Senior co-captain Brian Dupra.

BIG EAST Tournament Baseball Gameday Central - No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 Connecticut

May 25, 2011

No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 UConn
Wednesday, May 25, 8:00 p.m.
Bright House Field | Clearwater, Fla.

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NOTRE DAME IN THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT — Notre Dame has qualified for the BIG EAST tournament 15 times over its 16 years in the league.

  • The Irish captured five consecutive tournament titles from 2002-06. Notre Dame also finished as the tournament runner-up in 1996 and ’98.
  • The Irish own an all-time mark of 31-21 in tournament action.
  • Notre Dame has had five players named BIG EAST tournament Most Valuable Player. The first Irish player to earn the award was Steve Stanley (’02). Javi Sanchez followed in ’03, Matt Macri in ’04, Matt Edwards in ’05 and Wade Korpi in ’06.

NOTRE DAME AGAINST CONNECTICUT IN THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT — The Irish have played 52 all-time games in BIG EAST tournament history, but have never played Connecticut. The only other members of the league to not face the Irish, Cincinnati and Georgetown.

IRISH COACHING DEBUTS — Mik Aoki looks to join Paul Mainieri, Pat Murphy and Jake Kline as the only Notre Dame coaches in program history to win their first postseason game with the Irish.

  • Here’s a quick look at the first postseason game results of new head coaches dating back to the 1934 season.
First-Year Head Coach Postseason DebutsDave Schrage   L, 2-13 vs. Rutgers May 22, 2007 (BIG EAST Tournament)Paul Mainieri W, 9-7 vs. Xavier   May 13, 1995 (MCC Tournament)Pat Murphy  W, 11-6 vs. Butler  May 20, 1988 (MCC Tournament)Larry Gallo L, 5-18 at Oral Roberts May 21, 1983 (MWCC Tournament)Jake Kline  W, 1-0 at Purdue    June 11, 1949 (NCAA District 4 Playoffs)

AOKI’S CLUBS A-OK IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS — Mik Aoki led Boston College to the ACC Tournament in 2009 and ’10 – the school’s first two appearances in program history. The Eagles, unranked and the No. 8 seed each time, recorded three victories over top-25 foes.

  • Aoki’s 2009 squad not only qualified for the ACC Tournament, but made a statement as well. Entering the tournament needing at least one win to likely ensure a spot in an NCAA regional, the Eagles lost their first game to No. 7 Florida State. Boston College then responded emphatically, beating No. 13 Georgia Tech and No. 16 Miami in the next two games by a combined score of 17-4 to earn its bid to the NCAA Austin Regional.
  • Last year, No. 8 seed Boston College baseball team opened the 2010 ACC Championship with top-seeded and No. 1 Virginia. The Eagles took a 4-3 lead with three runs in the top of the seventh inning, but surrendered three runs in the bottom of the eighth and lost to the Cavaliers, 6-4. Boston College, as it did in ’09, rebounded with a walkoff victory over No. 10 Miami, 12-10. The Eagles plated five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game, 10-10, before a two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th gave Boston College the victory.

AOKI NOT A STRANGER TO BIG EAST TOURNAMENT — Mik Aoki was the Boston College pitching coach from 2004-06, including the Eagles last two years in the BIG EAST (’04-05).

  • Boston College reached the 2004 BIG EAST championship game, but lost to Notre Dame, 11-5.
  • The Eagles and Irish squared off in a memorable first round battle. Notre Dame tallied a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to on a Matt Edwards’ RBI single to edge Boston College, 3-2. Eagles’ eventual first-round MLB draft pick Chris Lambert did not allow an earned run in 8.0 innings (struck out eight, walked two and yielded just two hits), but did not factor in the decision.
  • Aoki and No. 2 seed Boston College faced off against the Irish in an opneing round game of the 2004 tournament. The Eagles took a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning and were one out away from victory, but C Shawn McGill’s throw to end the game, sailed over 1B Dave Preziosi’s head into right field. The error brought two Irish runners home. That proved to be the difference.

— ND —