March 6, 2005

2005 NOTRE DAME BASEBALL GAMEDAY NOTES – vs. Rice (March 6, 6:00 p.m. CST; Dell Diamond; Round Rock, Texas)

The Notre Dame baseball team (4-4) heads into Sunday’s challenge at the Round Rock Classic vs. 7th-ranked Rice looking to avoid a rare four-game losing streak … sophomore RHP Jeff Samardzija is the likely starter for the Irish (see pregame notes for detailed info. on Samardzija) … fans are reminded that ND’s next two games had time changes from the original schedule (ND plays Texas State on Monday at 3:30 CST and will face Texas-San Antonio on Wed., March 9, at 7:15 (in San Antonio).

QUICK TEAM NOTES – Since opening 0-2 at the 2003 Minnesota DQ Classic (ND’s only 0-2 start in the past 25 regular-season-tournaments), the Irish have gone 18-3 in their past 21 games at regular-season tournaments … ND carries a 71-48 all-time record in Texas, including 36-17 in the 11-year Paul Mainieri era (4-4 at the ’02, ’04 and ’05 Round Rock Classics) … the only previous ND-Rice meeting was the 2002 College World Series game, when Steve Stanley’s triple, Steve Sollmann’s single up the middle and Brian Stavisky’s game-ending home run completed a stirring 1-out rally for the 5-3 Irish comeback … none of the ND and Rice players who played in that game remain on either team’s roster … Paul Mainieri remains 15 wins shy of his 800th career coaching victory (785-454-2, .633; 454-175-1/.720 at ND).

RICE NOTES ( – The Owls entered the week ranked as high as 7th in the nation (per Collegiate Baseball magazine and the USA Today coaches poll) thanks to an 11-3 record (after the 4-3 loss to Nebraska) that includes wins over Central Missouri (5-2), Oklahoma State (8-4), Texas A&M (3-1), Houston (7-6, in 10; 4-3, in 10), Southwest Missouri (8-2), Mississippi (5-4), Lamar (8-2, 10-0) and Western Carolina (9-1, 8-4) and losses to Baylor (1-6) and Nebraska (3-6, in 8) … the 2003 NCAA champs were upset by Texas Southern and Texas A&M in the ’04 Regionals, ending their season 46-14 after winning the Western Athletic Conference title (24-6) … Rice returned 16 of 24 letterwinners from the ’04 squad.

FRIEND OR FOE? – Friday’s starter Tom Thornton (ND) played for the Wareham Gatemen in the 2004 Cape Cod League, as did Rice LHP Josh Forester and 1B Adam Rodgers … ND junior OF Craig Cooper and Rice RHP Colin Matheny were teammates during the summer of ’04 with the Cape Cod League’s Brewster Whitecaps … ND sophomore RHP Jeff Manship is a former teammate of two Rice players: OF Adam Hale (All-America game, state all-stars) and C/IF Travis Reagan (Team Texas) … ND senior RHP Tyler Jones played alongside Rice C Lyndon Deplessis and 3B Clay Reichenbach with the Highland Park Blue Sox in the Texas Collegiate League during the summer of ’04.

Ryan Doherty – needs 6 more strikeouts for 100 in his career
Cody Rizzo – needs 2 more runs for 100 in his career, HBP for 50th time last week vs. Dayton
Matt Bransfield – needs 10 more hits for 100 in his career
Paul Mainieri – needs 15 more wins for 800 in his 23-year career
Steve Andres – needs 17 more hits for 100 in his career
Matt Edwards – 31 RBI shy of cracking the ND career top-10 list

STILL GOING – The Irish have extended the program’s second-longest scoring streak to 156 games, trailing only a 231-game scoring streak from 1999-2002.

PRESEASON RESPECT – Notre Dame and Rice are two of just seven teams to be a consensus preseason top-20 pick (in the Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, USA Today/coaches and baseball writers polls) each of the past five seasons (’01-’05), with the others including Cal State Fullerton, Stanford, LSU, South Carolina and Arizona State … the Irish and Owls also are two of seven teams that have been in the BA preseason top-20 every season since 2000 (others include LSU, CSF, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Baylor) … ND checked in at 20th in BA’s 2000 preseason poll, followed by 9th in 2001, 5th in ’02, 12th in ’03, 20th in ’04 and 20th in ’05.

ERA ELITE – Notre Dame finished in the top-20 of the national charts for team ERA in five of the previous seven seasons, owning the nation’s best team ERA during portions of 2000 and ’01 … the ’00 staff surged atop the national ERA charts in late April (2.72) and finished 16th (3.93) … the Irish returned to the top spot among the ’01 team ERA leaders for three weeks in April, finishing 5th at 3.22 (best at ND since ’92, third-best since ’75) … ND went on to finish 13th in the ’02 ERA rankings (3.57), 18th in ’03 (3.53) and 9th in ’04 (3.43), joining Texas and Rice as the only teams ranked among the nation’s final top-20 ERA leaders every year from ’00-’04 … the Irish finished 12th in the final ’98 ERA rankings (4.02).

