of three from Seton Hall and USF.
    1-2: Notre Dame would finish the regular season with a 13-13 league record. The only scenario in which the Irish fail to reach the conference tournament would be if USF sweeps Pittsburgh and Seton Hall sweeps Georgetown.
    2-1: Notre Dame would finish the regular season with a 14-12 league record and secure no worse than the sixth-seed in the tournament. Notre Dame could take the fourth seed if both Cincinnati and West Virginia drop at least two of three.
    3-0: Notre Dame would finish the regular season with a 15-11 league record and secure fourh place unless both Cincinnati and West Virginia earn sweeps.

    Remaining Schedule
    Pittsburgh at South Florida; West Virginia vs. Rutgers; South Florida vs. Pittsburgh; Cincinnati vs. UConn; Louisville vs. Notre Dame; Seton Hall vs. Georgetown

    LOUISVILLE INSIDER - The Cardinals, led by fifth year head coach Dan McDonnell, enter the series with a 27-26 overall record and 12-12 mark in BIG EAST action.
    •  Louisville is averaging 4.4 runs per game and hitting .246 with a .330 on-base percentage. The Cardinals have also totaled 61 stolen bases in 86 attempts.
    •  Junior SS Ryan Wright is the only Louisville everyday player hitting over .300. He leads the team with a .317 batting average, 41 runs scored, 65 hits, 12 doubles, four triples and 16 stolen bases (in 18 attempts). He has also added nine home runs, 39 RBI and 29 walks. Senior C J.J. Ethel is hitting .278 with 15 runs scored, 42 hits, 11 doubles and 14 RBI. He has collected 14 walks and swiped two bases (in four attempts). Ethel has just one career hit against Notre Dame, but it was a huge one. He smacked a two-out, three-run home run off senior RHP Brian Dupra to help the Cardinals rally past the Irish, 6-3, in the series opener in 2010. Junior OF Stewart Ijames is batting .250 with 26 runs scored, 49 hits, eight doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 43 RBI. He has drawn 21 walks and swiped five bases (in six attempts), but has also struck out 38 times. Freshman OF Ryan Seiz is hitting .254 with 26 runs scored, 36 hits, seven doubles, one triples, two home runs and 16 RBI.
    •  Three Louisville players have fanned at least 30 times in 2011 and the Bulls have struck out 318 times this season as a club.
    •  The Cardinals pitching staff has a 3.02 ERA and .253 opponents' batting average along with 352 strikeouts and 165 walks in 476.1 innings of work. Louisville averages 3.12 walks and 6.65 strikeouts per nine innings. Junior RHP Derek Self will take the mound in the opener of the series. He is 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 63.1 innings of work over 18 appearances, four starts. Self has allowed 16 runs, 14 earned, on 49 hits and his opponents are hitting .216 against him. He has struck out 30 and walked 12. Sophomore RHP Justin Amlung will start the second game of the series for the Cardinals. He is 8-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 91.2 innings of work over 13 appearances, all starts. Amlung has allowed 25 runs, 21 earned, on 68 hits and his opponents are hitting .205 against him. He has struck out 69 and walked 23. Amlung ranks among the top five in the BIG EAST in ERA, opposing batting average, innings pitched and wins. Junior RHP Travis Tingle will get the nod in the series finale. He is 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings of work over 17 appearances, three starts.
    •  Freshman RHP Chad Green (1-2, 1.89 ERA in 19 appearances, one start), freshman LHP Cody Ege (2-0, 2.25 ERA in 16 appearances), sophomore RHP Andy Flett (2-0, 2.66 ERA in 16 appearances, one start), junior RHP Tony Zych (0-2, 3.00 ERA in 25 appearances and 11 saves), freshman RHP Jeff Thompson (1-1, 3.21 ERA in 16 appearances, five starts), freshman RHP Dace Kim (1-2, 3.91 ERA in 14 appearances, three starts) and senior RHP Gabriel Shaw (0-2, 6.55 ERA in 18 appearances, one start) makeup the Cardinal bullpen.
    •  Louisville has committed 71 errors in 53 games and fields .965.

    NOTRE DAME-LOUISVILLE SERIES NOTES - Notre Dame and Louisville are set to meet for the 19th time in program history in the series opener on Thursday, but six of those contests came during the 2009 season when the two rivals split the season series, 3-3. The Cardinals lead the all-time series, 11-7.
    •  Five of the last nine meetings between Louisville and Notre Dame have been decided by one run.
    •  Notre Dame was victorious in the first three meetings in the series, including a 13-4 rout of the host Cardinals in the first meeting between the foes on April 18, 1922.
    •  Notre Dame knocked off Louisville, 3-2, on March 6, 1992 in the Big Four Classic in Louisville.
    •  The Irish took the series opener from the Cardinals in May of 2006 behind Jeff Manship and Jeremy Barnes. Manship, who is a member of the Minnesota Twins, went 7.0 innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts. He did not walk a batter. Barnes went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
    •  Louisville took the final two games of the series, 5-4 and 9-6, but Notre Dame returned the favor in the 2006 BIG EAST title game. Wade Korpi, eventual BIG EAST Tournament MVP, tossed 5.0 scoreless innings and Ross Brezovsky drove in three to give the Irish a 7-0 triumph.
    •  The Cardinals swept three games from Notre Dame in 2007. Louisville rallied with three runs in the seventh and eighth inning to upend the Irish, 3-1, in the first game of a doubleheader. David Phelps took the loss despite 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work. Louisville then slipped past Notre Dame in the nightcap, 4-3, before closing the series with a 7-3 win.
    •  Notre Dame entered the 2010 series with Louisville needing one victory over the final weekend of the regular season to reach the BIG EAST tournament. The Cardinals swept the Irish, but Notre Dame took leads into the final inning of each of the first two games of the series.
    •  Louisville 6, Notre Dame 3 (May 20, at Notre Dame): In the opener, Notre Dame RHP Brian Dupra was one out away from his first complete game of 2010 as the Irish clung to a 3-2 lead, but J.J. Ethel drilled a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give No. 10 Louisville a 5-3 lead. Jeff Arnold followed with a solo home run and Cardinals closer Neil Holland picked up his NCAA-best 14th save as Louisville held on for a 6-3 triumph.
    •  Louisville 4, Notre Dame 3 (May 22, at Notre Dame): Notre Dame was only one out away from a victory over No. 10 Louisville for the second straight game, and more importantly, a berth into the 2010 BIG EAST Tournament, but Adam Duval stroked a two-out, two-run triple to give the Cardinals their second consecutive last at bat, come-from-behind victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
    •  Josh Richmond opened the seventh inning with a leadoff double off Irish closer Steven Mazur. After J.J. Ethel drew a walk, Drew Haynes popped out on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Mazur then got a taylor-made, game-ending double play ball off the bat of Jeff Arnold, but Notre Dame second baseman Frank DeSico, who had not committed an error in 149 consecutive fielding chances, could not handle the grounder cleanly and was only able to retire the lead runner. Richmond moved to third and Arnold reached first for Duval, who lifted a fly ball to right field that carried over the out-stretched glove of right fielder Billy Boockford for a go-ahead, two-out, two-run triple to give Louisville a 4-3 lead.
    •  Louisville 13, Notre Dame 3 (May 22, at Notre Dame): The Cardinals routed the Irish, 13-3, in the series finale last year.

