BIG EAST Baseball Tournament Notes

May 18, 2009

2009 BIG EAST Tournament Central | 2009 BIG EAST Tournament Notes Get Acrobat Reader

May 19-23
2009 BIG EAST Tournament
Bright House Networks Field
Clearwater, Florida

Probable BIG EAST Tournament Rotation
or RHP Cole Johnson (6-2, 4.27)
or RHP Brian Dupra (6-5, 6.43 ERA)
or RHP Eric Maust (5-3, 4.98 ERA)
or LHP Ryan Richter (5-1, 2.70 ERA)
or LHP Steve Sabatino (3-0, 3.94 ERA)
or LHP Sam Elam (1-1, 5.92 ERA)

Live Game Coverage
Video Streaming: BIGEAST.org
Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, p-b-p); UND.com
Gametracker: UND.com

Weather Report
Tues., May 19
Mostly Cloudy/T-Storms
High 79, Low 69

Wed., May 20
High 82, Low 72

Thur., May 21
Mostly Cloudy
High 87, Low 72

Fri., May 22
High 85, Low 72

Sat., May 23
Possible Thunderstorms
High 87, Low 73

IN THE BATTERS BOX – Notre Dame opens the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament with the same team they closed the regular season, St. John’s, for the second consecutive season. The No. 5 seeded Irish took two of three from the No. 4 seeded Red Storm in three games last weekend in Queens. First pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Fla. The winner of the Notre Dame-St. John’s game will face the winner of the No. 1 seed Louisville and No. 8 seed Cincinnati matchup. Each and every Notre Dame game of the tournament will be broadcast live on WHME 103.1 FM and UND.com.

THE RED STORM INSIDER – St. John’s, led by 13th year head coach Ed Blankmeyer, enters the tournament with a 29-20 overall record and a 16-11 mark in BIG EAST action.
• The Red Storm are averaging 9.1 runs per game and hitting .349 as a team with a .423 on-base and .507 slugging percentage. St. John’s has also totaled 54 stolen bases in 74 attempts.
• The Red Storm have 11 players that have started at least 18 games and each is batting over .311. In fact, seven among that group are hitting at a clip over .340. Tim Morris leads the attack with a team-best .411 batting average. He has added 65 runs scored, 83 hits, 17 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 59 RBI. Jimmy Parque is hitting .360 with 50 runs scored, 77 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 58 RBI. Brian Kemp is batting .374 with 62 runs scored, 77 hits, 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 32 RBI and 15 stolen bases. Matt Wessinger is hitting .358 with 36 runs scored, 49 hits, 13 doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI. Gino Matias is batting .333 with 36 runs scored, 57 hits, 19 doubles, one home run and 36 RBI. Joe Panik is batting .346 with 38 runs scored, 62 hits, 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 46 RBI. Carlos Del Rosario is hitting .342 with 34 runs scored, 54 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, one home run and 33 RBI. Greg Hopkins is batting .338 and has smacked seven home runs and driven in 42. St. John’s has hit 39 home runs this season and struck out 241 times.
• The pitching staff has a 6.12 ERA and .314 opponents’ batting average along with 312 strikeouts and 214 walks in 435.0 innings. Eddie Medina is 5-3 with a 3.81 ERA over 49.2 innings, while Ryan Cole (2-0, 2.93), Miguel Valcarcel (1-0, 4.19), Steve Forster (0-1, 4.81), Nick Luisi (3-2, 6.79) and Stephen Rivera (2-3, 8.24) are other options out of the Red Storm bullpen. Cole has registered five saves. St. John’s has committed 72 errors in 49 games and is fielding .963.

SERIES NOTES – Notre Dame leads the all-time series with St. John’s, 23-14, overall, and leads the series, 4-1, when the contests are played in the BIG EAST Tournament.
• The Irish have taken seven of the last 11 meetings, including the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament title game and two of three in Queens last weekend. The Red Storm did take last season’s series in South Bend.
• Notre Dame swept the Red Storm over a three-game series at Frank Eck Stadium during the 2006 regular season.
• St. John’s had captured four of the previous five in the series with the Irish (three one-run wins and a two-run margin), including a series sweep in Queens during the 2005 campaign (the last Irish visit to Jack Kaiser Stadium).
• St. John’s joined Seton Hall (1996), Connecticut (2002), Louisville (2007) and USF (2008) as the only teams ever to sweep a three-game BIG EAST series from the Irish.
• Notre Dame has lost just 26 all-time BIG EAST series (four have come against St. John’s).
• The Irish won 9-of-10 in the series from 2000-2004.


