Sept. 27, 2007
The Notre Dame baseball program was honored earlier this week by Collegiate Baseball magazine, which rated the team's current group of newcomers (13 freshmen and a Division I transfer) as the nation's four-best recruiting class for the 2008 season ... as a bonus fall-baseball offering to Irish fans, additional notes, quotes and updated bios on the newcomers are included below ... also note that plenty of other fall-baseball features will be forthcoming on und.com throughout the month of October, including updates on the veteran core of players that is led by five who have been all-BIG EAST selections earlier in their careers (senior SS Brett Lilley, junior RHPs David Phelps and Kyle Weiland, junior 2B Jeremy Barnes and sophomore 3B/CF A.J. Pollock).
ND's RECRUITING CLASS RANKING HISTORY - This 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) ... Notre Dame has been included in Collegiate Baseball's top-40 recruiting classes during each of the past seven seasons (also #3 for the 2002 freshmen, #26 in '03, #29 in '04, #37 in '05, #36 in '06 and #30 in '07).
IRISH MAKE ONE OF NATION'S TOP JUMPS IN RECRUIT RANKINGS - Notre Dame was ranked 30th in the Collegiate Baseball recruiting class rankings for the 2007 season before making a 26-spot jump with its #4 ranking for the current crop of newcomers ... that represented the third-biggest jump of any team among the top-40 in each of the past two rankings.
MIDWEST PRIDE - 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 for the 2008 season.
HIGH SCHOOL HEROES - Notre Dame is the only school among the top six in the Collegiate Baseball recruiting class rankings that did not have at least one junior college transfer ... the #1-#4 and #6 teams averaged four JC transfers in their recruiting classes.
FAR & WIDE - Characteristic of the university's geographically-diverse student body, and in line with a Notre Dame all-time baseball roster that includes players from 44 states, the 14 newcomers hail from throughout the nation, touching 11 states ranging from the west coast (California) to the Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio), the northeast (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut) and the south (Tennessee).
NEWCOMER SUMMARY - Notre Dame's current 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 who are expected to boost the lineup's power potential: LF/1B Ty Adams (Indianapolis), 1B David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and C/1B 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 ND 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 ND'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 practice stint at Eck Stadium ... other additions include lefthanded-hitting outfielder Matt Grosso (Marlborough, Conn.), 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).
Notes: all of the above players signed in the fall of 2006, except for Miller (spring '07 signee), Tate (an ND football signee who is a lefthanded-throwing outfielder), Grosso (soph. transfer from Maine; four years of eligibility remaining) and Johnson (recruited walk-on).
LINKS TO PREVIOUS ND RECRUIT RELEASES - See the following links for additional info. on the ND newcomers:
COMMENTS FROM ND HEAD COACH Dave Schrage - "First and foremost, I want to thank everyone at Notre Dame who was part of a total team effort that allowed us to add so many quality student-athletes to our program. People from the admissions office, the athletics administrative and support staffs, strength and conditioning, and the student development office all played key parts in this entire process. Of course, the coaching staff - led by our recruiting coordinator Scott Lawler - also did an outstanding job. We met all of our needs and added a little but of everything to the lineup, with power arms, speed, defensive ability and power at the plate. No aspect was left off in improving the general makeup of the team.
"One thing about the members of this class is that they were very committed to receiving the great education that Notre Dame has to offer. They wanted to make the Notre Dame student-athlete experience a part of their life - and several of them easily could have bypassed that option and pursued pro baseball directly out of high school. Several of these players were highly-rated draft prospects and easily could have been selected in the first five rounds, if not for their strong commitments to play at Notre Dame. When you consider what some of these kids passed up in sticking to their commitment, that speaks volumes as to the great experience that awaits them as a student-athlete and member of the baseball program here at Notre Dame. They all were calling each other and keeping in touch throughout the whole process. For many of them, it seems like so long ago that they signed [November of 2006] and they were eager to finally get to Notre Dame and start their college careers. They have become a tight group in a very short time - and that's great to see.
"Our assistant coaches, Scott Lawler and Sherard Clinkscales, had a strong grassroots effort that helped assemble this promising incoming class. Scott had five previous years of experience as a Division I recruiting coordinator and he made a great transition to the unique challenge of recruiting at Notre Dame. He and Sherard did an excellent job of identifying kids who are perfect fits for Notre Dame and our program. Sherard's extensive background in Major League baseball scouting also was very valuable in this process - as he can readily speak to what these kids are experiencing as they weigh their options coming out of high school.
"It now is up to us as a coaching staff to integrate this group of newcomers with the returning players. Our success as a team will depend on that meshing of the team - that's a vital part to the competitiveness of the team.
"Looking ahead to next year's class, we again are very encouraged with the current recruiting process and are on pace to assemble another top class that will join the program for the 2009 season. When you can put together two or three strong classes in a row, that gives you the makings of a great team."
COMMENTS FROM ND RECRUITING COORDINATOR Scott Lawler - "During the recruiting process, we were very pleased with the character of each of the players, whether it was on the home visit or on official campus visits. The awesome thing right now is that, in the last couple weeks, they all are great team guys. We are very pleased with the way the team is jelling. The newcomers are looking up to the older guys and we are going to be a complete team because the young and old guys are showing no egos and are really going to work towards the team goals.