    QUITE A TOE-TO-TOE BATTLE BETWEEN THE CARDINALS AND IRISH IN 2009 - Notre Dame and eventual NCAA Super Regional participant Louisville played six times in 2009 and the series was split, 3-3. In fact, four of the contests were decided by just a single run and each team had a pair of one-run victories.
    •  Louisville 8, Notre Dame 7 (April 24, at Louisville): Notre Dame rallied from a six-run deficit to grab a 7-6 lead on David Casey's pinch hit solo home run in the top of the ninth inning only to have Louisville's Alec Lowry lace a game-winning, pinch-hit two-run double to give the Cardinals an 8-7 victory in the series opener.
    •  Notre Dame 13, Louisville 12 (April 26, at Louisville): Golden Tate capped off a truly golden rally with his first career home run to help Notre Dame rally from a five-run, seventh inning deficit en route to a 13-12 victory over Louisville in the BIG EAST series rubber game at Louisville. Tate could not have picked a better time to hit his first career home run. The left fielder, who by his admission has hit only two runs in batting practice all year, lined a 2-2 fast ball from Louisville closer Tony Zych over the left field wall to give the Irish a 13-12 lead.
    •  Will Hudgins allowed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, but sent down the next three Cardinals to record his second career save and second in as many days.
    •  Trailing 12-8 in the seventh, Zych fell behind 2-0 and David Casey made the Cardinals pay with a towering grand slam that tied the game, 12-12.
    •  Notre Dame 6, Louisville 5 (May 23, at BIG EAST Tournament): Will Hudgins induced a game-ending double play with the bases loaded to give the Irish a thrilling, 6-5, victory over Louisville to setup an elimination game with the Cardinals in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament. Hudgins picked up his third save of the season, all of which came against the Cardinals. The sidewinder came in the game with the bases loaded and no outs with the Irish holding a 6-3 lead. Ryan Wright followed with a single to cut the Notre Dame lead to 6-4. Hudgins then got Nate Holland to ground into a fielder's choice as Jeremy Barnes made a nice running play on the grounder and retired a runner at third base. Chris Dominguez did score to make it 6-5 and Alec Lowry followed with a single, but Louisville did not send the runner home and it set the stage. John Dao hit a grounder right to Barnes at shortstop, who flipped to defensive replacement Ryne Intlekofer, who in turn tossed to another defensive replacement Casey Martin at first base. Intlekofer's throw was off target, but the 6-for-4 first baseman lunged, caught the throw and somehow managed to keep his foot on the bag to end the game.
    •  Louisville 7, Notre Dame 6 (May 23, at BIG EAST Tournament): Notre Dame nearly pulled off its third consecutive remarkable come-from-behind victory, but Louisville All-American starting pitcher Justin Marks came out of the bullpen and tossed 4.0 innings of relief and struck out Ryne Intlekofer with the tying and winning run in scoring position to help the Cardinals hold on for a thrilling 7-6 victory in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament. Notre Dame rallied from a 5-0 deficit to draw within a single run on two different occasions.
    •  The Irish would not go quietly in the bottom of the ninth inning. Cameron McConnell led off the inning with a single and Casey Martin drew a walk to bring the winning run to the plate in All-American A.J. Pollock. Pollock absolutely belted a 1-1 fast ball from Marks to right field, but unfortunately for the Irish it sailed directly into the teeth of a 25-30 mph wind. The drive still managed to carry all the way to the base of the wall, but fell short some 20-25 feet from ending the game.
    •  McConnell did tag from second base to put runners on the corners with one out for Golden Tate. The leftfielder, who won the previous day's game with an RBI single against St. John's, came through again with an RBI base knock to being the Irish within a run, 7-6. Jeremy Barnes fell behind in the count 0-2, fouled off three straight pitches and worked the count to 2-2, but grounded out to the pitcher. Both pinch runner Billy Boockford and Tate moved into scoring position.
    •  With the tying and winning run in scoring position, Marks got Intlekofer to strikeout looking to end the game.

    TALE OF THE TAPE

    * See PDF for full release

    BIG EAST REGULAR SEASON FINAL WEEKENDS - Notre Dame is 28-16 in BIG EAST regular season final weekends, but the Irish are just 3-9 since 2007.
    •  It marks the third consecutive year that Notre Dame enters the final weekend of the season needing at least one victory to reach the BIG EAST tournament. The Irish took the first two games of their series at St. John's in 2009 to secure a spot, but were swept last season by 2010 regular season champion Louisville.

    Year Result Opponent
    2010 0-3 Louisville (3-6, 3-4, 3-13)
    2009 2-1 at St. John's (9-1, 15-8, 6-10)
    2008 0-3 at USF (4-5, 2-3 [16], 8-9)
    2007 1-2 Connecticut (0-5, 5-4, 6-7)
    2006 3-0 at Villanova (3-1, 6-2, 12-1)
    2005 3-0 West Virginia (3-1, 5-1, 7-3)
    2004 2-1 Virginia Tech (9-0, 10-11, 2-1)
    2003 1-1 at Virginia Tech (12-4 [7], 5-11)
    2002 3-0 Boston College (8-2, 10-6, 5-2)
    2001 2-1 at Boston College (8-2 [7], 8-4, 6-7)
    2000 2-1 Rutgers (6-16, 4-3, 10-6)
    1999 2-1 at St. John's (4-5 [7], 5-2, 5-14)
    1998 1-2 St. John's (0-3, 2-1, 5-6)
    1997 3-0 Georgetown (14-0, 11-1, 12-1)
    1996 3-0 Seton Hall (7-1, 15-1, 10-1)

    WALKING A TIGHTROPE - Notre Dame has played 18 games decided by one run in 2011. The Irish are 8-10 in those outings and it does not include three other extra-inning contests where Notre Dame either tied (Gonzaga, March 20) or lost by two runs (West Virginia, April 15; Michigan, May 4).
    •  Notre Dame has equalled the school record for most games decided by a single run. 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.