OPPONENT PROSPECTS – Notre Dame’s 2005 opponents feature 19 players who were listed by Perfect Game/Baseball America (Sept. ’04) among the top-150 draft-eligible college prospects for the 2005 MLB draft … those players include four players each from Rice: RHPs Bryce Cox (83) and Josh Geer (95), RHP/OF Lance Pendleton (93) and LHP Matt Ueckert (127).

NOTRE DAME 2005 EIGHT-GAME UPDATES (see PDF for each player’s career stats)

Steve Andres (OF, Jr., Bats: Left … Napa, CA … 2004 NCAA South Bend Regional All-Tournament Team)
• Ranks 2nd on team with 3 times hit-by-pitch, 3rd in walks (3) and 4th in runs scored (7)
• Homered in second AB of season (vs. Florida A&M) but has gone 1-for-17 (3 BB, 3 HBP) since that HR
• Has made 3 starts at DH (plus single starts at LF and C) … his 5 starts include 3 batting as leadoff hitter, 2 in 7-hole
• vs. Texas A&M: 1-for-4, RBI, R, BB, K

Ross Brezovsky (3B, Fr., Bats: Left … Naples, FL)
• Leads team with .500 batting with runners on base, also 2nd in overall batting (.394), slugging (.545), hits (13), doubles (3), total bases (18) and HBP (3), 3rd in on-base pct. (.445) and batting w/ runners in scoring position (.429), 4th in RBI (6)
• Entered week as BIG EAST leader in hits, also 2nd in total bases, 3rd in doubles, 7th in batting avg., 10th in on-base
• One of five ND players to start all 8 games
• His 8 starts include 3 games batting in both the 7 and 9-hole, plus leadoff starts vs. Florida A&M and UCF
• vs. Texas A&M: 1-for-4, K, E
• Has hits in 7-of-8 games this season (2nd on team with 4 multi-hit games) … plated Alex Nettey with game-winning double vs. Florida A&M (4-3; 3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, HBP) … closed Dayton series with 3-for-4 game (10-11; 2 R, HBP)

Craig Cooper (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Plainview, NY … Second Team All-BIG EAST in 2004)
• Leads team in stolen bases (2), 2nd in 2-out batting (.500) and doubles (3), 3rd in BB (3), 5th in RBI (5), total bases (10).
• One of five ND players to start all 8 games.
• vs. Texas A&M: 1-for-5, RBI, 2B
• His 8 starts include 4 in LF and 3 in CF (plus a DH start) while making 5 starts in cleanup spot (2 in 6-hole) … hit in leadoff spot in ’05 opener vs. Florida A&M
• Batted just 3-for-20 (.150) in past 4 games (4 RBI), after hitting 4-for-12 on Orlando trip
• Hit 2-for-4 in 2-1 loss at UCF before helping beat Knights in 4-2 game (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB)

Danny Dressman (OF, So., Bats: Right … San Jose, CA)
• Leads team with 4 sacrifice bunts, also ranking 2nd in 2-out RBI (3) and 5th in total RBI (5).
• His 6 starts include 3 in LF and 3 as DH, making 3 starts batting in 2-hole (plus singles starts in 1st, 5th and 6th spots).
• Came off bench for injured Matt Bransfield in opener, helping beat Florida A&M (18-3; 3-for-4, 3 RBI, R, BB)

Matt Edwards (1B, Sr., Bats: Right … Mechanicsville, VA … First Team All-BIG EAST in 2003)
• Leads team in 9 basic categories, with .400 batting avg., 9 RBI, 2 home runs, .686 slugging pct., 1.161 OPS (on-base plus slugging), 9 runs, 14 hits, 4 doubles, 24 total bases … also owns team-best .452 batting vs. RHPs and one of 5 ND playters to start all 8 games … ranks 2nd on team in overall on-base pct. (.475), leadoff on-base (.500) and batting with runners on base (.458), plus 3rd in batting with runners in scoring position (.429).
• Entered week as BIG EAST leader in runs and total bases, 2nd in hits and 7th in slugging pct.
• vs. Texas A&M: 3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B, BB.
• Has made all 8 of his starts at 1B while batting in the 3-hole.
• Leads team with 5 multi-hit games, batting 11-for-21 (.524, 8 RBI) in current 4-game hit streak (3 straight 3-hit) … 2-for-4 in opener vs. FAMU (18-3; RBI, 4 R, HR, 2B, BB, HBP) … 8-for-17 Dayton series included HR in 10-2 win (2 RBI, 3 R).
• Owns .444 career batting avg. in Spring Break games (28-for-62, 21 RBI, 10 R, 8 Ks, 5 2B, 2 HR, SAC, 10 BB, 4 HBP).