"Greg Sherry has proven to be a real scrappy player this fall and he ahs played well at shortstop while consistently putting the ball in play. Mick Doyle's defense has been very impressive through the first few weeks this fall. His hands and feet work well together and he has been strong at both third base and shortstop. He is going through the transition offensively of adjusting to college pitching but we are very excited with his defensive skills. Greg and Mick combine with our senior shortstop Brett Lilley to give us three great players on the left side of the infield - while also allowing us to possibly move A.J. Pollock to the outfield, where we can maximize his athleticism and speed. It's nice to have depth and options when looking at the positions and we should feel good about several different combinations on that left side.
"It's also been fun to see the three new catchers competing against one another. They all bring talent to the table. Cameron McConnell has the strongest arm and is doing very well. Matt Katich has a little of everything, with a good bat, good glove and good arm. And Matt Scioscia does a very god job with receiving and has had some clutch hits in intrasquad games this fall. Cameron also has shown some good power. We should have a pretty good catching situation for the next few years with these guys. They are not intimidated at all and they are handling our pitching staff very well - and has of that has to do with our new volunteer assistant Graham Sikes, who is coaching the catchers. Our fifth-year senior Sean Gaston is coming back from injury and can only DH right now, but he has been a great role model and mentor for the young guys this fall.
"Ty Adams has had a strong fall and is making a great transition with the bat. We brought him in to hit with some power and he's an athletic guy, six-foot and 230 pounds who runs well for his size. He can hit for power and make solid contact. He should be a major contributor to the program.
"David Casey also is going to be a great power threat, but from the left side. He is playing some good defense at first base and brings size and presence to the lineup. He e and Ty will add an intimidation factor in the lineup and give us size and power from both sides. They will really help our lineup for the next few years.
"Golden Tate is going to be an outstanding centerfielder. He has tremendous speed and his hands are better than people may realize. He's going to be able to hit as a freshman. He is athletic and it will be fun working with him. He also has a great physical presence and already looks like a sophomore or junior, because of his training with football. Golden is like a Juan Pierre or Jenny Lofton guy who knows his strength is his speed and he's not afraid to bunt or slap the ball the other way - but he also has the hand strength to drive a double in the gap. He will be a weapon for us with those strengths.
"Matt Grosso has been a very pleasant surprise. He is swinging the bat unbelievably and is one of our best hitters for the fall so far. Matt has a relaxed and balanced lefthanded swing. He will be a very solid player and could be fighting for a starting spot in the lineup, because of the way he swings the bat. He also does well versus lefthanded pitchers. Matt is a big addition to the outfield, due to the fact that Billy Boockford is coming back from injury and Ryan Connolly hurt his shoulder again and likely will be a DH. Matt was a high school teammate of A.J. Pollock and he loves it here at Notre Dame, so it should be interesting to see how he impacts our season."
COMMENTS FROM ND PITCHING COACH Sherard Clinkscales - "Evan Danieli has thrown well at times this fall and is everything as advertised, in terms of his velocity and ability to locate the breaking ball. He also has done well in improving his pitching with runners on base and situational pitching. ... Brian Dupra has shown good command of all three of his pitches and his pitching aptitude is off the charts. He has shown the ability to consistently attack the strike zone and can do all the little things to be a top pitcher.
"We knew there were some mechanical adjustments that Ryan Sharpley would need to make at the start of the fall and he has worked hard on those adjustments and transferred that to the mound. He is grasping the concept of willing outs and we have been very happy with his approach. In his most recent outing, he did a great job hitting his spots and staying within himself. ... Todd Miller has a solid slider and is a pitcher who can fill the zone with strikes. He is extremely competitive and is the type of pitcher who can sneak up on the opponent and shut them down. ... David Casey has strong upside to be a situational lefthander for us in the future, but right now his focus is on hitting and playing first base.
"Cole Johnson came to our fall camp in 2006 and we really liked his prototypical pitchers body and his arm movement. We felt that he had a lot of upside and he has proven to be a very pleasant surprise this fall. He is throwing his fastball consistently from 85-88 miles-per-hour and has topped out at 90. He throws a tight slider and has some deceptive quickness and movement. Cole is a very competitive and confident pitcher who has really bought into our idea of willing outs and challenging hitters. We feel he was a great pickup to round out this strong group of new pitchers.
