April 3, 2005

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2005 NOTRE DAME BASEBALL – Week 7 – at Rutgers (April 4)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY – The Notre Dame baseball team (13-10, 3-1 BIG EAST), coming off a 6-1 homestand and winners of four straight, has spent the entire weekend in rain-soaked Piscataway but still is hopeful for playing two games vs. BIG EAST rival Rutgers (13-9, 3-1) … ND and RU are slated to start their doubleheader at 11:00 a.m. EDT (10:00 in South Bend) on Monday, April 4 (per BIG EAST policy, no inning will start after 4:30) … ND is expected to send junior LHP Tom Thornton (5.35, 2-3, 6 GS, 33.2 IP, 17 Ks/13 BB, 38 H/.288) and sophomore RHP Jeff Samardzija to the mound while RU will counter with junior RHP OJ DeChristofano (5.86, 3-1, 6 GP/4 GS, 27.2 IP, 17 Ks/9 BB, 35 H/.324) and senior RHP Aaron Kalb (5.27, 2-1, 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 18 Ks/13 BB, 33 H/.292) … four other BIG EAST series will be looking to complete play on Monday … Boston College (4-1) posted an 8-2 win at last-place Seton Hall (1-4) on Sunday while St. John’s (2-1) shut out Pittsburgh in a 2-0 game that dropped the Panthers to 1-4 … West Virginia notched a 7-6, 2-9 split at Connecticut (2-2) while Villanova earned a 9-4, 0-4 split vs. Georgetown (in Bethesda) as both teams moved to 3-3 … Paul Mainieri, now in his 11th season at ND and 23rd overall as a college head coach, heads into the RU series with a 795-461-2 career record that includes a 464-182-1 record with the Irish.

RADIO, LIVE-STATS & HOTLINE – All of Notre Dame’s 2005 regular-season and postseason games again will be broadcast by South Bend-based WDND 1580 AM (and its sister station, WNDV 1490) … the broadcasts are available via the internet at www.und.com (College Sports Pass subscription required) … und.com also provides links to livestats on the website’s main page, for all home games and select road games (RU will provide GameTracker stats, with links on und.com) … call the ND Sports Hotline at 574-631-3000 for schedule and result information for all varsity sports currently in season (from the main menu, select “4” and then select “1” for baseball information).

SERIES NOTES – ND holds a 20-12 series edge vs. Rutgers (7-4 at RU) and has won 16 of the last 21 (4 straight), including a lateseason sweep at Eck Stadium in 2004 (1-0, 7-1, 5-3; see below) … the teams met six times in both ’02 (ND won 4) and ’03 (3-3 split) … ND holds a 5-4 edge in the BIG EAST Tournament, including title games won by RU in ’98 and ND in ’02 and ’03 … the series has featured its share of blowouts (8 decided by 8-plus runs) and tense finishes (16 decided by 1-2 runs, with 10 won by ND) … the series includes two shutouts for both teams.

RECAPPING THE ’04 ND-RU SERIES (1-0, 7-1, 5-3) – Grant Johnson (7 IP/CG, 4 H, BB, 3 Ks, 25 BF, 85 pitches) and Chris Niesel (7 IP, R, 8 H, BB, 9 Ks, 107 pitches) picked up the doubleheader wins while Jack Egbert (6 IP, R, 6 H, BB, 2 Ks) and Aaron Kalb (4 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks) suffered the losses … Matt Macri (5-for-6) led the ND offense in the doubleheader, including a 3rd-inning RBI single in the opener (scoring Cody Rizzo, who was HBP) … Steve Andres had an RBI double and 2-run HR in game-2 while Graig Badger had 5 of RU’s 13 hits in the two games … the first Sunday-night game in Eck Stadium history then drew 2,382 fans (3rd-most in Eck history) as Tom Thornton took a no-hitter into the 6th to pick up the win (8 IP, 2 R, 5 H, BB, 8 Ks, 9 GO, 109 pitches, retired 7-of-8 leadoff batters) … Macri and teammate Matt Edwards (plus RU’s Jeff Frazier) each homered in the series finale, held on graduation day … Craig Cooper (2 R) and Steve Sollmann (R, BB) added 2-hit games to complete the sweep … Macri hit 7-for-10 in the series, Cooper 6-for-10 (3 R, 2 2B, 3 SB) … ND held a .318-.216 hitting edge in the series while both teams had just one error … the ND staff posted a 1.44 series ERA (22 Ks, 5 BB in 25 IP) while the RU staff had a 5.32 series ERA … Johnson, Niesel and Thornton combined for a 1.23 Era and .218 opp. batting in the series (20 Ks, 3 BB, 17 H in 22 IP) … the series opener remains one of just six 1-0 games in the 113-year history of ND baseball.