Notre Dame St. John’s
Batting Average .308 .349
Runs Per Game 6.7 9.1
Home Runs 46 39
Slugging Percentage .451 .507
On-Base Percentage .391 .423
Stolen Bases 53-77 54-74
Team ERA 5.24 6.12
Opponent Batting Average .284 .314
Pitchers’ K-BB Ratio 1.5 1.5
Pitchers’ Ks Per 9 Innings 5.8 6.5
Pitchers’ BB Per 9 Innings 3.9 4.4
Fielding Pct. (Errors) .967 (69) .963 (72)
Double Plays Turned 44 51
Record at Home / Road (including neutral) 16-9 / 17-12 15-7 / 14-13
Record in One-Run Games 9-6 4-5
Record in Extra Innings 1-1 1-3
Record vs. LHP / RHP 14-6 / 19-15 8-3 / 21-17


Pos. # Player B-T Cl. GP-GS Avg. HR RBI
C Cam McConnell R-R So. 49-45 .273 3 31
Served as the backup catcher last season; leads the BIG EAST with 25 caught stolen bases (tied for fourth in NCAA)
1B Evan Sharpley L-R Sr. 36-22 .235 4 12
Led Irish in home runs last season (20th player in ND history to hit 10+ homers); ranked fourth in the BIG EAST
-or- Ryan Connolly R-R Sr. 24-17 .327 4 17
Belted first career homer in first career start at 1B against USF (5.8); added grand slam, solo bomb at St. John’s (5.14)
-or- Casey Martin R-R Jr. 45-23 .301 2 12
Starts predominantly vs. LHP; picked up first career four-hit game against UTPA (3.15)
2B Greg Sherry R-R So. 51-51 .283 0 16
Spent most of 2008 in the nine-hole; was first ND player to hit over .300 in that spot of the order since ’04
3B Mick Doyle R-R So. 44-39 .314 2 27
First career HR against WVU-1 (3.18); leads league with eight SF (4th in NCAA); team-best 11-gm hit streak from 4.17-5.1
SS Jeremy Barnes R-R Sr. 54-54 .355 12 63
Four-year starter (last three at 2B); All-BIG EAST 2nd team in ’06; only player in league w/ 10+ 2Bs, 5+ or 3Bs, 10+ HRs
LF Golden Tate L-L So. 50-49 .333 1 17
Led football team in rec. (58), rec. yds (1,080), rec. TDs (10) and total TDs (11) in ’08; gamewinning HR in 9th at Louisville (4.26)
CF A.J. Pollock R-R Jr. 54-54 .356 10 48
Led ND in hitting in ’07 and ’08; preseason Baseball America first team All-American in ’09; ’08 Cape Cod League MVP
RF David Mills L-L Jr. 42-40 .320 1 24
Two-way player that doubles as situational lefty in Irish bullpen; all-BIG EAST first team in ’08
-or- Brayden Ashdown R-R Jr. 34-17 .338 1 13
Registered clutch pinch-hit 2-run 1B and go-ahead RBI 1B against Purdue (2.22) and walk-off 1B against Connecticut (5.3)
DH Ryan Connolly R-R Sr. 24-17 .327 4 17
Belted first career homer in first career start at 1B against USF (5.8); added grand slam, solo bomb at St. John’s (5.14)
-or- David Casey L-L So. 36-21 .333 3 21
Starts predominantly vs. RHP; career-best three hits, four RBI vs. Toledo (4.1); two homers, seven RBI in series at Louisville
-or- Evan Sharpley L-R Sr. 36-22 .235 4 12
Led Irish in home runs last season (20th player in ND history to hit 10+ homers); ranked fourth in the BIG EAST
-or- Matt Scioscia R-R So. 25-17 .254 1 15
Son of former major league catcher and current manager of L.A. Angels Mike Scioscia