Ty Adams UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Was rated among the nation's top-800 prep prospects (#758) by Perfect Game (prior to the 2007 MLB draft) ... PG also had Adams tabbed as the #19 overall prospect in the state of Indiana (8th among high school players) while Baseball America similarly placed Adams as Indiana's #17 prospect (#8 among preps) ... four-year starting first baseman at Brebeuf Jesuit High School, also serving as one of the school's top basketball players ... current ND baseball assistant coach Sherard Clinkscales had a similar two-sport career at Brebeuf Jesuit in the late 1980s ... his .457 career batting avg. set a school record at Brebeuf, as did his 28 career home runs, 119 RBI, 80 walks and 270 total bases (in 110 games; also had an .863 career slugging pct.) ... helped team reach the sectional finals as a senior, after setting the school record for single-season batting avg. (.521) and tying another team record with 10 HRs (also had 33 RBI, 28 BB and 1.070 slugging in 27 GP) ... his senior-year baseball honors included first team all-state and academic all-state, as one of only two players to receive both honors ... he also played in the 2007 North-South All-Star Series, was the Marion County player of the year (after leading the county in batting and HRs) and received the Brebeuf baseball team's Chief's Award (in recognition of leadership, attitude and athletic ability) ... named Brebeuf's outstanding male senior athlete for 2006-07, after also completing three seasons as the starting center for the basketball team ... earned first team all-county and baseball team MVP honors as a junior in 2006, after leading team in batting (.515) and tying the school home run record (9, in 72 ABs) ... only sophomore named first team all-county in 2005 ... named Brebeuf's freshman male athlete of the year in 2004-05 (also tabbed "freshman of the year" by the Indianapolis Star), after earning honorable mention all-county honors and leading team with .446 batting avg. ... helped 2005 team win sectional and regional titles, as a top-8 team in Class 3A ... played during the summer of 2006 with the Indiana Bulls 17-and-under travel team ... three-year starter on the Brebeuf basketball team, earning honorable mention all-county honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior ... invited to the IHSBCA's "Top-100 Underclassmen Showcase" as a freshman and sophomore ... named basketball team's most improved player as a freshman ... received 2006-07 U.S. Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award ... a high-honors student and member of the National Honor Society ... nominated for the Bart McCormick and Ellen Foster scholarships ... co-chaired "Braves for the Brave" (a project that assembled care packages to lift the morale of injured soldiers in Iraq) ... also an invited participant in the Stay in Bounds program, sponsored by NCAA Hall of Champions to promote sportsmanship ... invited participant in the Ambassadors Cross-Age Mentoring program jointly sponsored by the NCAA, National Federation of High School Sports, and the Indiana High School Athletic Association for selected high school athletes to provide mentoring and role models for elementary students ... his father Skip Adams played baseball at Wabash from 1968-1971 while his mother Linda was a cheerleader at DePauw ... his sister, Dr. Kristin Adams, ran cross country and track at Bowdoin from 1993-1996, captaining both teams and running in two NCAA Division III NCAA cross country races ... his other sister Courtney Adams ran cross country and track at Stanford from 1996-2000, captaining both teams and helping the cross country team place third at the NCAAs before being a finalist in the NCAA 3,000-meter indoor race ... his grandfather David Swanson (deceased) graduated from Notre Dame in 1947.
David Casey UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Was rated by Perfect Game as the nation's #532 prospect (prior to the 2007 MLB draft) ... was the #7-rated prospect from the state of Wisconsin (3rd among prep players) while Baseball America listed Casey as the 10th-best overall prospect in his state (5th among Wisconsin high school players) ... hit .440 with a pair of home runs as a senior at Whitefish Bay HS, during the summer of 2007 ... named an ABCA all-Midwest Region selection, with his other 2007 honors including all-state and team MVP for team that reached sectionals ... also played during the summer of 2007 with the Racine Hatters, hitting seven home runs in his final six games with the Hatters ... earlier received the Duke Hoops Pride Award ("most devoted") with the WBHS 2006-07 basketball team that reached the regional finals ... four-year baseball varsity letterwinner and two-year team captain ... earned his second of three team MVP honors in 2006, also earning first team all-state, all-area, all-district and all-conference after batting .533 with 44 RBI and a .911 slugging pct. for team that went 19-11 ... his sophomore season included first team all-conference and second team all-district honors (.466 batting, 40 RBI, .585 slugging; 23-11 record) ... his two-year pitching stats in 2005 and '06 include a 2.81 ERA, 11-4 record and an average of better than one strikeout per inning pitched ... has played fall ball with the Racine Hitters ... selected to play on Team Wisconsin after attending state-wide tryout combine ... earned starting first base role with Team Wisconsin in 2006, batting .400 with a pair of home runs as team went 3-1-1 versus state teams from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky and Nebraska ... played for the Wisconsin Shockers team that is coached by ND alum John Murphy (who earned a letter with the Irish in 1985, as a third baseman, and currently has a daughter attending Notre Dame) ... named to the all-tournament team at the 2006 CABA Ultimate High School World Series (Euclid, Ohio), after helping the Shockers go 5-3 for a fifth-place finish among some 50 teams from across the nation ... hit .476 with 11 RBI at that tournament (3 H) while going 2-1 on the mound (1.79 ERA, 13 Ks in 15 IP) ... selected to play in the "2006 Milwaukee Brewers Classic" baseball game, held at Miller Park on Aug. 7, 2007 ... was the starting first baseman in that game, featuring 40 of Wisconsin's top high school players (1-for-3, 2B) ... has benefited from the hitting instruction of Dan Hines and RJ Fergus(Racine Hitters) ... hails from same hometown and high school as former ND standout and longtime Major Leaguer Craig Counsell (who has won World Series titles with the Florida Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks) ... Counsell and his father father John Counsell (a former ND baseball player and assistant coach) have been loyal supporters of the Whitefish Bay area's local baseball organization, the Friends of Bay Baseball ... his father Bill Casey served as Columbia University's primary starting pitcher for its varsity baseball team in the mid 1970s, in addition to being a member of Columbia's varsity basketball team.
