Dec. 28, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame was picked to finish third in the 2013 BIG EAST preseason baseball poll, as determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. The Irish received a total of 81 points.
A trio of Notre Dame juniors was named to the all-BIG EAST preseason squad. First baseman Trey Mancini (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) - one of two players in the league to be a unanimous selection - earned the nod for the second straight year. Third baseman Eric Jagielo (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.) and right-handed reliever Dan Slania (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.), both of who earned third-team Preseason Louisville Slugger All-America, also garnered nomination.
Slania led the BIG EAST in 2012 in saves (12), games finished (29), appearances (31) and relief appearances (31). He owned a 3-0 record with a 2.03 ERA in 31.0 innings of work. Slania struck out 37 and walked 12. His 31 appearances and 12 saves ranked tied for second and third, respectively, in single-season Notre Dame history.
Slania was even more dominant in league games last season. He went 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA and seven saves in 14.1 innings of work. Slania has a miniscule 1.03 career ERA in BIG EAST action. His 2.19 career ERA is the best in school history for a pitcher with at least 60.0 innings pitched.
Jagielo batted .310 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI. He was the first Notre Dame sophomore with double-figure home runs since 2004 when Craig Cooper (10) and Matt Bransfield (12) accomplished the feat. Jagielo ranked among the top-10 in the BIG EAST in home runs (second), slugging (fourth) and total bases (fifth).
In BIG EAST games only, Jagielo ranked tied for third in home runs (five) and tied for eighth in walks (14). Jagielo had 20 multi-hit games, which ranked third on the Irish, including eight three-hit affairs (tops on Notre Dame). He also ranked second on Notre Dame in multi-RBI contests with 11, including a season-high five RBI in the victory over Georgetown on Apr. 20.
Mancini hit .317 with 47 runs scored, 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 45 RBI. He recorded a .545 slugging percentage and .395 on-base percentage. Mancini and Jagielo was the first Notre Dame sophomore tandem with double-figure home runs since 2004 when Craig Cooper (10) and Matt Bransfield (12) accomplished the feat.
Mancini had 17 multi-hit games, including a four-hit affair and seven three-hit games. Mancini also led the Irish in multi-RBI contests with 15, including a trio of three RBI outings. He ranked tied for third in the BIG EAST in home runs (12), fifth in slugging percentage (.575), tied for seventh in RBI (45) and tied for seventh in runs scored (47).
Louisville was selected as the favorite. The Cardinals received eight first-place votes and a total of 98 points. St. John's was picked to finish second in the conference, receiving three first-place votes and 82 total points.
Rounding out the preseason poll in predicted order of finish are Connecticut (74 points), USF (67), Seton Hall (52), Pittsburgh (46), Rutgers (43), Cincinnati (30), Georgetown (18) and Villanova (14).
2013 Preseason BIG EAST Baseball Coaches' Poll 1. Louisville (8) 98 2. St. John's (3) 82 3. Notre Dame 81 4. Connecticut 74 5. USF 67 6. Seton Hall 52 7. Pittsburgh 46 8. Rutgers 43 9. Cincinnati 30 10. Georgetown 18 11. Villanova 14