March 14, 2006
Notre Dame junior outfielder Danny Dressman (San Jose, Calif.) has been named the BIG EAST Conference baseball player of the week, after an impressive start to the Spring Break trip in which he batted 7-for-12 (.583) with eight RBI. Dressman has collected hits in all seven games he has played this season (prior to Monday night’s 6-2 win over Iowa, when he added two more hits) and sat atop the team’s 10-game charts with a .458 batting average, plus a 552 on-base percentage that would rank first in Notre Dame history.
Dressman played a lead role in Notre Dame’s 3-0 start at the Texas San Antonio Express Classic, with his highlights including a key run scored in the 5-4 comeback win over Texas A&M and a career-best five RBI in his 3-for-5 game versus Iowa (16-2) before having a hand in every Irish run of the 4-2 game with Illinois (2-for-3, 3 RBI, run).
The 2006 season has seen Dressman play his way into a regular role as a member of the deep outfield unit that also includes four seniors. He has met the challenge of batting in the key 2-hole spot on the San Antonio spot, leading the team during the 3-0 start to the Spring Break trip in five categories – batting avg. , RBI, hits, total bases (8) and batting with 2 outs (3-for-3). The lefthander also ranked 2nd on team during the week in six other categories: runs (4), slugging pct. (.667), on-base pct. (.615), batting with runners on base (.750, 6-for-8) and in scoring position (.833, 5-for-6) and 2-out RBI (4), adding a hit-by-pitch, a double and a sacrifice bunt.
Dressman’s quick start in San Antonio included a career-best 5-RBI game in the 16-2 win over Iowa (all photos by Pete LaFleur).
Dressman batted 2-for-4 and scored a run as the Irish rallied to beat #15 Texas A&M on March 10, 5-4. He pulled a first-pitch single through right side and scored the game-tying run in the 8th, as part of that game decisive four-run rally. Dressman earlier made a diving two-out catch with a runner at third base to preserve a 1-0 lead on the Aggies in the 4th inning.
He returned to Wolff Stadium on March 11 with the career-best five RBI in a 3-for-5 game (2 R) vs. Iowa Dressman’s sac. bunt helped the Irish grab a 2-0 lead in 1st inning and he added an RBI groundout in the 2nd to help push the lead to 4-2. He later sent a first-pitch, 2-out RBI single to the opposite left field in the 3rd inning, as the lead grew to 7-2. Dressman kept going in the 5th with a 2-out, two-run single up the middle, plus another 2-out RBI single in the 6th (to left field).
Dressman had collected hits in each of his first seven games played and owned a .552 on-base pct. that is 20 points above the standing ND record.
The final game of the weekend saw Dressman bat 2-for-3 while factoring into every Irish run to beat Illinois, 4-2 (3 RBI, R). He had an RBI double for the 1st-inning lead on the Illini (2-0) and also was hit-by-pitch in the 2nd inning before a huge hit in the 4th, sending a 2-out, 2-run single to the opposite left field.
A third-generation Notre Dame student, Dressman’s parents Chuck and Diane both graduated from ND in 1979) while his grandfather Charles Dressman, Sr., also is a Notre Dame graduate. The current Irish outfielder and his mother, the former Diane Shillingburg, hold the unique distinction of being a mother-son Notre Dame monogram combination. The proud mom was a member of the first group of Notre Dame women’s tennis players ever to earn varsity monograms, in the fall of 1976.
Several of Dressman’s hits in 2006 have been opposite-field singles to left field and left-center.
A total of 20 Notre Dame players – including current junior catcher Sean Gaston (3/1/04), current senior shortstop Greg Lopez (4/19/04) and current senior first baseman Craig Cooper (5/23/05) – now have combined to earn 33 BIG EAST baseball player-of-the-week awards, since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96. The Notre Dame program also has produced 30 total BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-week recipients in the past 11 years, including four honors during his career for current senior lefthander Tom Thornton.
Notre Dame’s previous all-time BIG EAST player-of-the-week recipients include four three-time honorees – OF Brian Stavisky (4/24/00, 2/19/01, 4/2/01), SS Alec Porzel (5/0/00, 4/15/01, 5/7/01), 2B Steve Sollmann (2/24, 3/17 and 5/19 in ’03) and SS/3B Matt Macri (4/21/03, 4/5/04, 5/17/04) – plus five other two-time recipients in catcher Jeff Wagner (4/7/97, 5/5/97), SS/3B Brant Ust (4/3/98, 3/29/99), 1B Jeff Felker (4/15, 5/12), catcher Paul O’Toole (5/13/00, 4/1/02) and CF Steve Stanley (2/26, 4/23). The other seven ND position players who have received weekly BIG EAST honors include catcher Mike Amrhein (3/17/97), OF Allen Greene (4/28/97), SS J.J. Brock (3/16/98), catcher Mike Knecht (5/4/98), 3B/C Andrew Bushey (2/25/02), 1B Joe Thaman (5/13/02) and 3B Matt Edwards (4/7/03).