Evan Danieli UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 33rd round of the 2007 MLB draft, after falling significantly due to his strong commitment to play at Notre Dame (Baseball America projected him as the draft's #157 overall prospect, including college players, while Perfect Game rated him 40th among all high school prospects for the 2007 draft) ... named to four 2007 All-America teams, with those honors coming from Collegiate Baseball magazine, Aflac, Playstation and Rawlings ... also named first team all-state, first team all-county and named most valuable pitcher on talented Seton Hall Prep staff ... his impressive 2007 season at Seton Hall Prep - the nation's top-ranked team - included an 11-0 record (setting the SHP record for wins in a season), 0.45 ERA and a 3-to-1 ratio of strikeouts (81) to walks (27), with more than twice as many innings pitched (62) as hits allowed (28) ... allowed only four earned runs all season ... helped SHP win its third straight state title (10-1 over St. Joseph's) ... joined two of his teammates - fellow RHP Rick Porcello and centerfielder Steven Brooks - in receiving All-America honors ... one of four players on the 2007 SHP team who signed with D-I programs (Porcello with North Carolina, Brooks with Wake Forest and rightfielder Nick Natale with Rice) ... would have been the ace pitcher on nearly any team in America (Porcello was projected by some as the #2 overall prospect for the 2007 draft and recently was named the Gatorade national player of the year) ... went 6-plus innings to beat Immaculata in the non-public state title game/sectional final, 3-0 (3 H, 3 BB, 6 Ks) ... outdueled Immaculata's Sean McKeown, who had posted 19 straight wins ... Danieli's season highlights included two wins over Morris County powerhouse Randolph, plus a postseason win over a tough St. Peter's Prep squad ... named USA Today national pitcher of the week in early May, after notching a pair of shutout wins while totaling 13 strikeouts and allowing just 3 hits in 11 combined innings ... threw his fastball consistently in the low-90s during the 2007 season while showing a tough late-breaking curveball ... helped SHP compile a 32-1 record, with the only coming on May 11 vs. Roxbury (the Pirates finished with a 1.53 staff ERA and .353 team batting avg.) ... had spot starts during the summer of 2007 with the New Jersey Twins ... an avid chess and ping-pong player who maintains a 3.71 GPA ... played at Seton Hall Prep for Mike Sheppard, Jr., who now has guided the Pirates to six state titles over the past 22 seasons (he is the son of former longtime Seton Hall University coach Mike Sheppard, Sr., who has another son Rob Sheppard, who is the current SHU coach and brother of the Seton Hall Prep skipper) ... received prestigious honor of being one of 38 players in the nation named to the 2006 Aflac All-America Team, which included the unique opportunity to meet and visit with Yogi Berra and Alex Rodriguez ... the Aflac All-Star Classic was held Aug. 12, 2006, at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium (and telecast by FOX Sports Net) ... his junior-year season at SHP included a 1.10 ERA, 5-1 record and 59 strikeouts in 39 innings (13.6 Ks per 9 IP) ... three a one-hitter for SHP team that won 2006 state title and was ranked 25th in the final USA Today national rankings ... named most valuable pitcher on 2004 SHP team ... selected to participate in the 2006 East Coast Professional Showcase (Wilmington, N.C.) and the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.(unable to attend) ... played during the summer and fall of 2005 with the New Jersey Twins ... helped the Vailsburg American Legion team reach the state playoffs in the summer of '04 and the district playoffs in '05 ... an honors student and member of student council ... two of his high school teammates (Brooks and Porcello) also were named to the 2006 Aflac All-America team ... son of Steven and Janet Danieli ... born Aug. 2, 1989.
Mick Doyle UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Capped his prep career by earning all-conference and all-area honors at Benet Academy, while playing through a foot injury ... was rated 606th on Perfect Game's list of the nation's top high school prospects (Nov. 14, 2006) ... an all-conference and all-city performer as a junior, captaining Benet's 2006 team that went 30-10 and won the conference title, in addition to winning the Flyers Classic Tournament and a postseason regional ... was a four-year starter at Benet ... also a top guard on the Benet basketball team, earning honorable mention all-city honors as a junior ... helped basketball team win regional title and reach sectional finals during his sophomore year ... honor-roll student ... member of the National Honor Society and the Foreign Language Honor Society ... his father Mike Doyle is a 1985 ND graduate ... nine of his uncles/aunts also are ND grads: Terri and Cy Clune (both class of '75), Jim Blaha ('80), Fritz and Sheila Fisher (both '81), Pat Doyle ('83), Jeff Toner ('84), Kathy Doyle (`85) and Kevin Doyle ('89) ... his cousin Katy Clune just graduated from Notre Dame in 2006 ... full name is Michael Patrick Doyle.
