January 19, 1999
The University of Notre Dame baseball team has made several minor revisions to its 1999 schedule, primarily regarding venue and starting times.
The first four games of the spring break trip will be played at V.J. Keefe Field in San Antonio, Texas, with the Irish then set to conclude the week by playing host to the Irish Baseball Classic at San Antonio’s Wolff Municipal Stadium, as originally scheduled.
The March 6 game versus Penn State and March 7 games vs. PSU and Yale will be played at Keefe Field, as will the March 8 game vs. the University of Dallas that originally was scheduled for The Ballpark at Arlington. The start time for the March 6 game has been pushed back to 7:00 p.m.
The order of competition in the Irish Baseball Classic also has been altered, with Notre Dame set to face Penn State on March 10 and St. Mary’s (Texas) on March 12.
All Notre Dame home games at Frank Eck Stadium-with the exception of the April 28 Chicago State game (3:45)-will start at five minutes past the hour, in order to accommodate live radio broadcasts.
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL RELEASES 1999 SCHEDULE
Highlights include home series with Miami (Fla.), game at The Ballpark at Arlington
The University of Notre Dame baseball team has released its 1999 spring schedule, fifth-year Irish head coach Paul Mainieri announced today.
The Irish are limited to playing 55 games in the spring of ’99, one below the NCAA maximum, due to the Sept. 12 game versus Michigan State. That 9-3 win over the Spartans counted against the spring game total for both teams but the result will not count to either team’s won-loss record or be factored into NCAA tournament consideration.
Notre Dame’s 1999 home highlights at Frank Eck Stadium will include the home opener versus Western Michigan on March 23, a three-game series with perennial BIG EAST Conference Tournament participant Seton Hall (April 24-25) and a pair of late-season games with national power University of Miami (Fla.) on May 11-12.
Road highlights include extended return visits to Miami, Fla., New Orleans, La. and San Antonio, Texas, a game versus the University of Dallas at The Ballpark at Arlington (home of the major-league Texas Rangers), challenging BIG EAST series at West Virginia and St. John’s and a third straight matchup with Michigan at Old Kent Park in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The ultimate highlight of the 1999 season could come at the end, as the NCAA tournament field will expand from 48 to 64 teams. Notre Dame has posted 40-plus wins in each of the past 10 seasons, advancing to the NCAAs during five of those seasons while just missing out on postseason play following the other five campaigns.
The expanded NCAA field, which will free up more at-large spots, will include 16 regionals on May 28-30, with four teams competing at each regional in double-elimination format. In addition, the NCAA has announced its preference for more geographical diversity during the regional round, thus increasing the possibility of NCAA postseason play in the midwest and eastern parts of the country.
The 16 NCAA regional winners then will advance to the “super-regional” round (June 4-6), with eight teams each playing host to one other team in a best 2-of-3 series. The super-regional winners then will head to Omaha, Neb. for the annual College World Series (June 11-19).
1999 BASEBALL SCHEDULE NOTES
Notre Dame’s 1999 season is scheduled to open on Feb. 19 in Miami, Fla. with a neutral-site game versus James Madison at Florida International. The Irish then will face host FIU during a three-game series, from Feb. 19-21.
The Irish-who played three games last season at the University of Miami-also will make a return trip to the state of Louisiana, as a participant in the University of New Orleans Invitational, with games versus Missouri (Feb. 26), the host Privateers (Feb. 27) and Southern Illinois (Feb. 28). Notre Dame faced UNO and Loyola (La.) last season at Privateer Park.
For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will spend spring break at Wolff Municipal Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. The Irish again will move into the clubhouse of the AA San Antonio Missions and will open the week with games versus Penn State (March 6-7) and Yale (March 7). Those two teams then will join local team St. Mary’s (TX) as participants in the annual Irish Baseball Classic, with the Irish facing St. Mary’s on March 10, Creighton on March 11 and Penn State on March 12. The consolation and championship games will be held on March 13.
One of the season’s highlight games is scheduled for the middle of Spring Break, as Notre Dame and the University of Dallas are slated to play on March 8 at The Ballpark at Arlington-the state-of-the-art home stadium of the Texas Rangers.
Notre Dame’s challenging BIG EAST road slate begins with a three-game series at perennial conference power West Virginia (March 20-21) and will continue with a challenging pair of doubleheaders at Villanova (March 27) and defending BIG EAST champion Rutgers (March 28).
The Irish then will then spend the next four weekends at Frank Eck Stadium for BIG EAST series, beginning with Easter doubleheaders against Providence (April 1) and Connecticut (April 3), followed by three-game series versus Pittsburgh (April 10-11), Boston College (April 17-18) and Seton Hall (April 24-25).
Notre Dame will conclude its quest for the BIG EAST regular-season title with three-game series at Georgetown (May 8-9) and top contender St. John’s (May 15-16), which is set to return many of the top arms from one of the nation’s leading pitching staffs in 1998.
In addition to the final home games versus Miami (May 11-12), Notre Dame also is scheduled to play host to non-conference games with Western Michigan (March 23), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (March 30), former Midwestern Collegiate Conference foe Detroit (April 5), Bowling Green (April 7), Cleveland State (April 14), Valparaiso (April 15), Illinois-Chicago (April 27), Chicago State (April 28) and Oakland (MI) University (April 30, May 1).
The April 20 game between Notre Dame and Michigan will be played for the third straight season at Old Kent Park in Grand Rapids, Mich.-home of the AA West Michigan Whitecaps.
Notre Dame also will make a midweek roadtrip to Northwestern on April 6.
The annual BIG EAST tournament will move to Mercer County Waterfront Stadium in Trenton, N.J.-home of the Trenton Thunder (the AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). The tournament-which was held at minor-league Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. for the previous three seasons-will run from May 19-22, with the winner of the six-team, double-elimination event claiming the BIG EAST’s automatic berth in the NCAAs.