    * See PDF for full release

    •  Notre Dame has had two BIG EAST series in which all three games were decided by one run (vs. Georgetown and vs. Seton Hall).
    •  Notre Dame has played in seven games decided by two runs and nine more decided by three runs. In all, 34 of Notre Dame's 47 games have been decided by three runs or less.
    •  Here is a look at all of the Irish one-run contests:

    Date (Opponent) Result
    February 18 (Michigan State) L, 1-2
    February 26 (Seattle) L, 0-1
    March 5 (Manhattan) W, 5-4
    March 12 (Coastal Carolina) L, 3-4
    March 15 (UTSA) W, 5-4
    March 17 (Iowa) L, 3-4
    March 25 (Georgetown) W, 3-2
    March 26 (Georgetown) W, 1-0
    March 27 (Georgetown) L, 3-4
    March 29 (Central Michigan) W, 3-2
    April 1 (Pittsburgh) L, 2-3 (11)
    April 2 (Pittsburgh) L, 5-6
    April 29 (Seton Hall) L, 1-2
    April 30 (Seton Hall) W, 2-1 (12)
    May 1 (Seton Hall) W, 5-4
    May 3 (Michigan) L, 1-2
    May 7 (Rutgers-1) W, 5-4
    May (Rutgers) L, 2-3 (14)

    FOR STARTERS - Notre Dame's starting pitchers have registered a quality start (pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs) in 31 of 47 games for the Irish this season and own a 2.99 ERA. The five-man rotation of senior RHP Brian Dupra, senior RHP Cole Johnson, senior RHP Todd Miller, sophomore RHP Adam Norton and freshman LHP Anthony McIver have struck out 235 and walked only 74 in 304.1 innings of work.
    •  The 31 quality starts is even more impressive when you consider Notre Dame totaled 11 over the course of the entire 2010 season (54 games).
    •  Dupra, Johnson and Miller have combined for 27 quality starts (Norton, three, and McIver, one, have the other four) and a 2.95 ERA (253.0 IP, 83 ER). Opponents are batting just .260 against Dupra, Johnson and Miller.
    •  Dupra, Johnson and Miller's 27 quality starts have come in 38 outings in 2011. Notre Dame's weekend rotation accounted for just 11 over the entire course of 2010 (54 games).
    •  The weekend rotation has struck out 194 batters and walked only 60 in their 253.0 innings of work. That equates to a 3.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 6.90 punch outs per nine innings and 2.13 walks per nine innings.
    •  Dupra, Johnson and Miller registered nine straight quality starts to open 2011. 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.
    •  Notre Dame's starting rotation of Dupra, Johnson, Miller, McIver and Norton has averaged 6.48 innings per start. In fact, Dupra, Johnson and Miller have averaged 6.66 innings per start on the weekend. Notre Dame's starting pitchers averaged only 4.73 innings per start in 2010.
    •  Dupra and Johnson each rank among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in innings pitched. Dupra (91.0) ranks fourth and Johnson (87.0) ranks ninth. Notre Dame is the only school in the conference that has two pitchers ranked among the top 10 in innings pitched.
    •  Dupra (2.37) and Johnson (2.69) rank sixth and 11th respectively in the BIG EAST in ERA. Notre Dame, UConn, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Louisville are the only schools in the conference to have a pair of starting pitchers ranked among the top 12 in ERA.
    •  Notre Dame's pitching staff has already totaled 23 starts of at least 7.0 innings in 2011. The Irish managed only seven such starts over the course of the entire 2010 campaign (54 games).

    HOPE YOU ARE NOT LEFT-HANDED ­- 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, Ryan Richter and Dustin Ispas, will miss the entire 2011 campaign following offseason elbow injuries. All four have already begun the rehabilitation process following Tommy John surgery. The injuries left Notre Dame with exactly one scholarship LHP (freshman Anthony McIver).

    PITCHING THE NAME OF THE GAME ­- Notre Dame enters this weekend with a 3.18 ERA. The Irish entered Tuesday night's contest with Michigan State sporting a 2.82 ERA, but Notre Dame allowed 20 earned runs to the Spartans. Fourteen of those runs allowed came against three members of the 2011 Irish staff that had totaled only 7.0 innings over the entire year.
    •  Despite that tough outing, the 3.18 ERA is the best by a Notre Dame staff since 1992 (3.06). The Irish owns a 2.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is light years better than the total of 1.73 from 2010. Notre Dame has walked only 121 batters in 430.2 innings, good for a 2.53 average per nine innings. That mark is just off the school record for fewest walks per nine innings (2.48 in 2001), but still would rank second all-time.
    •  Here is where the Irish would rank among the top five in a number of single-season pitching categories:

    * See PDF for full release

    •  Notre Dame owns a 2.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is light years better than the total of 1.73 from 2010. Here is an interesting comparison between the 2011 pitching staff and those from 2007-10.

    * See PDF for full release

    •  Here is where the Irish appeared in a number of pitching categories in the latest NCAA rankings (through May 15):

    * See PDF for full release

    •  The Irish pitching staff ranks first, second or third in the following BIG EAST categories:

    Category ND BIG EAST Rank
    Fewest Walks Allowed 121 1st
    Fewest Wild Pitches 15 1st
    Fewest Hit Batters 30 1st
    Sac Bunts Allowed 54 t-2nd
    Fewest Runs Allowed 185 t-2nd
    Fewest Earned Runs Allowed 152 3rd

    •  The Irish pitching staff ranks first, second or third in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category ND BIG EAST Rank
    Fewest Walks Allowed 58 1st
    Fewest Wild Pitches 4 1st
    Fewest Balks 1 t-1st
    Fewest Hit Batters 17 2nd
    Fewest Runs Allowed 82 t-2nd
    Fewest Earned Runs Allowed 67 3rd
    ERA 2.82 3rd
    Runners Picked Off 5 t-3rd

    •  Johnson and Dupra have been saddled with awful run support the entire season. Dupra (2.37) and Johnson (2.69) rank sixth and 11th, respectively, in the BIG EAST in ERA, but the duo has combined for a 7-11 record. Notre Dame scored a grand total of 74 runs over Dupra and Johnson's first 24 combined starts of 2011 or just 3.08 per game. That even included the 19 runs the Irish managed in Johnson's first start of 2011. Taking out that start, Notre Dame averaged 2.39 runs in games started by the senior tandem prior to the USF series.
    •  Dupra and Johnson got eight and 10 runs, respectively, of support last weekend against the Bulls.
    •  Johnson, who received 19 runs of support in his first start of 2011, benefitted from a total of 22 runs over his next 11 starts of the season combined.
    •  The lack of run support has been worse in BIG EAST action for Dupra. He has surrendered 15 earned runs in 57.0 innings over eight appearances (good for a 2.37 ERA), but owns an 1-3 record.
    •  Notre Dame has limited 18 opponents to two earned runs or less over its 47 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 121 batters in 430.2 innings, good for a 2.53 average per nine innings. That mark is just off the school record for fewest walks per nine innings (2.48 in 2001), but still would rank second all-time.
    •  The Irish lead the BIG EAST in fewest walks by a large margin. Notre Dame's 121 free passes is far ahead of second place Rutgers (142 walks).
    •  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.
    •  Notre Dame has posted 27 games with two issued walks or less and 19 outings with one free pass or less over its 47 games. By comparison, the 2010 staff totaled 19 games with two issued walks or less and 15 with one free pass or less over the course of the entire season (54 games).
    •  Dupra, Johnson, Miller, McIver and Norton, the five Irish pitchers to start in 2011, have walked only 74 in 304.1 innings of work over 47 starts. Dupra, Johnson and Miller did not walk a single batter in 22.2 innings of work at the Coca-Cola Classic in Rock Hill, S.C. In fact, the entire Irish staff walked only three (and one was intentional) in 35.0 innings of work that weekend.