Brian Dupra UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 36th round of the 2007 Major League draft, after falling significantly from his projected talent level to his "signability" issues and his strong commitment to joining the Notre Dame program ... had been projected by Baseball America as the #116 overall prospect (including college and high school players) for the 2007 draft while Perfect Game had him slotted #162 ... compiled a 0.21 ERA, 9-1 record and eye-popping 11.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio (93/8) during 2007 season at Greece Athena High School, with his other season stats including 27 more innings pitched (65.1) than hits allowed (38), a pair of saves and 6 hit batters ... also an accomplished position player who hit .443 during the 2007 season (39-for-88, 27 RBI, 22 runs, home run, 9 doubles, only 5 Ks, .541 on-base pct.) ... led Trojans to 22-3 record and state semifinalist finish, losing 2-1 to North Rockland ... he had allowed just one earned run all season and was undefeated before the semifinal loss, finishing the year having allowed two earned runs and four unearned ... his 2007 honors included Gatorade New York State Player of the Year, first team all-state, honorable mention All-America (Collegiate Baseball magazine), county player of the year, Rochester area player of the year, sectional playoff MVP, scholar-athlete award and team MVP ... helped team rack up 40-3 scoring margin spanning four sectional tournament games, as the Trojans advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 1999 ... struck out eight in the state tournament qualifier win over Fairport (8-1), with only one walk in the game and seven groundouts over the first 4.0 innings ... had a 2-run single and later struck out the final batter on three pitches to save Section V Tournament title game (4-0 vs. Hilton) ... beat Brockport earlier in the section tournament, 11-2 (5 IP, 3 H, 5 Ks), after also beating Brighton 11-0 (5 IP, 3 H, 9 Ks) ... struck out 11 Fairport batters in regular-season game during early May (6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB; 9-0) ... one week earlier, he played a lead role in 2-1 win over Hilton - after going the distance for the 12-K, 5-hitter while also supplying a 2-out RBI single ... saved 4-2 win over Arcadia (also 2B/RBI/R/SF) ... had 3-hit game with 4 RBI in 13-4 win over Irondequoit ... had an even better game in earlier 16-2 win over Olympia (4 H, 4 RBI) ... posted early 5-hitter vs. Thomas HS (8 Ks, BB; 3-0) and logged 6.0 shutout innings to beat Brockport (3 H, 9 Ks; 8-0) ... played during the summer of 2007 with Ferris-Goodrich American Legion team that reached district finals (he lost only two games while posting a 0.80 ERA, 81 Ks and 20 BB in 50 IP, also batting .400) ... a gifted all-around student-athlete who owned a 3.68 cumulative GPA and is a talented trumpet player, in addition to signing in the Greece Athena's nationally-renowned show choir that toured Italy during the summer of 2007... likely to face former GAHS catcher Joe Pavone during the 2008 season (Pavone also has signed on to play in the BIG EAST, at UConn) ... attended USA Baseball tryouts in 2006 ... earned all-state and first team all-county honors as a junior at Greece Athena HS ... named second team all-county and state all-western as a sophomore in 2005 ... played for the Western team at the 2005 and '06 Empire State Games ... helped the East Cobb Astros place third at the 2006 Wood-Bat World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., after advancing from the WWBA qualifier in Long Island ... also competed at the Wood-Bat World Championships in 2005 ... ... pitched in several top 2006 showcases, including: the Perfect Game Nationals (Arkansas), the East Cobb Perfect Game Showcase (Georgia), the East Coast Pro Showcase (Wilmington N.C.) and the Goodwill Games (Cooperstown) ... competed with the South Florida Bandits in October of 2006 ... played with the Western team at the Empire State Games in 2005 and '06 ... member of the 2004 and '05 Rochester Grays summer team ... played two seasons on the JV basketball team at Greece Athena and also ran with the varsity cross country team in 2003 ... has earned scholar-athlete honors throughout his career ... member of the National Honor Society, carrying a 3.5 GPA ... also a member of symphonic band, select choir and pit orchestra ... involved in various community-service activities, including Special Olympics, youth baseball, reading programs and youth group ... his sister Lyanne Dupra served as a senior team captain with James Madison University's 2006 women's soccer team ... son of John and Kim Dupra ... full name is Brian Martin Dupra ... born Dec. 15, 1988.
Matt Grosso BIO CAPSULE - Pleasant surprise during 2007 fall workouts who could emerge as starting outfielder due to his strong lefthanded swing ... reunited at Notre Dame with former RHAM High School teammate A.J. Pollock ... attended UConn in the fall of 2006 before transferring to Maine (he did not play in the 2007 spring season, due to a shoulder injury) ... hit .531 with 32 RBI, a .547 on-base percentage and a .808 slugging percentage as a senior in 2006 ... two-time all-state performer and named all-conference three times ... named to conference all-academic all four years ... named to the Connecticut senior all-star team ... joined Pollock in helping team win 2004 state title, as a sophomore (also conference champs in 2004 and 2006) ... born June 22, 1988 ... son of Kathleen Segerson and Anthony Grosso.
Cole Johnson BIO CAPSULE - Recruited walk-on who has had several impressive outings during 2007 fall season ... logged only 75 career innings at Hudson High School due to serving as team's starting catcher as a junior and senior (also saw time at 1B and OF) ... his career pitching stats at Hudson included nine-inning averages of 11 strikeouts and only three walks ... served as staff ace in his senior season ... struck out 10 batters in 6.0 innings vs. powerhouse St. Ignatius ... his senior-year offensive stats included a .329 batting avg., 27 RBI (third on team) and 3 HRs ... two of his classmates also have moved on to D-I programs ... team's season ended in disappointing loss in the district round ... all-conference as a junior and senior (also first team all-academic) ... played two years for Ohio Yankees summer team that turned out six D-I players from the 2007 team ... posted junior-year wins with the Yankees vs. the Indiana Bulls Red and Indiana Bulls Black ... helped Yankees finished second out of 64 teams at the Buckeye Elite Tournament in Columbus, Ohio ... also a two-year letterwinner in football (as a wide receiver), earning conference first team all-academic honors ... graduated sixth in a class of 430 (4.48 GPA) ... was Hudson's 2007 recipient of the Principal's Leadership Award ... also received of the Marion Albee Character Award ... member of the National Honor Society ... son of Doug and Suzy Johnson.
