April 2, 2001

The Notre Dame baseball team has claimed its highest ranking in the history of all three national polls, with the Irish rising to 6th in the Collegiate Baseball poll, 7th in the Baseball America poll and 8th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.

Notre Dame (21-4-1)-which owns the best 26-game record in the 109-year history of the program-used a three-game sweep of perennial BIG EAST Conference contender Seton Hall to move up at least five spots in each of the polls. The Irish have played nearly half of their 2001 schedule (12 games) versus teams that competed in the 2000 NCAA tournament and are expected to be among the national leaders in team ERA (2.52) when the first NCAA statistics are released on Wednesday.

Five teams are ranked ahead of Notre Dame in each of the three polls: Stanford, Rice, Georgia Tech, LSU and Florida State, with Nebraska ranked 5th in the BA poll while Arizona State is 6th and South Carolina 7th in the coaches poll.

Notre Dame moved past Miami (Fla.), USC, Tennessee and South Alabama in all three polls while also moving ahead of South Carolina, Arizona State and Clemson in two of the polls. Stetson also dropped behind the Irish in the CB poll.

Notre Dame returns to action on Tuesday, April 3, with a game versus in-state rival Ball State at Eck Stadium (5:05). The Irish hold a 12-9 all-time series lead versus BSU but the teams have met just once since 1992-with the Cardinals posting a 4-3 win at Notre Dame in 1998.