THE 2003 BATTLES – The Knights won the ’03 series at RU (2-0, 2-10, 3-5 in 19) … th3 19-inning loss at RU is believed to be the longest game in ND history (also the longest BIG EAST game and tied for 10th in NCAA record book) … that game featured 511 pitches, 144 batters and 44 baserunners (24 left on, 6 thrown out, 7 doubled up) … Steve Sollmann’s 2-run shot broke up Aaron Kalb’s no-hitter in that game but RU tied the game in the 9th (2-2) on a close play at 1st that led to the tying run scoring during the argument (both teams then scored in the 15th) … RU’s Graig Badger had an unusual 0-for-9 game but had the tapper that led to the E-1 and the tying run in the 9th … the game ended on a Steve Normane HR … Chris Niesel (6 IP, 6 H, BB, 2 Ks) posted the shutout in the ’03 opener, Steve Andres was the offensive hero (HR, RBI single), Matt Macri made a 360-play at SS to save 2 runs and Jack Egbert took the loss (7 IP, 7 H, BB, 4 Ks) … Shaun Parker won the ’03 nightcap (5.2 IP, R, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 Ks), John Axford took the loss (3.2 IP, 6 R, 3 H, 6 BB, 2 HB, 2 WP, 4 Ks) … ND beat RU in the winners-bracket game of the ’03 BIG EAST Tournament, 9-3, led by Ryan Kalita (7 IP, R, 7 H, BB, 6 Ks) and Cody Rizzo (3-for-3, 2-run 2B, 2 R, 2 sliding catches) … RU later stayed alive at the ’03 BET in a wild game (ND rallied from down 9-1 to up 11-9 but lost 15-11) … Matt Laird’s first start since 2000 then delivered the first repeat BIG EAST champs since ’86, with an 11-3 win over RU (Laird’s stats: 9 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, BB, 6 Ks , hard-luck loser in 19-IP gm) … Matt Edwards had a 3-run double in the 1st and Javi Sanchez completed a tournament MVP performance.

IT’S ALL THEIR FAULT – Notre Dame would be riding a 403-game scoring streak if not for one game, an 11-0 loss to Rutgers, late in the 2002 season …that game ended ND’s team-record scoring streak at 231 (stretching from 2/26/99-5/4/02) but the Irish have scored in every game since that loss (171) for the 2nd-longest scoring streak in the program’s history … ND has scored in virtually every game of the 11-year Paul Mainieri era (99.91%; 641 of 647).

Tom Thornton CAREER STATS (LHP, Jr., 6-6/220; Middleboro, MA … 2004 Preseason All-BIG EAST) … see PDF for 03-05 stats and career totals

THORNTON’S SITUATIONAL PITCHING – Has allowed 46% of leadoff batters to reach (avg. of 4.1 per 9 IP) while allowing opponents to hit .271 with runners on base but just .195 with 2 outs … has totaled nearly the same number of groundouts (36) as flyouts (43) … averaging 5.2 IP per start … his 9-inning averages include 4.5 Ks, 3.5 walks, 10.2 hits allowed and 9.6 groundouts … LH batters are hitting just .222 vs. him in ’05 (6-for-27; .305 by RH batters).

