June 7, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior RHP Brian Dupra has been selected by the Washington Nationals in Tuesday’s seventh round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Dupra was drafted in the 36th round of the 2007 MLB Draft, but chose to instead attend Notre Dame. He was again drafted in the ’10 draft, this time in the 11th round pick by the Detroit Tigers, but Dupra once again delayed his professional baseball aspirations. He returned to South Bend and not only earned his degree from the College of Arts and Letters as a double major in sociology and computer applications, but improved his draft status for the third time.
“It has been my dream to have an opportunity to play professional baseball ever since I began playing the game as a kid,” said Dupra. “I’m very excited to be blessed with this opportunity and want to thank everyone that has been a part of the process. The last four years at Notre Dame have been the best of my life. My friends and the learning experiences, both on and off the field, have only benefitted my preparation for whatever life might have in store for me.
“My development has been impacted by each and every coach I have crossed paths with, especially Coach (Mik) Aoki, Coach (Chuck) Ristano, Coach (Jesse) Woods and Coach (Joe) Hastings. Coach Aoki helped me make the decision to return to Notre Dame for my senior year. Coach Ristano helped me put it all together on the mound and Coach Woods and Coach Hastings kept me in check.
“I love Notre Dame baseball and everything else the University offers. It is one of the greatest places on Earth and I would never change my decision to attend Notre Dame if I had the chance to do it all over again.”
“We as a staff are so thrilled for Brian,” added Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki. “He was faced with a difficult decision following his junior season whether or not to return to school. Brian did return for one more year of college baseball and that decision was rewarded today. He earned a far better draft position, finished with the best individual season of his career and, most importantly, earned his degree from the University of Notre Dame. He is a tremendous kid and our program will miss his leadership and work ethic tremendously.”
Dupra, an all-BIG EAST third team selection, went 3-7 with a 3.10 earned-run average in 2011. The co-captain registered 11 quality starts over his 15 outings in 2011. Dupra also worked into the seventh inning in 11 of his 15 starts. He struck out 93 and tossed 104.2 innings, which each rank 10th in single-season school history. Dupra allowed two earned runs or less in nine starts and collected 10 or more strikeouts in three outings.
Dupra led or tied for the team-lead in innings pitched, starts, quality starts and strikeouts. He tied for second in the BIG EAST in games started and ranked third in strikeouts looking (34), fourth in innings pitched, fourth in strikeouts, tied for fifth in pickoffs (four) and 12th in ERA.
Dupra became the fifth pitcher in Notre Dame history to record 50 or more career starts and seventh Irish hurler to ever eclipse 300.0 career innings. He finished his career with 51 starts and 315.2 innings of work, which rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in school history. Dupra also ranks ninth in school history in fewest career walks per nine innings (2.20).
Dupra was the 15th multi-year captain in the program’s 118-year history. He was the 12th since the turn of century (as in 1900 not 2000) and 10th since the late 1970s. Dupra also has the rare accomplishment of being named a captain as a pitcher and not an everyday position player. Over the last 32 seasons, Dupra was only the ninth pitcher to earn captain status. The others include Craig Allen (’96), Alex Shilliday (’99), Aaron Heilman (’00, ’01), J.P. Gagne (’03), Chris Niesel (’04), Tyler Jones (’05), Tom Thornton (’06) and Cole Johnson (’09). In fact, Dupra and Heilman are the only known two-time captain pitchers in Notre Dame baseball history.
Over the last 15 years, 14 of 17 Notre Dame signees (including Dupra) who were drafted out of high school went on to be higher-round draft picks as members of the Irish baseball program, which also has produced 37 players during the past 15 seasons who were drafted out of Notre Dame despite going undrafted as high school seniors.
The three-day draft concludes on Wednesday. Check back to www.und.com for further draft updates.