FREEBIES UPDATE – Over his years as a head coach, Dave Schrage has utilized a formula to measure how many free bases a team allows during a given year. The formula adds walks allowed, errors, stolen bases allowed, hit batters, wild pitches, passed balls, and balks and divides that total by the number of games played. In 2007, the Irish allowed nearly 8.7 “freebies” per game. By comparison, Notre Dame’s 2006 team allowed just 6.2 per game en route to totaling 45 wins. The Irish made tremendous strides a year ago, allowing just 7.4 per game.
• Notre Dame took two of three games in the season opening weekend despite a below-par performance in terms of “freebies.” The Irish walked 12 batters and hit four more en route to an average of 8.7 per game.
• Ironically, the Irish dropped two of three games last weekend despite a positive performance in terms of “freebies.” The Irish walked just four batters en route to an average of 5.7 per game.
• Notre Dame captured 10 of 12 games (March 6-20), but the “freebies” formula would not be consistent with the Irish success. Notre Dame averaged 8.1 per game over the stretch.
• Notre Dame has dropped both of its BIG EAST series against Seton Hall and Pittsburgh. The Irish struggled mightily with “freebies.” Notre Dame is averaging 9.7 “freebies” per game, while the Pirates and Panthers averaged just 6.7.
• Notre Dame was just about as good as possible in the “freebie” department in the series sweep of Villanova. The Irish issued only 11 “freebies” over the entire weekend — good for a 3.7 average per game (down almost 5.0 per game from what Notre Dame averaged entering the series).
• Notre Dame issued 14 “freebies” to West Virginia in its 19-3 loss on April 17, but the Irish only surrendered a total of seven in the doubleheader sweep of the Mountaineers the next day.
• Notre Dame totaled just 21 “freebies” alone in the entire series victory over Louisville (three games).
• The Irish set a single-game high with 18 “freebies” in the 10-5 loss to UIC on April 28.
• Notre Dame has won seven of its last nine games and the success carries over to “freebies.” The Irish are yielding just 6.4 “freebies” over the stretch.
• Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s “freebies” in victories, and defeats in games both home and away.

Wins Losses Home Away
Freebies 7.1 8.8 7.4 8.6
Freebies 2009 2008 2007 2006
Walks Allowed 205 178 191 170
Errors 69 54 83 68
SB Allowed 55 62 73 65
Hit Batters 48 47 61 50
Wild Pitches 36 35 45 23
Passed Balls 4 8 27 6
Balks 5 9 5 7
TOTAL 422 (7.8/gm) 393 (7.4/gm) 485 (8.7/gm) 389 (6.2/gm)

• RBI BY COMMITTEE: Notre Dame has 14 players with 12 or more RBI.
• IN THE CLUTCH: The Irish are batting .312 with runners in scoring position (.328 in 2008), led by senior Jeremy Barnes (.421, 32-for-76), sophomore David Casey (.379, 11-for-29), junior A.J. Pollock (.386, 22-for-57), sophomore Mick Doyle (.302, 13-for-43), junior David Mills (.319, 15-for-47), junior Casey Martin (.286, 10-for-35), sophomore Greg Sherry (.261, 12-for-46), sophomore Matt Scioscia (.240, 6-for-25) and sophomore Cameron McConnell (.228, 13-for-57).
• RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: Notre Dame is hitting .335 (302-for-902) with runners on base, but just .282 (263-for-962) with the bases empty.
• TRENDS: Notre Dame is 21-3 this season when scoring six or more runs and 10-17 when scoring five or fewer runs … the Irish are 20-3 when scoring the game’s first run, but 11-17 when the opponent scores first … Notre Dame is 26-0 when taking a lead to the ninth inning despite being outscored 30-20 in the ninth inning … the Irish are 20-5 when holding their opponent to five runs or less, but just 11-15 when the foe scores more than five runs … Notre Dame is 21-3 when out hitting its opponent and 7-14 when out-hit … the Irish are 10-4 when failing to commit an error … Notre Dame is 23-0 when holding a lead after seven innings and 23-1 when holding a lead after six innings.

IRISH FINDING THEIR HOME RUN STROKE – Notre Dame hit just four home runs of its first 18 games and two of those long balls came in one game against Illinois on Feb. 22. The Irish then hit 25 home runs over their next 28 games, but have exploded over the last 10 days. Notre Dame has homered in eight consecutive games, including five consecutive games with multi-home run contests. The Irish have registered 14 long balls over their last five games, nine this past weekend at St. John’s. Notre Dame smacked eight home runs in its series victory over Louisville.