MORE THAN JUST A STUDENT OF THE GAME – Tom Thornton is one of several ND players who are strong candidates for 2005 Academic All-America honors, taking a 3.46 cumulative GPA into the ’05 spring semester as a double major in anthropology and film, television and theater (he earned Academic All-District honors in 2004 and advanced to the Academic All-America ballot).

Tom Thornton 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

Jeff Samardzija CAREER STATS (RHO, So., 6-5/215; Valparaiso, IN … 2004 Freshman All-American) … see PDF

2005 Situational: .347 opp. batting with runners on, .422 with 2 outs, 30% of leadoff batters reached (2.7 per 9 IP)2005 Nine-Inning Averages: 11.5 hits, 3.6 walks, 6.5 Ks, 12.6 groundouts (avg. 19.1 outs via Ks or GOs)

Jeff Samardzija 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

SWIMMING THROUGH DANGEROUS WATERS – Jeff Samardzija will be looking to rediscover his strong situational pitching from 2004, when he held teams to just .261 batting with runners on base and .228 with 2 outs … both of those numbers have risen significantly in ’05, as opponents are batting .347 vs. Samardzija with runners on base and .422 with 2 outs (well above his .302 overall opp. batting avg.).

STENCIL THEM IN – Two ND players have started all 23 games this season, with freshman 2B Brett Lilley the only one to do so at the same position … senior Matt Edwards (16 starts at 1B, 7 at 3B) is the only player to hit in the same spot (3-hole) in all 23 games.

RED RATIO UPDATE – ND assistant coach David “Red” Grewe tracks a special ratio to gauge the Irish batters plate discipline: walks plus hit-by-pitch minus strikeouts … the ’04 ND squad was +23 in the “Red Ratio,” easily the best mark of the Paul Mainieri era (dating back to ’95; avg. ratio of -31 from ’95-’03) … freshman 2B Brett Lilley is +20 (15 BB, 14 HBP, 9 Ks) in the Red Ratio while the rest of the team is +36 … other top ratios on the ’05 team include: junior OF/1B Craig Cooper (+14), senior 1B/3B Matt Edwards (+11) and junior RF Cory Rizzo (+10), with the rest of the team (not including Lilley) combining for just a -19 ratio.

HBP HIGHWAY ROLLS ON – Notre Dame remains on pace for a record team hit-by-pitch total, with 55 HBPs in the first 23 games (that would factor out to 134 in the 56-game regular season, well ahead of the team record of 106/5th in NCAA history set in ’04) … in fact, the Irish may break the NCAA record for HBPs in a season, set by Nevada in 1997 (125) … freshman 2B Brett Lilley has racked up 14 HBPs, just two shy of joining teammate Cody Rizzo (28 in ’03, 21 in ’04) as the only ND players with more than 15 HBPs in a season … other 2005 HBP leaders include Rizzo (9) and his fellow junior OF Alex Nettey (7).

NEW-LOOK LINEUP – ND has played most of the season without junior DH and 2004 RBI leader Matt Bransfield (broken hand in ’05 opener; recently returned after missing 18 games), meaning that the typical 2005 batting order has included the option of using just five returning starters (junior OFs Steve Andres, Craig Cooper and Cody Rizzo, senior 1B Matt Edwards and junior SS Greg Lopez) … some of newcomers to the lineup have more than held their own, as freshman 2B Brett Lilley (.384), freshman LF/DH Tony Langford (.368), junior CF Alex Nettey (.333) and freshman 3B Ross Brezovsky (.313) rank 1-3-4-5 on the team batting charts while sophomore C Sean Gaston has dipped to .268.

FIRST-INNING FOCUS – Recent seasons have seen the Irish struggle with 1st-inning run production in the early games but ND now has totaled 28 runs in the 1st inning this season … the Irish have scored 1st-inning runs in 13 of the past 19 games, after failing to plate a 1st-inning run during opening week in Orlando … ND’s top scoring margins for the ’05 season have come in the 4th (+20; 29-9) and 1st (+12; 28-16) innings.

