Oct. 15, 2007
Notre Dame assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Scott Lawler provides the fourth and final Fall Baseball Report, as the Irish prepare for the upcoming Blue-Gold Series:
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL 2007 FALL PRACTICE REPORT #4 (Scott Lawler; Oct. 15)
"Dear Irish Baseball Fans,
"What a great weekend we just had by hosting the 1957 and 2002 Notre Dame
baseball teams that participated in the College World Series, in addition to welcoming back many other ND baseball alumni. The tradition of the program is very strong and many of the great memories came alive once again with the alumni game in the morning and dinner that night. On behalf of the Irish baseball program, I just want to thank Chuck Lennon and Dick Nussbaum for making it a great weekend for our staff and the alumni that attended.
"Another great thing this past weekend was our Friday-night intrasquad game that was our last one of the fall (not including the upcoming Blue-Gold Series). Our guys probably played the best game of the fall on Friday and I'm proud of every one of them for battling all fall.
"I think it says a lot when the best scrimmage of the fall is the final one. Most guys are hungry to play in the beginning of the fall and the
level of play sometimes tails off at the end - but not so with this team. Our leadership is strong and the chemistry of the team is getting better every week of practice. I couldn't be more pleased with the level or standard of play that our older guys have set for this year and the Blue-Gold Series should be an exciting ending to the fall.
"Now I'm not going to tell you who I think is going to win the series, because I think both teams are very good, but I can comment on some of the hitters from the past couple of weeks.
"I think the most pleasant surprise this fall is sophomore Billy Boockford with the bat. We always thought he could swing the bat, but he's recovered from knee surgery faster than our staff expected and put up some great numbers offensively. Some other veterans who have been swinging the bat well include Sean Gaston, Jeremy Barnes and Brett Lilley.
"We need those guys to lead the way, because we have about 10 new hitters who will be learning the way. Two other veterans that I think have improved a ton from one year to the next are A.J Pollock and Ross Brezovsky
. Pollock had a great year last year, but he's learning to use his speed better and
he's driving the ball more this year. I think his summer-ball experience
really matured him as a hitter.
"The other guy that I can't say enough about is Brezovsky - he has really taken his game to a higher level. Ross had a great approach to hitting all fall and I see him taking the same approach in the Blue-Gold series and the spring.
"The six veterans that I named above have turned in great falls, but a lot of our other veterans have played extremely well and our freshmen have really come a long way since the beginning of the fall. We will have some tough decisions when it's time to write out the lineup card. The competition has been outstanding and our staff believes that competition makes our players better.
"I can't wait to get going this spring, but I can get a little taste of it this week with the Blue-Gold Series. Good luck to coach Clink and coach Sikes - I promise I won't be second-guessing from the press box.
"Thanks to all Irish baseball fans."