    IRISH CONTINUE TO PITCH OUT OF JAMS - Notre Dame's pitching staff has come through all season with runners on base. They have limited their opponents to a .252 (194-for-770) batting average with runners on base. In fact, Notre Dame has been even more affective with runners in scoring position - limiting its opposition to a .239 batting average (117-for-489).
    •  Here is an interesting comparison between the 2011 pitching staff and those from 2007-10.

    * See PDF for full release

    THE IRISH PEN FAR FROM FOUL - Notre Dame's starting pitching has been outstanding all season and its bullpen has not disappointed either. The front line bullpen of junior RHP Will Hudgins, freshman RHP Sean Fitzgerald, freshman RHP Dan Slania, freshman LHP Anthony McIver and sophomore RHP Adam Norton carry a 2.58 ERA into this weekend's series with Louisville. The bullpen owns a 8-9 record with 10 saves and has limited its opponents to a .248 batting average. The quintet has struck out 86 and walked 33. Here is an interesting comparison between the 2011 bullpen and those from 2007-10.

    * See PDF for full release

    •  The Irish relief corps has been even better in BIG EAST action. Notre Dame's bullpen has posted a 1.94 ERA in 65.0 innings. They own a 6-4 record and six saves in league play. The bullpen has struck out 43 and walked 16. Irish opponents are batting just .230 against the bullpen in BIG EAST games. The pen has surrendered just one home run and seven total extra-base hits in 23 league games.
    •  Even more impressive, three of Notre Dame's top four relief pitchers to this point of 2011 are all freshmen. LHP Anthony McIver (2-3, 3.26 ERA), RHP Sean Fitzgerald (1-2, 2.01 ERA with four saves) and RHP Dan Slania (1-3, 2.08 ERA with three saves) have been nearly untouchable out of the bullpen. The rookie trio has posted only a 4-8 record, but have combined for a 2.35 ERA in 76.2 innings of work. They have punched out 61 and walked only 21.
    •  Fitzgerald, Slania and McIver have been even better in BIG EAST games. Fitzgerald is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA and four saves. He has allowed just 16 hits in 20.2 innings of work with 14 strikeouts and one walk. Slania ia 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA and one save. He has allowed seven hits in 8.2 innings of work with six punch outs and one walk. McIver is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 13.0 innings of work. He has allowed 13 hits and fanned seven with eight walks. The trio carries a BIG EAST ERA of 1.70.
    •  Junior RHP Will Hudgins (1.78 ERA in 17 relief appearances) improved to 4-0 with another quality relief outing at Rutgers on May 7. The sidewinder allowed one earned run, a solo home run, on a pair of hits in 3.0 innings of work. Hudgins struck out three and did not issue a walk. He had not allowed a run, earned or unearned, since March 20 against Gonzaga - a span of 16.2 scoreless innings of work.
    •  Fitzgerald was charged with the loss out of the bullpen against Michigan on May 3. He allowed a pair of hits in his inning of relief. With the score tied, 1-1, Fitzgerald yielded a solo home run to Coley Crank in the bottom of the eighth inning. The round tripper was only the second home run allowed by the Irish bullpen in 98.1 innings of work this season. It was the first home run allowed by the pen since Fitzgerald surrendered one on March 5 against Winthrop - a span of 78.1 innings.
    •  Notre Dame's bullpen posted a 1.32 ERA over the 14 games (41.0 innings) following the late inning collapse against Pittsburgh on April 1. The Irish surrendered an eighth inning, 5-1, lead en route to a 6-5 loss to the Panthers. The quartet of junior RHP Will Hudgins (1-0, 0.00 ERA in six appearances over 8.1 IP), freshman RHP Dan Slania (1-0, 1.80 ERA in four appearances over 5.0 IP), freshman LHP Anthony McIver (0-2, 0.90 ERA in seven appearances over 10.0 IP), freshman RHP Sean Fitzgerald (1-0, 1.93 ERA in nine appearances over 14.0 IP) and sophomore RHP Adam Norton (0-0, 3.38 ERA in two appearances over 2.2 IP) limited foes to a .208 batting average.

    PROBABLY GOING TO JINX IT, BUT - Notre Dame has played three games this year that have exceeded three hours and each took extra innings. The Irish and Gonzaga tied, 3-3, in 12 innings on March 20 in a game that lasted 3:18. Notre Dame and Michigan went 10 innings on May 4 and the game lasted 3:10. The Irish played in their longest game of the season on May 8 against Rutgers. Notre Dame lost 3-2 in 14 innings to the Scarlet Knights. The game lasted 3:56.
    •  The Irish have already played in 21 games this season that finished under two hours and 20 minutes, including two games at Winthrop, all three outings at Seattle and two of the three games against Georgetown.
    •  The longest game of the series with the Redhawks was Friday's meeting, which lasted only 2:20. The final two games of the series took just 1:52 and 2:01 to complete, respectively.
    •  The first game of the doubleheader on Sat., Feb. 25, which lasted only 1:52, was the quickest nine-inning game for the Irish since Apr. 4, 2009 against Villanova. Notre Dame planked the Wildcats, 4-0, in 1:43.
    •  Notre Dame's two games in its doubleheader at St. John's last 1:49 and 2:19, respectively.
    •  Notre Dame's 47 games of 2011 have averaged out to just over 2:25 minutes in length.

    FIRST INNING EXPLOSION ­- Notre Dame plated five runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 14-4 rout of Connecticut on April 10. The five runs were the most for the Irish in any first inning this season. The last time the Irish scored five runs in the first inning came on March 4, 2007 against Nebraska in Deland, Florida. Notre Dame went on to upset #7 Nebraska, 16-6.
    •  The last time Notre Dame scored more than five runs in the first inning came on March 22, 2006 against Central Michigan. The Irish used a seven-run first inning to beat the Chippewas, 11-9.
    •  Notre Dame has struggled to score runs in 2011, but has managed to registered innings with 11 runs (vs. Purdue on Feb. 19) and five runs (vs. Connecticut on Apr. 10, vs. Pittsburgh on Apr. 3 and vs. Penn State on Feb. 20).

    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.