HIT MASTERS – Senior 1B/3B Matt Edwards has hits in 19 of 23 games this season (18 of past 20, including 8- and 10-game hitting streaks) while leading the team in multi-hit games (11) and multi-RBI games (9) … others of note include freshman 2B Brett Lilley (7 multi-hit), junior OF Craig Cooper (7 multi-RBI) and junior CF Alex Nettey (team-best 12-game hitting streak) … Edwards and Nettey are the only ND players with hitting streaks longer than 7 games (Cooper has a 7-game hit streak but no other player has collected hits in more than 5 straight games).

NETTEY NEARLY THERE – Junior CF Alex Nettey’s active 12-game hitting streak is close to ranking among the longest by an ND player during the past five seasons (’02-’05) … his classmate Steve Andres had a team-best 13-game hitting streak in the 2004 season while former 2B Steve Sollmann was the only member of the ’03 team with a hitting streak longer than 12 games (he had a 15-game midseason hit streak and then closed the year with hits in the final 13 games) … CF Steve Stanley’s 13-game hitting streak was the longest for the 2002 College World Series team.

EDWARDS LAUNCHES THREE HOME RUNS – Matt Edwards joined an elite group of ND players by launching three home runs while driving in six runs, in the 9-5 in over Western Michigan (March 29) … Edwards, who also twice was walked intentionally by WMU, is the first ND player to hit three home runs in a game since All-America 3B Brant Ust homered vs. three different pitchers in a 1998 game at Seton Hall … sophomore RHP Derek Schlecker served up the first two Edwards home runs, the first coming with 2 outs in the 1st when he left a 1-0 slider up and over the plate (Edwards drove the ball into the wind and over the leftfield fence) … two innings later, Edwards delivered on another 1-0 pitch, turning on a high fastball and driving it over the leftfield fence for a 2-run shot … Edwards then greeted senior RHP Tim Bebber in the 7th, working ahead in the count (2-0) before pulling a belt-high fastball down the leftfield line and out of the park for a booming 3-run shot shot …Ust had been the program’s only player with three home runs in a game since the early 1990s, when 1B Jon Binkiewicz had 3-HR games vs. Evansville and Michigan in a 12-day stretch of the ’91 season … the 113-year history of Notre Dame baseball now has seen just seven players hit three home runs in a game (a total of eight times) – with Edwards, Ust and Binkiewicz the only players to do so in nearly 50 years … one of the top players for Notre Dame’s first College World Series team, Jim Morris, had 3 HRs in a game vs. Naval Air Station during that 1957 season … one must go back 23 seasons before that to find another 3-HR, by Andy Pilney vs. the University of Chicago in 1916 … Jake Kline – the Hall of Fame coach who will be honored at Eck Stadium during the Villanova series in late April (when a bust of the former Irish coach will be unveiled in the stadium concourse area) – was the second ND player ever to hit three home runs in a game, doing so in a 1916 game vs. Michigan (Jerry Sheehan is the first known to have a 3-HR game, vs. Hillsdale in 1906).

THAT WAS NOTHING … – The last time Matt Edwards had hit three home runs in a game was when he had a 4-HR game as a 14-year-old at a Virginia AAU state tournament … in fact, he hit nine home runs and a double in his first 11 at-bats of that tournament, while playing with the Richmond Virginians.

RECORD-BOOK WATCH – Matt Edwards – who missed most of his freshman season due to injury and has the option to apply for a 5th year of eligibility in ’06 – already ranks 10th in ND history with 29 career home runs … he is averaging one home run every 5.3 games played in his ND career (155 GP) … Edwards is on pace for 22 home runs in the 56-game regular season (the ND record of 20 HRs was set by two-sport star Frank Jacobs, in ’91) … since the college bat standards changed in the late 1990s, the top ND season home run totals are owned by Brian Stavisky (14, in 2000) and Matt Macri (14, in ’04) … Edwards also has racked up 35 RBI in 23 games this season, putting him on pace for 85 RBI in the regular season (All-American Dan Peltier owns the record with 93 RBI, in ’89) … Edwards’ 162 career RBI are four shy of cracking that ND top-10 list … he also owns a .775 season slugging pct. (8 2B, 69 TB) that would challenge Peltier’s standing ND record (.783, in ’89) … Edwards has 13 walks and 5 hit-by-pitch this season for a .477 on-base pct. and 1.252 OPS (combined on-base and slugging) that is shy of Peltier’s record (1.296, in ’89).

