Oct. 13, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame baseball team will hold its annual Blue-Gold intrasquad series this week at Eck Stadium, with the seven-inning games to be played on Tuesday, Oct. 14 (4:00 p.m.), Wednesday, Oct. 15 (4:00) and Thursday, Oct. 16 (4:00). Each game is open to the public and free-of-charge. All three games will be broadcast live on UND.com.
"We have had a terrific and competitive fall practice schedule," said third-year head coach Dave Schrage. "The Blue-Gold series is a great way for the players to wrap up all their hard work with three competitive battles against one another."
Members of the coaching staff will square off as bench managers of their respective teams. Associate head coach Scott Lawler will coach the Blue team while volunteer assistant Graham Sikes will be the Gold team's skipper. Notre Dame head coach Dave Schrage and pitching coach Sherard Clinkscales will join the fans in the stands while serving as "general managers" for the teams (each also will take part in the live-audio internet broadcasts of the game, available for free and to be linked via und.com).
The starting pitching rotations for the Blue and Gold squads also still are TBA.
The Blue team is headlined by returning position starters in junior OF and first-team all-BIG EAST selection A.J. Pollock (Hebron, Conn.), sophomore 3B Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.) and senior 2B Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas). Sophomore starting RHP Cole Johnson (Hudson, Ohio) and junior reliever RHP Steven Mazur (Round Rock, Texas) will anchor their pitching staff. Barnes will serve as the Blue team's captain.
The rest of the Blue team includes: freshman LHP/SS Dustin Ispas (Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.), sophomore RHP Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.), sophomore C/1B Matt Scioscia (Westlake Village, Ca.), sophomore 1B David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), junior INF Ryne Intlekofer (Moorpark, Ca.), freshman LHP/1B Steve Sabatino (Lockport, Ill.), junior OF Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.), junior OF Bill Warrender (Collegeville, Pa.), sophomore OF/1B Ty Adams (Indianapolis, Ind.), junior RHP Andrew Scheid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), junior INF/C Will Harford (Chicago, Ill.), senior LHP Sam Elam (Mesquite, Texas) and freshman OF Leighton Cooper (Fort Washington, Md.).
Junior designated hitter and first-team all-BIG EAST choice David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) and junior right fielder Billy Boockford (Glen Elyn, Ill.) will lead the Gold team. Sophomore starting RHP Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) will more than likely start Tuesday's series opener. Senior Eddy Mendiola (Miami, Fla.) will serve as the Gold team's captain.
The rest of the Gold team includes: sophomore C Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.), freshman RHP Will Hudgins (Richmond, Va.), freshman LHP Joe Spano (Verona, N.J.), freshman OF Alex Robinson (Dallas, Texas), junior INF Herman Petzold (Saint Clair Shores, Mich), junior OF Matt Grosso (Marlborough, Conn.), junior 1B Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.), senior OF/C Ryan Connolly (Binghamton, N.Y.), sophomore C Matt Katich (New Castle, Pa.), freshman LHP Ryan Richter (South Bend, Ind.), sophomore LHP Joe Spizzirri (San Juan Capistrano, Ca.), freshman INF Tommy Chase (Cohasset, Mass.), sophomore INF Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.), sophomore RHP Ryan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.), sophomore RHP Evan Danieli (East Hanover, N.J.) and sophomore OF Andrew Wiand (South Bend, Ind.).
Notre Dame's three players who are current members of the Irish football team - senior 1B Evan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.), junior RHP Eric Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) and sophomore CF Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) - will not play in the Blue-Gold Series due to their football commitments.
The most noteworthy Blue-Gold series of the current decade took place in the fall of 2001, featuring a first look at the nation's top-ranked freshman class (a group that included the likes of Chris Niesel, Matt Macri, Grant Johnson and John Axford). The young Gold team won the first (7-4) and third (3-2) games in the 2001 series while the Blue dominated game-2 (19-8). Second baseman Steve Sollmann paced the Blue by hitting 8-for-13 (HR, 3B, 3 2B) while Niesel (R, 3H, 5 Ks) and Axford (5 H, BB, 5 Ks) picked up wins for the Gold in their max. 5-inning stints. Macri batted 5-for-11 as the Gold's starting shortstop, with a triple and linedrive home run in the decisive third game. Macri also closed the 7th inning to save that game, striking out Sollmann and inducing a groundout from Paul O'Toole for the dramatic ending.
Niesel later added an opening win for the Gold in the 2002 series (5 IP, R, 3 H, 7 Ks) while the pitching stars in 2003 included LHP Joe Thaman, a converted first baseman who won game-1 for the Blue (4 IP, 5 H, 3 Ks)
Notre Dame opens the 2009 spring season on Feb. 20-22 with the BIG EAST vs. Big Ten Challenge in Tampa, Fla. The Irish will face Ohio State (Fri.), Illinois (Sat.) and Purdue (Sun.).
BLUE ROSTER 4 A.J. Pollock JR INF/OF R/R 6-1 200 Hebron, CT (RHAM) 7 Dustin Ispas FR LHP/SS L/L 6-1 190 Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Los Osos) 12 Brayden Ashdown JR OF R/R 6-1 180 Tucson, AZ (Catalina Foothills) 15 Greg Sherry SO INF R/R 5-9 180 Mendham, NJ (Delbarton) 18 Steven Mazur JR RHP R/R 5-11 195 Round Rock, TX (Stony Point) 19 Todd Miller SO RHP R/R 6-3 195 Franklin, TN (Montgomery Bell Academy) 20 Jeremy Barnes SR INF R/R 5-10 190 Garland, TX (South Garland) 24 Sam Elam SR LHP L/L 6-3 220 Mesquite, TX (Poteet) 26 Mick Doyle SO INF R/R 6-1 200 LaGrange Park, IL (Benet Academy) 29 Ryne Intlekofer JR INF R/R 5-9 160 Moorpark, CA (Moorpark) 30 Will Harford JR INF/C R/R 6-0 180 Chicago, IL (Kent School (CT)) 31 Andrew Scheid JR RHP R/R 6-6 205 Highlands Ranch, CO (Regis Jesuit) 36 Leighton Cooper FR OF B/R 6-0 170 Fort Washington, MD (Flint) 37 Cole Johnson SO RHP R/R 6-3 200 Hudson, OH (Hudson) 41 Bill Warrender JR OF R/R 6-1 190 Collegeville, PA (LaSalle Collegiate) 42 Ty Adams SO INF/OF R/R 6-6 235 Indianapolis, IN (Brebeuf Jesuit) 44 David Casey SO INF L/L 6-4 235 Whitefish Bay, WI (Whitefish Bay) 52 Steve Sabatino FR LHP/1B L/L 6-2 200 Lockport, IL (Lockport Township) 55 Matt Scioscia SO C/INF R/R 6-1 225 Westlake Village, CA (Encino Crespi Carmelite)-- ND --