Matt Katich UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Was listed #757 on Perfect Game's top prospect rankings for the 2007 MLB draft ... earned all-section honors as a senior at Mohawk High School, as member of team that reached second round of regionals ... played 2007 summer ball with Rondinelli team that advanced to the NABF World Series in Jackson, Miss. ... earlier made the all-tournament team at the NABF Regional in Youngstown, Ohio (future ND teammate Cole Johnson's Ohio Yankees squad also played in that regional) ... helped Rondinelli placed second at 2007 Connie Mack Tournament that included Midland Redskins tem featuring current ND freshman Ryan Sharpley ... invited to 2006 Puma National Team tryouts ... repeated as an all-section performer after batting .444 with a county-best 30 RBI in 20 games as a junior at Mohawk HS ... named to the 2006 NABF Regional All-tournament Team ... threw out a league-high 18 attempted basestealers for the Youngstown Class-B team in the summer of 2006 ... hit .352 as a sophomore at Mohawk HS before ranking fourth in the 2005 summer league with a .438 batting avg. ... also played on varsity at Mohawk as a freshman, batting .500 in 14 games played ... will serve as team captain as a senior during 2007 season ... named MVP of the 2005 Blue Chip Baseball Showcase ... played for the 2006 Allegheny Pirates ... helped his Babe Ruth League teams (13-15 years old) win three state and regional title, plus one world championship ... a three-year high school scholar-athlete and a high honor-roll student ... nominated for the People to People Student Ambassador program and the National Honor Roll ... invited to represent Pennsylvania at the 2006 National Student Leadership Conference ... a three-time qualifier for the national academic game competition ... carried a 4.1 cumulative GPA.
Cameron McConnell UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Was rated by Perfect Game as the nation's #646 prospect for the 2007 MLB draft ... also was rated by Baseball America as the #34 overall prospect in the state of Illinois (16th among prep players) ... named the best defensive catcher in Illinois by the Prep Baseball Report, which also rated him the second-best overall catcher and #15 top overall prospect in the state ... named defensive MVP of Deerfield High School as a senior, when he also led team in home runs (7) ... named to the Chicago Sun Times top-100 for 2007 ... played 2007 summer baseball with Top Tier team that advanced to the Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, N.M. (he hit .500 with six RBI, a home run, a walk and a pair of sac. bunts in four games at the CMWS) ... earned all-conference honors as a junior, after batting .326 with 34 RBI (4 HR, 2 3B, 7 SB) ... hit .435 as a sophomore (7 RBI, 10 R, 4 2B, 3 SB) ... participated in both the 2005 and 2006 tryouts for the Area Code Games ... selected as one of the players to represent the Central Suburban League Conference at the Stevenson Showcase ... also selected to play in The Jack Kaiser All-Star game but was unable to participate due to the WWBA 18U World Series that was being held in East Cobb ... similarly was unable to play with Team Illinois at Harvey Foster's exposure event (Aug., 2006) due to the East Cobb event ... selected to play in the "Super 60" showcase.
Todd Miller BIO CAPSULE - Averaged three strikeouts per walk (198/66) during his career at Montgomery Bell Academy, with his other career stats including a 2.89 ERA, 20 wins and 11 more innings pitched (194) than hits allowed (183), plus 9-inning averages of 9.2 strikeouts, 3.1 walks and 8.5 hits allowed ... an Mid-Tennessee all-region selection in 2007, when he compiled a 2.07 15 seasons as a big-league catcher, including 12 with the Dodgers (1980-92); member of World Series championship teams with the Dodgers in 1981 and '88; played sparingly in 1993 and '94 seasons due to shoulder injury (was member of season ERA and an eye-popping 4.5 K-to-walk ratio (54/12) while averaging 11.1 Ks, 2.5 walks and 8.0 hits allowed (39) per 9.0 innings (44 IP) during that senior season ... four-year member of the starting rotation at Montgomery Bell ... served as the team's top starter in his final three seasons and was the winning pitcher in the 2004 state semifinal game, with team going on to win the state title before finishing as the state regional runner-up in 2005 and '06 ... named by the Baseball Factory/Team One as a 2007 preseason All-American ... pitched at several noteworthy baseball tournaments, including the 2006 Team One Showcase and the 2006 Blue-Gray Classic (held at Wake Forest) ... also participated in Vanderbilt's 2005 Prospect Camp and the 2006 Ole Miss Camp ... Ingram Scholarship recipient for the 2006-2007 academic year ... compiled a 3.42 cumulative GPA in his four years at Montgomery Bell Academy.