POLLOCK A RARE COMBINATION OF TALENT – Notre Dame’s junior OF A.J. Pollock has a rare combination of speed and power rarely seen at Notre Dame. The Hebron, Conn. ranks second on the team with 10 home runs and leads the Irish in stolen bases with 19. Pollock is one of two players in the league that has at least 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases.
• Pollock is the 11th player in Notre Dame baseball history to ever eclipse 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in a single season. He would become thefirst Irish player to ever go 10-20 in a season with his next stolen base.

Dan Peltier (’89) – 15 HR, 13 SB (MCC Player of the Year; All-American; Academic All-American; future big-leaguer), hit .446
Craig Counsell (’92) – 12 HR, 13-16 SB (future big-leaguer and two-time World Series champ), hit .339
Edwin Hartwell (’93) – 13 HR, 11 SB, hit .447 (still ND season record)
Eric Danapilis (’93) – 13 HR, 13 SB,(MCC Player of the Year; All-American), hit .438
Brant Ust (’98) – 18 HR, 11-16 SB (BE player of the year, All-American, reached AAA), hit .373
Brant Ust (’99) – 17 HR, 10-14 B, hit .359
Alec Porzel (’99) – 13 HR, 11-12 SB, hit .333
Paul O’Toole (’02) – 11 HR, 11-17 SB (CWS team); hit .281
Matt Macri (’04) – 14 HR, 12-16 SB (joined Peltier, Counsell and Danapilis as ND players with 12-plus HR and 12-plus SB in same season); (All-American, reached big-leagues), hit .367
Craig Cooper (’04) – 10 HR, 12-17 SB (BE player of the year, All-American, currently at AA), hit .425

NOTRE DAME STANDS ALONE – The Irish took two of three from Louisville (1st), USF (2nd), West Virginia (3rd) and St. John’s (4th) over the last five weekends of the season. Notre Dame is the only member of the league to take two of three from each of the top four seeds in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament.
• Nine teams remained mathematically alive for the conference tournament heading into the final day of the regular season and Notre Dame was the only squad to play each of those clubs.
•The two foes that did not appear on Notre Dame’s regular season BIG EAST schedule, Rutgers and Georgetown, who have combined for a 16-37 mark in conference action.

NOTRE DAME AGAINST CONFERENCE CHAMPS – Notre Dame enters the BIG EAST Tournament with an RPI of 61 thanks in part to its schedule strength of 69.
• The Irish played regular season champions from not only the BIG EAST (Louisville), but the Big Ten (Ohio State), Atlantic 10 (Dayton), Horizon (UIC), MAC East (Bowling Green), MAC West (Ball State), Summit (Oral Roberts) and West Coast (Gonzaga). The Irish went 6-4 in those matchups.
• Notre Dame also 4-1 against teams that finished second in their respective conferecnes. The Irish upended USF (BIG EAST) twice, Illinois (Big Ten) once and Washington State (Pac 10) once.

NOTRE DAME MIGHT HAVE FOUND A CLOSER – Sophomore Todd Miller has tken his new role of Irish closer and excelled. The right-handed hurler struggled out of the gate this season. Miller opened the season with a 8.00 ERA and 1-2 record in 18.0 innings of work over 10 appearances, including one start (against Toledo on April 1). Since that start, he is 0-0 with a 1.88 ERA and four saves in 14.1 innings of work over seven relief appearances. Miller has struck out 13 and walked just one over that span. He enters the BIG EAST Tournament with a scoreless streak of 9.1 innings of work and has not walked a batter over his last five apperances (10.0 innings).