Sean Gaston (C, So., Bats: Left … Brownsburg, IN)
• Leads team with 9 runs scored, also ranking 3rd in leadoff on-base pct. (.500), 4th in batting avg. (.381) and hits (9), and 5th in RBI (5) … entered week ranked 3rd among BIG EAST players in runs scored.
• vs. Texas A&M: 2-for-4, 2 R, SAC
• Has made 3 of his starts in both the 5 and 7-hole, also batting in 2-hole vs. A&M.
• Batting 9-for-17 (.529) in last 4 games after 0-for-9 start … hit 4-for-6 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, R).

BRETT LILEY (2B, Fr., Bats: Left … North Canton, OH)
• Leads team in on-base pct. (.564), hit-by-pitch (7), leadoff on-base pct. (.786, 11-of-14) and 2-out batting avg. (.625) … also 2nd in in walks (5), batting vs. RHPs (.391), batting with runners in scoring position (.444) and 2-out RBI (3), 3rd in overall batting (.385), runs (8) and hits (10), and 4th in total bases (11).
• One of five ND players to start all 8 games.

• Entered week ranked 3rd among BIG EAST players in walks and 5th in on-base pct.

• vs. Texas A&M: 2-for-3, 2 R, HBP.

• Hit in 2-hole first 4 games and leadoff in past 4 games.

• Has hits in 6-of-8 games, including 2-for-4 in 2-1 loss at UCF and 3-for-4 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, 2 R, 2B, BB, HBP) … one shy of NCAA record after 4 HBPs in 4-2 win over UCF (1-for-1, R).

Greg Lopez (SS, Jr., Bats: Right … Upper Arlington, OH … Third Team All-BIG EAST in 2004)

• Leads team in batting with runners in scoring position (.500) and sacrifice flies (2), also 2nd in RBI (7), leadoff on-base pct. (.500) and 2-out batting (.500), plus 3rd in sac. bunts (2), 4th in overall batting (.381), and 5th in on-base pct. (.423) and hits (8).

• Entered week ranked 4th among BIG EAST players in RBI and 5th in batting avg.

• vs. Texas A&M: 0-for-2, BB, 2 HBP.

• Has made all of his starts batting in the 8-hole.

• Has hits in 6-of-8 games, including 2-for-4 in 4-3 win over Florida A&M (R) and 3-for-3 in 11-10 loss vs. Dayton (4 RBI, R, SAC, SF)

Alex Nettey (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Dolton, IL)

• Ranks 3rd on team in slugging pct. (.500) and batting vs. RHPs (.353), also 2nd in HBP (2) and 5th in 2-out batting (.300) and batting with runners in scoring position (.400).

• vs. Texas A&M: 1-for-4, K.

• Has made all 5 of his starts in CF and 9-hole.

• Doubled and scored game-ending run vs. Florida A&M (4-3; 2-for-3).

Cody Rizzo (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Temecula, CA)

• Ranks 2nd on team in RBI (7), walks (7), leadoff on-base pct. (.500) and 2-out RBI (4), also 3rd in total bases (13), 4th in slugging pct. (.481), on-base pct. (.444), batting vs. RHPs (.333) and 2-out batting (.308), and 5th in runs (6), hits (8) and batting with runners on base (.350) … one of 5 players to start all 8 games

• Entered week as BIG EAST leader in walks, also 4th in RBI and 7th in on-base pct.

• vs. Texas A&M: 0-for-4, BB, 2 Ks.

• Has made all of his starts in RF, with 5 starts in 6-hole and 3 in 5-hole.

• Hit 2-for-4 in 10-2 win over Dayton (2 RBI, R, 2B) and then 3-for-5 in 13-9 loss to Flyers (RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B, SB).

Mike Dury (1B/LHP, So., Bats: Switch … Indianapolis, IN)

• Struck out as pinch-hitter in 13-9 loss to Dayton.

Tony Langford (IF, Fr., Bats: Right … Fort Worth, TX)

• Late-inning sub vs. Florida A&M (18-3; 0-for-1) and Dayton (10-2; 1-for-1).

Nick Mainieri (C, Jr., Bats: Right … South Bend, IN)

• Drew pair of walks (one with bases loaded) in 18-3 opener vs. Florida A&M.

Eddie Smith (IF, Jr., Bats: Left … Olympia, WA)
• Started at SS in 4-2 win at UCF (0-for-3) … hit 1-for-2 in opener vs. FAMU (18-3; RBI, R) and 10-2 win over Dayton

John Axford (RHP, Sr. … Port Dover, Ontario)

• Missed 2004 season due to elbow surgery rehab … made return vs. Texas A&M (0.1 IP, H, 2 R, BB).