    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

    * See PDF for full release

    MANCINI GOES BOOM BOOM - Freshman 1B Trey Mancini leads Notre Dame in batting (.339), hits (57), triples (three), home runs (nine), RBI (33), total bases (103), slugging percentage (.613) on-base percentage (.402), multiple hit games (17), multiple RBI games (nine) and tied in runs scored (31).
    •  Mancini has earned BIG EAST honor roll three times this season. No player has been honored by the BIG EAST more this season in terms of Player of the Week/Honor Roll than Mancini. Georgetown's Rand Ravnaas, St. John's Joe Panik, West Virginia's Grant Buckner and Mancini are the only four position players to receive such honors three times.
    •  Mancini was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on May 9. He paced the Irish offense over the week. Mancini batted .455 (10-for-22) with one run scored, two doubles, one triple and two RBI in five games. He registered a .636 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage. Mancini also played flawless defense, not committing an error in 58 fielding chances.
    •  Mancini was dynamite in the series victory at Rutgers. He batted .571 (8-for-14) with a run scored, double, triple and two RBI. He went 7-for-8 in the doubleheader sweep of the Scarlet Knights. Mancini reached base safely in each of his first eight plate appearances in the series (seven hits and a intentional walk). He collected a base hit in all five games last week, including a three- and four-hit game. Mancini carries a six-game hitting streak into exam break.
    •  Mancini was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the second time this season on Apr. 11. He batted .533 (8-for-15) with six runs scored, two doubles, one home run and seven RBI in four games last week. He is the only rookie to earn the nomination twice this season.
    •  With Notre Dame trailing Seton Hall, 4-2, in the bottom of the eighth inning and two outs on May 1, the Pirates called upon closer Matt Harvey. He entered the contest with 46 strikeouts in 27.2 innings of work, including five punch outs in 2.2 innings of work en route to his fourth save of the season in the series opener, but Mancini hammered a 1-0 fast ball over the batter's eye in left centerfield to give the Notre Dame its first lead of the game and ultimately a 5-4 come-from-behind victory at Frank Eck Stadium.
    •  Mancini ranks among the freshman leaders in the latest NCAA rankings in a number of offensive categories (through May 15):

    Category Total (NCAA Rank)
    Home Runs Per Game 0.20 (t-2nd)
    Home Runs 9 (t-2nd)
    Slugging Percentage .612 (4th)
    Total Bases 101 (t-12th)
    Triples 3 (t-23rd)
    Doubles 13 (t-26th)
    Batting Average .339 (33rd)

    •  Of the eight freshmen in the NCAA with nine home runs, none have played fewer games (47) as the Irish first baseman. •  Mancini ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in all games:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Home Runs 9 (t-4th)
    Slugging Percentage .613 (5th)
    Triples 3 (t-8th)
    Total Bases 103 (11th)
    Batting Average .339 (12th)

    •  Mancini ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Home Runs 7 (2nd)
    Triples 2 (t-2nd)
    Total Bases 58 (t-3rd)
    Slugging Percentage .659 (4th)
    RBI 21 (t-8th)

    •  Here is how Mancini ranks among all BIG EAST freshman in a number of offensive categories:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Freshman Rank)
    Batting Average .339 (1st)
    Slugging Percentage .613 (1st)
    Home Runs 9 (1st)
    RBI 33 (2nd)
    On Base Percentage .402 (2nd)
    Hits 57 (2nd)
    Doubles 13 (t-2nd)
    Runs Scored 33 (3rd)

    •  Mancini would be the first Notre Dame freshman and seventh player in program history to lead the Irish in all three triple crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI). He would be the first player since Brant Ust in 1998. Only six players have accomplished the feat since 1948. The other players to lead Notre Dame in all three categories included Dan Peltier (1989), Mike Trudeau (1985), George Sefcik (1962), Dick O'Leary (1961) and Elmer Kohorst (1956, although tied for home run lead). Here is the breakdown on those players and their respective offensive totals.

    Year Player Batting Average Home Runs RBI

    * See PDF for full release

    JAGIELO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ORDER - Freshman 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).
    •  Jagielo delivered a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Irish a 2-1 victory over Seton Hall on April 30 at Frank Eck Stadium. He slapped a 1-0 offering from George Fernandez into left field to plate senior SS Mick Doyle.
    •  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.
    •  Jagielo has started games in 2011 at four different positions. He has started at first base, third base, left field and center field. Jagielo played shortstop in high school and exclusively in the infield.
    •  Jagielo has hit third in the lineup over all 47 games in 2011.
    •  Jagielo has homered twice in the last four games. He smacked a two-run bomb on the first inning against USF on May 13 and did the same thing versus Michigan State on May 17.
    •  Jagielo ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Walks 15 (t-5th)

    •  Here is how Jagielo ranks among all BIG EAST freshman in a number of offensive categories:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Freshman Rank)
    Doubles 13 (t-2nd)

    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 an opportunity to tryout in the fall without any guarantees of a spot on the roster.
    •  Petzold earned a starting spot in right field and has not looked back. He is tied or leads the team outright in hit-by-pitches (five), games played (47) and games started (47). Petzold ranks second in batting average (.291), on-base percentage (.377) and hits (48). He was the only Irish player to register a hit in each of the first six games this season and has registered a hit in 31 of Notre Dame's 47 games. Petzold also ranks third on the team with 12 multi-hit games, including a team-best equaling four games with at least three hits.
    •  Petzold had a career-best three hits in the victory over Central Michigan on March 29. He also drew a walk to reach base safely in each of his four plate appearances. Petzold added the eventual gamewinning RBI double.
    •  Petzold had a three-run double and drove in career-best four in the victory over Connecticut on April 10.
    •  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 ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Sacrifice Bunts 10 (t-5th)

    Johnson, Petzold Earn Academic All-District Baseball Honors - Senior RHP Cole Johnson and senior RF Herman Petzold were selected to the Capital One Academic All-District V team. Their names appeared on the national ballot for a chance to be voted as Academic All-Americans.
    •  Already a finalist for the 2011 Lowe's Senior Class Award and recent recipient of the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor presented to an Irish student-athlete, Johnson maintains a 3.68 grade-point average in the College of Science as a double major in pre-professional studies (pre-medicine) and Spanish language and literature. He was named to the Dean's List for the second time this past fall. Johnson has also been honored as a BIG EAST academic all-star each of the last three years.
    •  Johnson, a right-handed pitcher, has rebounded from an injury-plagued 2010 season with a stellar campaign in '11. Johnson has pitched far better than his 4-6 record would indicate. Notre Dame has managed to score just 32 runs over his last 12 starts (10 alone came in his last outing). He has a 2.69 ERA in 13 starts over 87.0 innings of work. He has struck out 74 and walked 26. Johnson is tied for the team-lead with 10 quality starts.
    •  Petzold, who maintains a 3.319 grade-point average in the Mendoza College of Business as a double major in finance and mathematics, 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 an opportunity to tryout in the fall without any guarantees of a spot on the roster.
    •  Petzold earned a starting spot in right field and has not looked back. He is tied or leads the team outright in hit-by-pitches (five), games played (47) and games started (47). Petzold ranks second in batting average (.291), on-base percentage (.377) and hits (48). He was the only Irish player to register a hit in each of the first six games this season and has registered a hit in 31 of Notre Dame's 47 games. Petzold also ranks third on the team with 12 multi-hit games, including a team-best equaling four games with at least three hits.

