March 6, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
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(Note: see PDF link for complete game notes.)

The Notre Dame baseball team (3-4) – ranked as high as 17th in the national polls – returns to the road this week by playing seven games in eight days at the Kennel Club Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. (the Irish also played in the 2000 KCC) … ND’s starting pitcher rotation (in order) is slated to include sophomore RHPs Chris Niesel and John Axford, followed by senior RHPs Ryan Kalita and Peter Ogilvie … the Irish open play on Saturday, March 8 (3:00 p.m. at host North Florida’s Harmon Stadium) vs. a 9-5 Vanderbilt team that already has posted three wins at the KCC … the Commodores have not announced a starter but the Irish could face sophomore Jeremy Sowers, one of the nation’s top-rated young LHPs … the Irish – coming off a landmark 2002 season that ended with a trip to the College World Series (the program’s first CWS appearance since ’57) – already have played four games vs. teams ranked in the top 20 (three in the top seven).

ND’s Kennel Club Classic Schedule

Sat., March 8 – vs. Vanderbilt (3:00 p.m.)

Sun., March 9 – at North Florida (3:00 p.m.)

Mon., March 10 – vs. Navy (2:00 p.m.)

Wed., March 12 – at Jacksonville (7:00 p.m.)

Thur., March 13 – vs. E. Illinois (5:00 p.m.)

Fri., March 14 – vs. Navy (4:00 p.m.)

Sat., March 15 – vs. Creighton (noon)

All games at North Florida’s Harmon Stadium, except JU and CU (@JU’s Brest Field)

FOLLOWING THE ACTION – ESPN Radio 1620 (WDND) and its sister station WDNV 1490 AM again will provide commercial broadcasts of the entire ND season … bonus gametracker “live stats” may be available, based on phone-line availability (check main page for links when applicable).

ND QUICK NOTES – Junior 2B Steve Sollmann was named BIG EAST player of the week after hitting 8-for-17 in the season-opening four games … senior RHP J.P. Gagne (6 shutout IP) then was named BIG EAST pitcher of the week for his win in the 13-inning game vs. #7 Wake Forest at Minnesota’s DQ Classic … the seven freshman position players combined to hit .389 (21-for-54) in opening week while the offense enjoyed one its most productive opening weeks in recent memory (.367 batting, 36 runs; compared to .273, 22 R in first four games of ’02).