Fighting for a Cure – Senior Ryan Connolly has faced adversity over his career at Notre Dame. The outfielder/catcher has seen limited playing time over the past two years due to a reoccurring shoulder injury — an injury that caused him to miss his entire freshman season in 2006. But, this adversity all pails in comparison to what Connolly faced in 2002 as a 15-year old sophomore in high school.
• Connolly’s father, Michael, passed away after a two-year battle with lung cancer despite never smoking a cigarette over his entire life. Connolly, and his mother Penny, along with the assistance of Dr. Leslie Kohman (Michael’s surgeon), began the Michael E. Connolly Endowment for Lung Cancer Research.
• The goal was to raise $500,000. The Connollys and the Board of Directors are responsible for all the groundwork fundraising efforts. After just three years of diligently collecting pledges and hosting golf tournaments and other fundraising events, they reached their goal. The Connolly Endowment issued its first grant of $10,000, which was then matched by the Hendrick’s Fund at Upstate Medical University, to a group of researchers trying to determine if lung cancer patients who had surgery would also benefit from a cancer-inhibiting drug.
• Connolly made his first career appearance and start at first base in the series opener against USF. His previous nine starts on the season had been at designated hitter. Connolly had a perfect day in the field, recording three putouts.
• He also smacked his first career home run and scored two runs.
• Connolly added two more runs scored in the second game of the series and a career-high three hits in the series finale.
• Connolly has started the last eight games for Notre Dame and the Irish are 6-2 in those contests. He is batting .333 (6-for-18) with a double, three home runs and 10 RBI. Connolly had just 17 career RBI over his first 58 games for the Irish.
• Connolly had a remarkable weekend against his near-home rival St. John’s last weekend. He hit .385 (5-for-13) with five runs scored, three home runs and eight RBI. Connolly drilled his first career grand slam before adding a solo shot in the series opening victory over the Red Storm.
• Notre Dame is now 12-3 on the season when Connolly starts.

CARDIAC KIDS – Notre Dame rallied from five runs down in the seventh inning (12-7) to take the rubber game of its series with Louisville, 13-12. It was the largest come back victory for the Irish since they rallied from five runs down against Toledo on April 17, 2007. In fact, Notre Dame rallied from a six-run deficit in the series opener with the Cardinals to take a 7-6 lead before ultimately losing in the ninth inning. That would have been the largest comeback since March 6, 2004.
• The Irish continued their late inning heroics in the series victory over league-leading USF. Notre Dame trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning last Friday, only to rally for an 8-5 triumph, and fell behind 6-0, again, heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, before racing back to take the second game of the series, 7-6. The victory on Saturday against the Bulls marked the first this season for Notre Dame when trailing after eight innings (USF led 6-5) and second walkoff win in three games (senior Jeremy Barnes drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning).
• The Irish nearly recorded their third consecutive come-from-behind win in the series finale with USF, twice erasing two-run deficits in the seventh and eighth inning, but were unable to complete the sweep.
• Notre Dame picked up its first walkoff victory of the season against Conneticut on May 3. Junior Brayden Ashdown singled home senior Jeremy Barnes in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Irish a 5-4 victory.
• The Irish found themselves down 6-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning against Illinois State on May 12. Head coach Dave Schrage called an impromptu team meeting in the dugout just before Notre Dame batted. The Irish quickly tied the game, 6-6, with a five-run sixth and went on to race past the Redbirds, 14-8.
• The Irish have posted 17 seperate come-from-behind victories in 2009 and seven came in Notre Dame’s last at-bat.

NO FREE PASSES ALLOWED – Notre Dame’s pitching staff has struggled with walks the entire season. The Irish had walked 187 batters in their 46 games entering the series with USF which averages to just about 4.1 free passes per game. Notre Dame issued just five walks over the entire series with the Bulls. In fact, the Irish weekend rotation of sophomore Cole Johnson, sophomore Brian Dupra and junior Eric Maust combined for 18.1 innings without a free pass.
• The five walks were the fewest by Notre Dame in any series this season (the previous low was six in the sweep of Villanova.
• Notre Dame then issued just one walk in its 5-3 win over Western Michigan on May 11.
• Dupra continued his excellent control in his victory over St. John’s on May 15. The righty went 6.0 innings and did not issue a free pass. Dupra has now pitched 78.1 innings this season and walked only 15. In fact, he has issued just 25 career walks in 124.2 innings the past two seasons. Dupra has not walked a batter in 14.2 innings of work dating back to his start against Louisville on April 25. He has just two walks in his last 35.0 innings of work.