    Johnson, DOYLE EARN AWARDS - The Notre Dame Department of Athletics held its annual O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements & Recognition Showcase) on May 3 inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center and senior RHP Cole Johnson and senior SS Mick Doyle were both recognized.
    •  Johnson captured the The Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor presented to an Irish student-athlete. It has been given annually since 1926 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders. Chosen by the University's Faculty Board on Athletics, the awards are named in honor of the 1904 Notre Dame graduate who was a member of the baseball team as an undergraduate. Kanaley went on to a successful banking career in Chicago and served the University as a lay trustee until his death in 1960.
    •  In the classroom, Johnson maintains a 3.68 GPA in the College of Science as a double major in pre-professional studies and Spanish language and literature. He was named to the Dean's List for the second time this past fall. Johnson has also been honored as a Big East academic all-star each of the last three years.
    •  Doyle was one of seven student-athletes that received the Leaders of Distinction award, which is presented to those individuals deemed exceptional leaders by their coaches and teammates.
    •  Off the diamond, Doyle maintains a 3.461 GPA as a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business. He recently participated in the Rosenthal Leadership Academy, which develops, challenges, and supports student-athletes and coaches in their continual quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics, and life. The Notre Dame Leadership Academy provides comprehensive and cutting edge leadership development programming through interactive workshops, 360-degree feedback, one-on-one coaching, peer mentoring, and educational resources. Doyle has also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
    •  Johnson and Doyle have been involved with the Notre Dame team and its community-service efforts throughout his years with the Irish program. Through Fighting Irish Fight for Life, he and the team recently adopted five-year old Brady Burkhart, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Johnson has also worked with Habitat for Humanity, Center for the Homeless, Memorial Hospital Pediatric Cancer Center and other works in the local community. They each participated in the Life Works Dream Team program at McKinley Primary School, which was a five-week program where he spent an hour a week teaching students about setting goals and overcoming obstacles. Johnson has also volunteered, independently from the team's programs, weekly at La Casa de Amistad, a local South Bend Hispanic community center. He participated in varied programs in an effort to edify Hispanic youth and adults in development of leadership skills, increase knowledge and appreciation of their own culture, and develop stronger self-esteem, encouraging fuller participation as community members.

    DOYLE RULES WITH THE GLOVE - Senior SS Mick Doyle has been a regular in the Notre Dame lineup for the past three seasons and enters the final week of the regular season having started all 47 games for the Irish in 2011. He is hitting only .204 on the season with seven doubles, a home run and 13 RBI. Doyle is second on the team in stolen bases with 10 swipes in 13 tries. He is catching fire at the right time. Doyle is batting .370 with a double, home run and five RBI in the month of May. He has seen action at second base, third base and shortstop during his Notre Dame career. This season, he has made just four errors at shortstop, good for a .978 fielding percentage - the best of any everyday shortstop in the BIG EAST Conference. Here is a look at how Doyle compares defensively to the rest of the shortstops in the BIG EAST.

    Player - Team Putouts Assists Errors Fielding %

    * See PDF for full release

    JOHNSON DOING HIS PART - Senior RHP Cole Johnson carries a 2.69 ERA into this weekend's series against Louisville. Despite quality starts in 10 of his 13 outings, Johnson owns just a 4-6 record. The righty has been handcuffed by minimal run support. Notre Dame scored a grand total of 22 runs over Johnson's previous 11 starts before his last outing against USF (the Irish plated 10 runs, but six came after he departed). The only other game in which the Irish managed more than three runs of support for Johnson came on Feb. 19, when Notre Dame pounded out a season-high 25 hits and scored a season-high 19 runs. The Irish have scored one run or less in four of his 13 starts.
    •  Notre Dame spotted Cole Johnson three early runs and the senior right-handed pitcher did the rest as the Irish secured a doubleheader sweep of BIG EAST rival Rutgers, 3-0, on May 7. Johnson was simply too much for the Scarlet Knights. He limited Rutgers to just three hits, all singles, in 8.1 scoreless innings. Johnson struck out a career-best 12. He collected at least two strikeouts in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eight innings. The 12 strikeouts were the most by an Irish pitcher since Tom Thornton fanned 12 against Kent State on June 5, 2004. In fact, a Notre Dame pitcher has not fanned more batters than Johnson since Aaron Heilman set the BIG EAST record with 18 at West Virginia on April 15, 2000.
    •  The three runs were more than enough for Johnson. He retired nine of the first 10 Rutgers hitters on the game. Johnson, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start against Seton Hall, did not surrender a hit until a single to open the fourth inning. He proceeded to send down the next 10 Scarlet Knights before a one-out single in the seventh inning. Rutgers did not have a runner reach second base until the bottom of the seventh inning. Johnson took a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning.
    •  Johnson was almost untouchable over his starts against Seton Hall and Rutgers. Johnson allowed just one earned run on six hits, five of which have been singles, in 17.1 innings of work.
    •   Johnson did not factor in the decision against Seton Hall on April 30, but was lights out. He tossed his fourth career outing of 9.0 innings or more and first since April 9, 2009, against Cincinnati (9.2 innings). Johnson allowed just one earned run on three hits, two of which were singles, in 9.0 innings of work. He struck out two and walked three.
    •  Johnson actually took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He issued a leadoff walk to Zack Granite to open the contest, but proceeded to retire the next 10 Pirates before another free pass with one out in the fourth. Johnson sent down the next five Seton Hall batters before running into a little bit of trouble in the sixth. The Pirates had runners on first and second with just one out after an Irish error and hit batsman, but Johnson induced a 5-4-3 double play to take the no-hitter into the seventh inning. He retired six of the last seven Pirates he faced to send the game into extra innings.
    •  Senior Mick Doyle gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI single and Johnson pretty much did the rest as the Irish shut out Georgetown, 1-0, on March 26. He limited Georgetown to five hits, four of which were singles, in 8.0 shutout innings of work. Johnson struck out six and walked one. He retired 15 of the 18 Hoyas between the fourth and eighth innings. The only three Georgetown batters that reached base did so via a hit-by-pitch, infield single and bloop base hit to left field.
    •  Johnson ranks among the NCAA leaders in the following categories:

    Category Total (NCAA Rank)
    Hits Allowed Per Nine Innings 7.03 (67th)
    Strikeouts 74 (99th)
    ERA 2.69 (127th)
    Strikeouts Per Nine Innings 7.66 (253rd)
    Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings 2.69 (361st)

    •  Johnson has tossed at least 7.0 innings in seven of his 13 starts and ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST pitching categories:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Strikeouts Looking 26 (5th)
    Strikeouts 74 (5th)
    Opp. Batting Avg. .212 (6th)
    Home Runs Allowed 2 (t-7th)
    Innings Pitched 87.0 (9th)
    ERA 2.69 (11th)
    Runs Allowed 30 (12th)

    •  Johnson ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Opp. Batting Avg. .203 (5th)
    Strikeouts Looking 17 (4th)
    Strikeouts 46 (t-6th)
    ERA 2.77 (12th)

    JOHNSON GETS REVENGE AGAINST WEST VIRGINIA - Senior RHP Cole Johnson allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings of work to lead Notre Dame past West Virginia, 5-2, in the second game of a day-night doubleheader on April 15. He limited the Mountaineers to just two runs, one earned, on four hits. Johnson struck out six and walked two. He collected his eighth quality start of 2011. He issued a leadoff walk in the first inning, but proceeded to register back-to-back strikeouts before a catcher's interference put two West Virginia runners on base. Jeremy Gum followed with a two-run double to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead. Johnson would blank the Mountaineers over the next 5.2 innings.
    •  Johnson surrendered 11 runs on ten hits in 5.0 innings of work in his last start against West Virginia on April 17, 2009.