Matt Scioscia UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 41st round of the 2007 MLB draft ... a two-sport standout (football/baseball) at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino/Westlake Village, Calif. ... expected to make big strides in baseball as he benefits from focusing on one sport ... named to the 2007 Playstation All-America team and went on to collect a hit a pair of RBI in the All-America game (held in Albuquerque, N.M.) ... ranked third among the Mission League leaders in RBI (31) while helping lead Crespi to the CIF state semifinals ... hit .323 with a pair of home runs as a senior ... had three hits in the Celts semifinal loss to league rival Loyola (3-2, in 8 innings; held at Loyola Marymount), with Crespi finishing the season 24-6-1 (10-2 as Mission League champs) ... hit 2-out single in the 8th inning of that game, putting the potential go-ahead run in scoring position ... Crespi earlier beat West Covina in the first round (3-2), Corona del Mar in the second round (19-4) and California in the quarterfinals (8-5) ... had a mammoth home run vs. Loyola earlier in the 2007 season ... saw each of his fellow seniors on the 2007 Crespi baseball team be drafted and signed by a major D-I college program ... also played during summer of 2007 with California Oaks of the California Collegiate League, batting .280 while helping team finish third in that wood-bat league ... played during 2007 high school season alongside Crespi teammate Nikolai Bonds, son of Barry Bonds ... the younger Bonds, a junior outfielder in 2007, had focused on basketball in recent years and had not played organized baseball in five years ... the younger Scioscia, has undergone a recent growth spurt and now is 6-2, 220 pounds (as tall as his father, Angels manager and former 15-year big leaguer Mike Scioscia) ... has been credited with having a sense of leadership that is similar to his father's ... wore his father's number (14) during the 2007 All-America Game, which was held in Albuquerque (the elder Scioscia played for the Albuquerque Dukes from 1979-80 and later managed the team in 1999) ... in addition to Scioscia, five other sons of former big-leaguers were in the 2007 All-American Game: Bobby Bucker (son of Bill Buckner); Craig Gullickson (Bill), Glen Johnson (Howard) and Chance Ruffin (Bruce) ... the elder Scioscia - who recently missed an Angels game to attend Matt's graduation from Crespi - has been touted as one of the best defensive catchers to ever play the game and, arguably, the best ever at blocking home plate ... was rated 610th on Perfect Game's list of the nation's top high school prospects (Nov. 14, 2006) ... also listed 45th in California's top 60 by the California Baseball Zone ... ranked among the Mission League's top-10 in RBI and runs scored as a junior in 2006, helping lead team into the CIF state playoffs ... led Crespi in hits for team that won the Southern California VIBL summer-league title ... selected to play on the 2006 L.A. Angels Elite baseball team and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinal Elite team ... earned second team all-league honors as a defensive end on the 2005 Crespi football team ... helped football team win 2004 and '05 CIF divisional titles ... named to all-academic teams in football (2005) and baseball (2005 and 06) ... member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation ... received the Crespi Carmelite HS foreign language award for Latin ... three-year recipient of the Outstanding Scholar Award ... his father was named American League manager of the year while guiding the 2002 Angels to the World Series title ... his great-uncle Lou Scioscia played football at Duke from 1946-49 ... hails from same hometown (Westlake Village, Calif.) as current ND women's soccer senior defender/midfielder Ashley Jones and ND freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen ... full name is Matthew Michael Scioscia ... born Sept. 20, 1988.
Ryan Sharpley UDPATED BIO CAPSULE - Selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 34th round of the 2007 MLB draft ... would have been drafted much higher, if not for his strong commitment to Notre Dame (Perfect Game rated him the #141 prospects among all high school players for the 2007 draft) ... completed a highly successful career at Marshall High School by compiling a 0.90 ERA during the 2007 season, with a 7-4 record and a pair of saves, plus nearly a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (101 Ks/35 BB) and almost twice as many innings pitched (70) as hits allowed (38) ... a standout two-way player who hit .380 with 5 home runs during the 2007 season ... his various 2007 honors included all-Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference, first team BIG 16, all-district, all-area, academic all-district and team MVP (also served as team captain) ... named to the 2007 Under-Armour Pre-Season All-American Team (he did not play in the Preseason All-America game; note that Under-Armour does not name an All-America team after the season) ... also named to the 2007 preseason all-Midwest Region team (Rawlings/ABCA), with the ABCA postseason all-region teams still TBA ... picked up win over Homer High School in late March, ending Homer's 89-game winning streak with his 9 strikeouts and 5.0 innings of no-hit ball ... helped Marshall compile 20-12 record in 2007 that included winning the SMAC East Championship and reaching the state semifinals ... registered victories in the district and regional playoff rounds while also saving the Redhawks quarterfinal win before losing 3-0 game to Michigan HS in the semifinals ... led Marshall to the state final four in each of his final two seasons, with a postseason record of 6-1 spanning those '06 and '07 seasons ... nominated for the state Baseball Scholar Athlete Award (TBA) ... had a pair of hits and drove in a run during the district final win over Harper Creek (6-0), after striking out 12 earlier in the day during the 6-3 district semifinal win over Parma ... played with the Cincinnati Midland Redskins during the summer of 2007, helping team reach NABF regional tournament ... key member of Mid-Michigan Tigers summer team that was one of six teams in the nation to reach the 2006 AABC Mickey Mantle World Series ... threw one-hitter to pick up a win at the MMWS, also batting .667 in the series despite playing with a broken hand ... his overall stats with the 2006 Tigers included a 1.84 ERA, 6-1 record and 53 strikeouts in 38 innings, also batting .500 with 9 home runs as the 3-hole hitter for the AACA North Central Regional champs ... received the Lowe/Spangler MVP Award at the Mickey Mantle North Central Regional Tournament in back-to-back years while playing for the 2005 runner-up (Coldwater, Mich.) and the '06 champs (Mid-Michigan Tigers) ... four-year member of the Marshall HS varsity baseball team... helped team reach the 2006 state semifinals, serving as team captain during that junior season while earning all-district, all-conference and all-area honors ... registered four wins in the 2006 Michigan Division 2 state tournament, including a strong outing in the district round in which he nearly pitched a no-hitter (2-out single in the 7th and final inning) ... earned all-district and honorable mention all-conference honors (as a catcher) in 2005, batting .368 with 33 runs scored as the team's cleanup batter ... invited to participate in several of the nation's top 2006 events, including: the East Coast Pro Showcase with the N.Y. Yankees team (Wilmington, N.C.); the Area Code Games with the Chicago White Sox team (Long Beach, Calif.); and the 80-team World Wood Bat Association World Championships (Jupiter, Fla.) with the Cincinnati Reds scout team (the Cincinnati Midland Redskins) ... pitched three shutout innings in semifinal game for Redskins team that won the 2006 Perfect Game WWBA World Championship title ... set tournament career records for most home runs (7) and RBI (28) while also winning four games on the mound ... his combined stats during the summer of 2005 includes a 1.95 ERA, 8-1 record and 51 Ks in 44 innings, also batting .395 while splitting time with the Concealed Security Dodgers and Coldwater Mantle teams ... lettered on the Marshall football team as a sophomore and junior, serving as a receiver, quarterback and safety ... led 2005 football team in all-purpose yardage (925) ... member of the National Honor Society, with a 3.7 cumulative GPA ... also an accomplished piano player ... followed in the footsteps of his brother Evan Sharpley, currently a junior at Notre Dame who serves as a quarterback on the Irish football team and has played two seasons as a first baseman with the ND baseball team ... son of Tom and Nancy Sharpley ... full name is Ryan Joseph Sharpley ... born Sept. 15, 1989.