Fewest Career Walks Per 9 IP (min. 60 IP)
1. Brandon Viloria (2000-03 ) 1.61 (15/83.2)
2. Alan Walania (1990-93) 1.64 (59/324.0)
3. Tom Thornton (2003-06) 1.73 (64/332.2)
4. Brian Dupra (2008-) 1.80 (25/124.2)
5. Tom Price (1991-94) 1.86 (78/377.1)
6. James Cross (1983, ’85-’86) 1.88 (27/129.1)
Chris Niesel (2002-04) 1.88 (57/272.2)
8. Nick Palihnich (1958-60) 1.94 (32/148.2)
9. Darrin Schmalz (1994-97) 2.05 (68/298.2)
10. Mike Naumann (’98-’01) 2.23 (31/124.2)
11. Scott Cavey (1997-2000) 2.24 (41/165.0)

AS BARNES GOES, SO GO THE IRISH – Senior Jeremy Barnes has had a great 2009 season. Barnes is hitting .355 with 15 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs and 63 RBI, but his performance in victories is even more impressive. Barnes leads the Irish with a .415 batting average (54-for-130), .731 slugging percentage and .487 on-base percentage in their 33 victories. On the other hand, he is hitting just .259 (21-for-81) with a .506 slugging percentage and .348 on-base percentage in Notre Dame’s 21 losses. In fact, the Irish are 29-13 when Barnes has a hit and 18-7 when he has a multi-hit affair.
• Barnes is the only player in the BIG EAST Conference and one of six in the entire country with 15 or more double, five or more triples and 10 or more home runs.
• Barnes is also climbing the career charts in a number of Notre Dame offensive categories.


Runs Batted In Triples
1. Eric Danapilis (1990-93) 221 1. Scott Sollmann (1994-96) 24
2. Alec Porzel (1998-2001) 211 2. J.J. Brock (1994-98) 16
3. Dan Peltier (1987-89) 202 3. Jeremy Barnes (2006-) 14
Mike Amrhein (1994-97) 202 Shaun Fitzmaurice (1963-64) 14
5. Matt Edwards (2002-05) 195 George Restovich (1994-96) 14
6. Jeremy Barnes (2006-) 190 Randall Brooks (1994-97) 14
7. Jeff Wagner (1996-99) 189 Brian Stavisky (2000-02) 14
8. Joe Binkiewicz (1989-92) 176
9. J.J. Brock (1994-97) 174
10. Brant Ust (1997-99) 170
Games Played Games Started
1. Steve Stanley (1999-2002) 256 1. Steve Stanley (1999-2002) 256
2. Alec Porzel (1998-2001) 239 2. J.J. Brock (1994-98) 238
Paul O’Toole (1999-2002) 239 3. Alec Porzel (1998-2001) 234
4. J.J. Brock (1994-98) 238 4. Brett Lilley (2005-08) 231
5. Craig Counsell (1989-92) 236 5. Paul O’Toole (1999-2002) 229
6. Mike Coss (1988-91) 235 6. Craig Counsell (1989-92) 223
7. Brett Lilley (2005-08) 231 7. Andrew Bushey (1999-2002) 222
8. Greg Lopez (2003-06) 230 8. Ross Brezovsky (2005-08) 220
9. Jeff Felker (1997-2000) 228 Jeff Felker (1997-2000) 220
10. Cody Rizzo (2003-06) 226 10. Jeremy Barnes (2006-) 216
Jeremy Barnes (2006-)

NO RUNNING ALLOWED ON THE BASE PATHS – Sophomore Cameron McConnell nailed his BIG EAST-leading 25th attempted base stealers against St. John’s this past weekend. McConnell hosed the only stolen bases attempt all weekend by USF two weekends ago. In fact, it also was his sixth consecutive base stealer gunned down.
• The last Irish catcher to throw out 20+ runners in a season was Paul O’Toole in 2002. O’Toole threw out 23 runners (67 attempts) that season. McConnell has thrown out 37.3% (25 of 67) of attempted base stealers on the season, which would be the second highest percentage for an Irish catcher since 1996. O’Toole threw out 40.7% (24 of 59) of runners in 2001. O’Toole’s 24 runners thrown out that season was also the most since 1996.
• Notre Dame’s catchers last season, Sean Gaston and McConnell, only pegged 10 the entire year.
• McConnell ranks seventh in the NCAA in throwing out base stealers.

Brad Moss, Samford 31
Chad Comer, UT Arlington 28
Bryan Holiday, TCU 27
Frank Pesanello, Northeastern 26
Chad Noble, Northwestern 26
J.T. Wise, Oklahoma 26
Cameron McConnell, Notre Dame 25