    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 is one of 10 Division I college baseball players to be selected as a finalist for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award honors student athletes who excel both on and off the diamond and has notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character 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.
    •  Joining Johnson on the list of baseball finalists are: P Chris Dennis (Portland), CF Brandon Eckerle (Michigan State), C Clint Ewing (Louisiana Tech), P Cole Green (Texas), FB/DH Frazier Hall (Southern), 1B Paul Hoilman (East Tennessee State), OF Chris Slater (Baylor), OF Cory Tilton (UNC Charlotte) and P Tyler Wilson (Virginia).

    •  Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the winner June 24 at the NCAA College World Series® in Omaha.

    DUPRA AWFULLY GOOD - Senior RHP Brian Dupra has registered 10 quality starts over his 13 outings in 2011. He has worked into the seventh inning in 10 of his 13 starts this season.
    •  Dupra ranks among the NCAA leaders in the following categories:

    Category Total (NCAA Rank)
    Strikeouts 83 (53rd)
    ERA 2.37 (82nd)
    Strikeouts Per Nine Innings 8.21 (177th)
    Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings 2.37 (263rd)

    •  Dupra ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in overall games:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Sacrifice Bunts Allowed 11 (t-3rd)
    Pickoffs 4 (t-4th)
    Strikeouts 83 (4th)
    Strikeouts Looking 29 (3rd)
    Innings Pitched 91.0 (4th)
    ERA 2.37 (6th)
    Earned Runs Allowed 24 (11th)

    •  Dupra ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Runners Picked Off 2 (t-4th)
    Strikeouts 48 (5th)
    ERA 2.37 (7th)
    Strikeouts Looking 15 (t-7th)
    Innings Pitched 57.0 (8th)
    Sacrifice Bunts Allowed 6 (t-9th)

    •  Dupra has allowed more than two earned runs in a start only four times this season. He has allowed no earned runs on five different occasions, one earned run once and two earned runs three times.
    •  Dupra has a 2.37 ERA over eight starts and 57.0 innings of work in BIG EAST action, but owns an 1-3 record.
    •  In his final appearance at Frank Eck Stadium, Dupra struck out nine over 7.0 scoreless innings to lead Notre Dame to an 8-0 shutout of USF. The senior co-captain limited USF to six hits and only one extra-base hit. Dupra collected his 10th quality start of the season. He found his grove following the top of the first. He did allow one-out base hits in each of the second, third and fourth innings, but evaded any damage with over-powering stuff. Dupra collected six strikeouts over the first four frames. He actually got a strikeout to end four of the first six innings for the Bulls.
    •  Notre Dame wasted another stellar pitching performance from Dupra against Seton Hall on April 29. Despite the Irish going 4-for-18 with runners on base and just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, Dupra did everything that could have been asked to keep the Irish in the game. The right-handed hurler tossed Notre Dame's first complete game of the season. He limited the Pirates to a pair of earned runs on seven hits and punched out 10. Dupra retired 11 of the last 12 Seton Hall hitters, including the final nine of the contest, but was charged with the loss. The complete game was the third of his career and first since April 18, 2009, against West Virginia. Dupra also recorded his third game of the season with 10 or more strikeouts.
    •  Dupra was charged with the loss against UConn on Apr. 8. He limited the Huskies to just two runs, one of which was unearned, on six hits in 7.1 innings. Dupra fanned four and walked three.
    •  He allowed exactly one earned run over his first 21.0 innings of work in BIG EAST starts.
    •  Dupra was dominant in his two starts against Manhattan and Seattle. The co-captain struck out 10, did not issue a walk and allowed two earned runs in 8.0 innings against Manhattan on March 4. 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.
    •  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 MOVING UP THE CHARTS - Senior RHP Brian Dupra will make his 50th career start on Thursday in the series opener against Louisville. The 50 career starts rank fifth all-time in school history. He has also logged 302.0 career innings on the mound, which ranks seventh in the Notre Dame record books. Dupra also ranks ninth in school history in fewest career walks per nine innings.
    •  Dupra will become the fifth pitcher in Notre Dame history to record 50 career starts. He already became the seventh Irish hurler to ever eclipse 300.0 career innings.
    •  Here is a look at the top 10 in school history in each category:

    Rank - Player (Years) - BB/9 - IP
    1. Brandon Viloria (2000-03) 1.61 (15/83.2)
    2. Alan Walania (1990-93) 1.64 (59/324.0)
    3. Tom Thornton (2003-06) 1.73 (64/332.2)
    4. Tom Price (1991-94) 1.86 (78/377.1)
    5. Brad Cross (1983-86) 1.88 (27/129.1)
    6. Chris Niesel (2002-04) 1.88 (57/272.2)
    7. Nick Palihnich (1958-60) 1.94 (32/148.2)
    8. Darin Schmalz (1994-97) 2.05 (68/298.2)
    9. Brian Dupra (2008-) 2.15 (72/302.0)
    10. Mike Naumann (1998-2001) 2.23 (31/124.2)

    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.

    PENCIL IN DeSICO AT SECOND BASE - Sophomore 2B Frank DeSico started 85 straight games at second base for the Irish from March 6, 2010 - May 1, 2011. The 85 consecutive starts at second base were the most for an Irish player since Steve Sollman made 86 straight starts at second from March 30, 2002 - April 22, 2003.
    •  The streak ended on May 3 against Michigan. DeSico injured him hamstring in the third inning of the victory over Seton Hall on May 1. He did remain in the game until the eighth inning, but missed both mid-week contests against the Wolverines.
    •  DeSico returned to the lineup at Rutgers and has proceeded to start the last seven games.
    •  DeSico ranks as one of the toughest players in the BIG EAST to strikeout. The sophomore has fanned just 14 times in 201 plate appearances and 171 official at bats in 2011. He ranks second in the BIG EAST in fewest strikeouts by an everyday player.

    Rank Player, School Strikeouts
    1. A.J. Rusbarsky, Seton Hall 10
    2. Frank DeSico, Notre Dame 14

    HUDSON ROUNDING INTO FORM - Sophomore C Joe Hudson opened the 2011 season with doubles in each of Notre Dame's first four games. He batted .412 (7-for-17) with five runs scored and four RBI over the same stretch, but Hudson would collect just one extra-base hit (a triple) over his next 102 official at bats over 35 games. He hit just .157 (16-for-102) with five runs scored, no doubles and five RBI. Hudson has re-found his stroke over the last eight games. He is batting .375 (9-for-24) with five runs scored, six doubles and three RBI.

    * See PDF for full release

    •  Hudson and the Irish pitching staff has done a tremendous job of controlling the running game in 2011. Notre Dame has allowed the fewest stolen bases and stolen base attempts of any team in the BIG EAST.

