Sept. 26, 2007
The Notre Dame baseball program's current group of newcomers (13 freshmen and a transfer) has been rated by Collegiate Baseball magazine as the nation's four-best recruiting class for the 2008 season. It marks the second-highest ranking ever for a Notre Dame baseball recruiting class, trailing only the newcomers to the 2002 team who were the nation's top-ranked incoming class that season (per Baseball America, which has yet to rank its recruiting class rankings for this season).
Note: see the following link for an overview of the newcomers (includes notes, quotes and updated bios:
Also see the following und.com releases for earlier info. on the newcomers:
It already had been a memorable start to the week for Notre Dame assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Scott Lawler, whose wife Kim gave birth to their second child (Alexa Beth) on Monday. Lawler will be providing comments (to be added to this release) on the recruiting process that produced the highly-ranked class, in addition to passing on his observations of the newcomers through the first few weeks of fall practice. Head coach Dave Schrage and assistant coach Sherard Clinkshacles also will provide comments on the newcomers and the recruiting process.
Fans wishing to see the Notre Dame baseball team in action this fall cn attend the annual Blue-Gold Series on Oct. 16-18, at Eck Stadium (game times tentatively set for 4:00 p.m.).
Notre Dame is the only team from the Midwest or Northeast among the top-15 programs on the Collegiate Baseball list of the nation's top recruiting classes.
The group of 14 newcomers - which could expand due to possible walk-on additions - includes 10 who signed with the Irish in the 2006 fall period. Those early signees were headlined by three righthanded pitchers - 6-foot-8 Evan Danieli (East Hanover, N.J.), 6-foot-3 Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) and 6-foot-4 Ryan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) - who each were rated among the nation's top-40 pitching prospects - plus standout shortstop Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.), who was rated fifth among the nation's pure shortstops. The early signees also included another hard-nosed middle infielder in shortstop Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.), plus two strong defensive catchers - Cameron McConnell (Bannackburn, Ill.) and Matt Katich (New Castle, Pa.) - and three players who are expected to boost the lineup's power potential: outfielder/first baseman Ty Adams (Indianapolis), first baseman David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and catcher/first baseman Matt Scioscia (Westlake Village, Calif.), the son of 13-year Major League player and current Anaheim Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Casey is a lefthanded-hitting power threat who also should see time for the Irish as a lefthanded relief pitcher while Sharpley - brother of current Notre Dame football/baseball player Evan Sharpley - likewise could be a two-way player with the Irish baseball team.
The newcomer group grew in the spring of 2007 with the signing of righthanded relief pitcher Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.) while another player from the volunteer state - centerfielder Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) - plans to join the Irish baseball team after the completion of Notre Dame's football season. Tate, who currently serves as a wide receiver and kick returner with the football team, recently impressed the Irish baseball coaches during a stint in the batting cage at Eck Stadium. Other additions include outfielder Matt Grosso, a veteran college player and potential starter with the Irish who spent the 2006 fall season at the University of Connecticut and then redshirted during the '07 spring season at the University of Maine, due to a shoulder injury (Grosso was a teammate and classmate of ND's A.J. Pollock at RHAM High School in Connecticut). The final official newcomer is recruited walk-on Cole Johnson (Hudson, Ohio), a 6-foot-3 righthanded pitcher who has been touching the high-80s on his fastball during fall workouts.
(Check back on Thursday to this release for complete and updated info. on the recruiting class).