Greg Sherry UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Was rated by Perfect Game as the #200 overall prospect for the 2007 MLB draft but was not selected, due to his strong commitment to play for Notre Dame ... was rated 7th-highest among pure shortstop on that PG list ... also was slotted by PG as the #23 overall prospect in New Jersey (#15 among prep players) ... was projected a bit higher within his state by Baseball America (#15 overall; #10 among preps) ... hit .425 as a senior at Delbarton High School (10 doubles) while earning all-state, all-county, first team all-conference and team MVP honors for team that went 21-4 and won conference title ... served as team captain during his senior season ... did not play 2007 summer baseball, due to a shoulder injury ... named an alternate to the 2006 USA Baseball Junior National Team ... ranked #35 at the 2006 Perfect Game National Top-200 event ... one of 32 players selected for the Cape Cod High School Classic ... named to USA Baseball Tournament of Stars ... invited to AFLAC Camp ... rated the #5 position player (#17 overall) at the PG Northeast Top Prospects ... played for Team New Jersey at the Perfect Game Top Prospects Tournament ... earned all-conference, all-area and all-county honors as a sophomore (catcher) and junior (shortstop) at Delbarton High School ... has played summer ball with the South Florida Bandits ... a highest honors student at Delbarton, also earning the Leadership Award and serving as a middle-school mentor ... his sister Katelyn is a senior sabre fencer at the University of Pennsylvania., twice earning All-America honors and currently serving as a team captain ... Katelyn Sherry is a friend of current ND junior fencer Mariel Zagunis, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist in women's sabre (Sherry and Zagunis fenced on the World Cup circuit together in 2003 and Zagunis has been to the Sherry's home in Kiawah, S.C., during family vacations ... son of Greg and Mary Sherry ... full name is Gregory John Sherry ... born Oct. 6, 1988.
Golden Tate UPDATED BIO CAPSULE - Speedy lefthanded batter and thrower who was drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks scout and former Notre Dame player Matt Haas (who picked Tate in the 42nd round) ... considered to have "plus" tools in the areas of outfield defense and all-around speed, with raw and developing bating ability but good hand-eye co-ordination ... Haas and current Notre Dame assistant coach Sherard Clinkscales are friends due to their past history as fellow scouts ... according to Clinkscales, Haas told him that Tate "could be a Kenny Lofton type of player, if he was able to dedicate himself more to baseball and get enough work in for improving his swing" ... one of nation's top football prospects who saw his senior baseball season at Pope John Paul II High School end in late March, due to a thumb injury (he currently is a receiver and kick returner with the ND football team) ... shifted over to the track-and-field team at the end of the 2007 spring semester and posted the top qualifying times in both the 100-meter dash (10.93) and 200-meter dash (22.33) ... suffered hamstring injury near end of the state 100-meter final and was unable to compete in the 200 or the 800-meter relay ... his younger brother Wesley Tate was the #3 seed in the 200 (22.53 qualifying time) and finished as the runner-up, in a time of 22.59 ... the Tate brothers - who both made their first appearances in the state track meet - had combined with Darrell Wallace and Tyler Peoples top post the state's top qualifying time in the 800-meter relay (1:30.28) ... his junior-year baseball season in 2006 included earning all-region, all-state and all-county honors as a centerfielder while also being named to the TBCA Region Showcase Team (held at Middle Tennessee State) as well as to the Team Tennessee squad that competed in the Sunbelt Classic Showcase, held in Oklahoma ... four-year varsity player in high school who has been playing baseball since the age of six ... could develop into an effective hitter, with great speed down the basepath out of the lefthanded batters box (he consistently has been timed at 6.4 or 6.5 seconds over 60 meters) ... played 2006 summer ball with the Columbia Post 19 team ... his brother Wesley is a three-sport star (football, basketball, track) who has begun to receive interest from college football programs (he will be a junior in the fall of 2007) ... also has 11-year-old twin sisters, Breanna and Deanna.