    Fewest Stolen Bases Against
    1. Notre Dame 27
    2. St. John's 32
    3. Cincinnati 37
    4. Georgetown 48
    5. USF 49
    6. Connecticut 50
    7. Seton Hall 52
    8. Louisville 53
    9. Pittsburgh 55
    10. Rutgers 60
    11. West Virginia 67
    12. Villanova 92

    Fewest Stolen Base Attempts Against
    1. Notre Dame 50
    2. St. John's 62
    3. Cincinnati 67
    4. USF 71
    5. Connecticut 74
    Georgetown 76
    7. Louisville 76
    8. Pittsburgh 77
    9. Seton Hall 82
    10. Rutgers 84
    11. West Virginia 101
    12. Villanova 115

    Fewest Stolen Base Attempts Against
    1. Hudson, Joe, ND 41
    2. SMITH, Kevan, PITT 43
    WITKOWSKI, Joe, STJ 43
    4. MELILLO, RUTGERS 44
    5. ETHEL, JJ, LOU 47
    6. LONGLEY,Andrew, USF 48
    7. FERNANDEZ, Erick, GU 54
    8. SAYLOR,Jake, CIN 49
    9. MALLOY, Matt, WVU 58
    10. ESPOSITO, Frank, SHU 60
    11. ELLIOT, Doug, UCONN 64
    12. NELSON,Adam, VU 72

    Fewest Stolen Bases Against
    1. Hudson, Joe, ND 24
    2. WITKOWSKI, Joe, STJ 26
    3. SAYLOR,Jake, CIN 28
    4. ZAVALA, M., RUTGERS 30
    MELILLO, RUTGERS 30
    6. ETHEL, JJ, LOU 33
    7. SMITH, Kevan, PITT 34
    8. FERNANDEZ, Erick, GU 35
    9. ESPOSITO, Frank, SHU 36
    10. LONGLEY,Andrew, USF 39
    11. MALLOY, Matt, WVU 43
    12. ELLIOT, Doug, UCONN 47
    13. NELSON,Adam, VU 59

    Caught Stealing By
    1. ESPOSITO, Frank, SHU 24
    2. SAYLOR,Jake, CIN 21
    3. FERNANDEZ, Erick, GU 19
    4. Hudson, Joe, ND 17
    ELLIOT, Doug, UCONN 17
    WITKOWSKI, Joe, STJ 17
    7. MALLOY, Matt, WVU 15
    8. MELILLO, RUTGERS 14
    ETHEL, JJ, LOU 14
    GRIFFIN, Kevin, WVU 14
    11. NELSON,Adam, VU 13
    12. 3 tied at 9

    MILLER MAKING THE MOST OF NEW ROLE - Senior RHP Todd Miller made just two starts, and both were spot starts, over his first three years with Notre Dame. He predominantly served as a middle reliever and setup man before earning a spot in the rotation in 2011. Miller has recorded seven quality starts in 12 outings to open the year. He is 4-3 with a 3.96 ERA. Miller has struck out 37, walked 10 and allowed 83 hits in 75.0 innings of work.
    •  Notre Dame owns a 7-4-1 record in Miller's starts.
    •  In his final start and appearance at Frank Eck Stadium, Miller limited the Bulls to three earned runs on eight hits in 7.0+ innings. Miller struck out three and did not issue a walk. He allowed four hits over the first 2.1 innings, but the Irish starter retired 13 of the next 15 Bulls, yielding just a pair of singles.
    •  Miller scattered seven hits over his career-long 8.0 innings of work en route to the victory over Kent State on March 13. Miller struck out one and walked one. He danced around trouble most of the afternoon. He allowed one-out doubles in each of the first two innings, but kept the Golden Flashes off the scoreboard each time. Miller then surrendered back-to-back one out singles in the third inning, but got Kent State's No. 3 and No. 4 hitters to fly out and ground out to end the threat. The Golden Flashes tagged Miller with a two-out double in the fourth inning, but the Irish starter induced a ground ball out to keep the game scoreless. Miller plunked a Kent State batter in the fifth with one out, but evaded any damage. He ran into trouble again in the Golden Flashes sixth inning. Miller retired the leadoff batter, but David Lyon walked and T.J. Sutton singled to put runners on first and second with one out. He got an infield fly and Kent State pinch hitter Nick Hamilton grounded out to end the inning. Miller, after sending down Kent State in order for the first time in the game in the seventh inning, worked around a leadoff hit in the eighth.
    •  Miller was charged with the loss on March 27 against Georgetown. The starter was charged with four runs, all earned, on five hits in 6.1 innings. Miller fanned three and walked one. He was at the top of his game following a painful first inning, literally. Miller surrendered a leadoff double to Justin Leeson and Mike Garza followed with a missile back up the box that drilled Miller on the pitching hand. He managed to rebound and still record the out, but the ball left a serious welt on Miller's right hand. Leeson did advance to third on the liner and scored on Rand Ravnaas' ensuing sacrifice fly to give the Hoyas an early 1-0 lead. Erick Fernandez followed with a single and Dan Capeless lined another ball off Miller, this time off the leg, but Miller again was able to record the out. If either line drive hindered Miller, nobody could have noticed. He proceeded to retire the next 14 consecutive Georgetown batters before a meaningless one-out walk in the top of the sixth inning.

    •  Miller ranks among the leaders in the following NCAA categories:

    Category Total (NCAA Rank)
    Walks Per Nine Innings 1.20 (27th)

    •  Miller ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Walks Allowed 10 (t-3rd)

    •  Miller ranks among the leaders in the following BIG EAST categories in league games only:

    Category Total (BIG EAST Rank)
    Walks Allowed 5 (t-2nd)

    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 25 hits still rank as the most by a BIG EAST team in 2011 and the 19 runs are the second-most by a league member.
    •  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.

    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.

    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, took place at 7:00 p.m. ET and aired 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.

    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.

    IRISH PICKED SEVENTH BY BIG EAST COACHES - The University of Notre Dame baseball team was picked to finish seventh in the 2011 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll as determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Irish received a total of 56 points.

    Team Points
    1. Connecticut (9) 117
    2. St. John's (2) 107
    3. Louisville (1) 105
    4. USF 87
    5. Pittsburgh 82
    6. Rutgers 75
    7. Notre Dame 56
    Cincinnati 56
    9. West Virginia 38
    10. Villanova 31
    11. Seton Hall 25
    12. Georgetown 13

    2010 BIG EAST Finish - During the 2010 conference campaign, Notre Dame finished with an 10-17 BIG EAST record. Nine of those defeats came in the last 11 league games, including series sweeps at West Virginia and home against Louisville.

    Favorite Conference Foes - Notre Dame owns all-time winning records against nine of the 11 members of the BIG EAST. The only conference members with a winning record against the Irish are Louisville and USF.

    Cincinnati 23-15
    Connecticut 24-13-1
    Georgetown 35-8
    Louisville 7-11
    Pittsburgh 29-15
    Rutgers 31-19
    Seton Hall 32-13
    St. John's 26-18
    USF 10-11
    Villanova 33-7-1
    West Virginia 39-22
    Total 289-152-2


     

     

    Corporate Sponsors
    Team Notre Dame

    SHOP NOW
    AT THE OFFICIAL
    FIGHTING IRISH STORE

      Xfinity St. Joseph's Medical Center Xerox Medifast Steiner Collectables