Ryan Doherty (RHP, Jr. … Toms River, NJ … Third Team All-American) Second Team All-BIG EAST)

• Leads staff in low opp. batting avg. (.250), batting with runners on (.167) and low walk avg. (0.0), also 2nd in batting by RH hitters (.273) and Ks per 9 IP (9.0), 3rd in ERA (4.50), 4th in opp. batting by LH hitters (.200) and with 2 outs (.167).

• Ranks 1st in ND history with 12.69 Ks per 9 IP, 5.94 hits per 9 IP and 4.27 K-to-walk ratio, also 2nd with 2.43 career ERA and 3rd with 14 saves,

• Picked up win vs. Florida A&M (4-3; 0.2 IP, pickoff, popup) before saving 4-2 win over UCF (1.2 IP, H, HBP, 3 Ks).

Mike Dury (LHP, So. … Indianapolis, IN)

• Pitched in 4-2 win at UCF (0.1 IP, H) and in 13-5 loss to Texas A&M (IP, 2 BB).

David Gruener (LHP, Fr. … Gig Harbor, WA)
• Has yet to allow a hit by a lefthanded batter (0-for-5) or with 2 outs (0-for-6) … also 2nd on team in low walk avg. (2.4 BB/9 IP), 3rd in overall opp. batting (.290), strikeouts (5), Ks per 9 IP (5.9) and batting with runners on (.263), 4th in innings (7.2) and low hits per 9 IP (10.6), and 5th in groundout/flyout ratio (1.3) and GOs per 9 IP (10.6).

• Saved opener vs. Florida A&M (18-3; 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 3 Ks) before pitching in 10-2 win at Dayton (2 IP, H< bb,=”” 2=”” ks)=”” and=”” suffering=”” loss=”” in=”” 11-10=”” game=”” vs.=”” flyers=”” (1.2=”” ip,=”” 3=”” h,=”” 3=””>

Dan Kapala (RHP, Fr. … Royal Oak, MI)

• Has yet to allow a hit by a lefthanded hitter (0-for-4) … ranks 3rd on staff in low walk avg. (2.5 BB/9 IP).

• Pitched in 4-2 win at UCF (1.2 IP, 3 H, R, BB), 10-2 win over Dayton (IP, H), 11-10 loss to Flyers (0.1 IP, 2 H, R) and 13-5 loss to Texas A&M (0.2 IP, H).

Wade Korpi (LHP, Fr. … Lake Worth, FL)

• Ranks 2nd on staff in ERA (2.89), innings (9.1) and groundout/flyout ratio (2.0), also 3rd in strikeouts (5), low hit avg. (9.6/9 IP), 4th in groundouts (11.6/9 IP) and 5th in leadoff on-base pct. (.556), opp. 2-out batting (.200) and Ks/9 IP (4.8).

• Had no-decision as starter vs. Florida A&M (4-3; 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R/2 ER, 5 BB, 3 Ks) … pitched in relief during 13-9 (2 IP, BB, K) and 11-10 (2 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, K) losses to Dayton.

Derik Olvey (RHP, So. … Pelham, AL)

• Ranks 3rd on staff in strikeouts (5), Ks per 9 IP (5.9), opp. leadoff on-base pct. (.500) and opp. batting by RH hitters (.278), also 4th in opp. batting with runners on (.286) and groundout/flyout ratio (1.3) and 5th in ERA (4.70)..

• Missed most of ’04 season due to tendonitis, making return in 2-1 loss at UCF (3 IP, 4 H, R, BB, K) … also pitched in 13-9 loss vs. Dayton (3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 Ks) and 13-5 loss vs. Texas A&M (IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, HB).

Jess Stewart (RHP, So. … Manassas, VA)
• Leads staff in ERA (2.35) and opp. batting by RH hitters (.250), also 2nd in overall opp. batting (.267), leadoff on-base pct. (.444), batting with runners on (.188), groundouts per 9 IP (12.9) and low hits per 9 IP (9.4), 3rd in opp. 2-out batting (.125), 4th in groundouts (11) and innings (7.2) and 5th in opp. LH batting (.286).

• Posted 4-2 win at UCF (5.1 IP, 5 H, UER, 3 BB, K) before pitching in 11-10 loss to Dayton (2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, K).

Joey Williamson (RHP, Fr. … Lantana, FL)

• Leads staff in strikeouts (7), Ks per 9 IP (10.5) and groundout/flyout ratio (2.7), also ranking 3rd in ERA (4.50), groundouts per 9 IP (12.0) and batting by LH hitters (.143) … averaging 22.5 outs per 9 IP via Ks or GOs.

• Helped hold game before Irish rallied for 4-3 win over Florida A&M (3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks) … suffered 11-10 loss to Dayton, in 11 innings (2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R/1 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks) … pitched in 13-5 loss vs. Texsa A&M (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB<>