TIMELY HOMESTAND – Notre Dame just completed a 7-game homestand in which the Irish pitchers compiled a 2.90 staff ERA while holding the opponents to a .260 batting avg. and 2.3 K-to-walk ratio (45/20) … the ND batters hit .313 in the seven home games while averaging more than 10 runs per game (73).

LEAPING LILLEY – Rookie 2B Brett Lilley is on pace for one of the top offensive seasons ever compiled by an ND freshman … Lilley’s .384 season batting avg. would rank as the best by an ND freshman in the 11-year Paul Mainieri … only two ND freshmen ever have posted a higher season batting avg. (Eric Danapilis with .429 in ’90 and Scott Sollmann’s .402 in ’94, followed by Brant Ust’s .372 in ’97) … Lilley – who has 15 walks and 14 HBPs – owns a .553 season on-base pct. would shatter the ND record held by Danapilis (.531, in ’91; Danapilis also holds the ND freshman record, with a .509 OB in 1990) … current junior RF Cody Rizzo (28 in ’03, 21 in ’04), Danapilis (15, in ’93) and Javi Sanchez (15, in ’04) are the only ND players ever to total more HBPs in a season than Lilley’s current total of 14 … Lilley is on pace for an ND-record 34 HBPs plus 37 walks in the 56-game regular season (he even could have a rare 40 HBP, 40 BB season) …

PROCEED TO FIRST – Junior RF Cody Rizzo was hit-by-pitch six times in the 7-game homestand, giving him 9 HBPs for the season and 58 in his career (his 28 HBPs in 2003 and 21 in ’04 are the most in ND history) … Rizzo now is tied for 9th on the NCAA career HBP list (former Cal State Fullerton 2B David Bacani and Clemson SS Khalil Greene, the ’02 national player of the year and current big-leaguer with the San Diego Padres, also had 58 career HBPs) … Bacani played at ND’s Eck Stadium in the 1999 NCAA South Bend Regional while Greene and his Clemson teammates shared the 2002 College World Series stage with the Irish (Greene edged former Notre Dame CF Steve Stanley for several ’02 national player-of-the-year honors) … Rizzo is on pace for 22 HBPs in the 2005 regular season (56 games), which would push his career total to 71 (that would rank 4th in ND history) … Rizzo’s career avg. is 0.44 HBPs per game … at that pace, Rizzo would need to play 211 games (80 more) in order to break the NCAA record set by San Francisco’s Tony Hurtado (’97-’00) – meaning he essentially would break the ND record late in the 2006 season.


MORE ON RIZZO AND THE BASEPATHS – Cody Rizzo’s first two seasons with the Irish (’03 and ’04) featured a total of just 15 walks (4 in ’04) and 6 stolen bases but he already has matched that BB total with 15 walks in ’05 while owning a team-best 8 stolen bases (in 9 attempts).

FIVE-HIT HOME DEBUT – First-year 2B Brett Lilley turned in a 5-for-5 game vs. Cincinnati on March 22, becoming the first ND freshman ever to produce five hits in a home opener … Lilley is one of 29 all-time ND players with five-plus hits in a game (done 31 total times) and is just the second to do so in a home opener … LF Allen Greene needed extra innings to complete the feat during the home opener of his sophomore season in 1997, batting 5-for-6 in an 8-7, 12-inning win over IUPUI … the 5-foot-7 Lilley joins another short list as one of four ND freshmen ever to post a five-hit game at any time in their debut season … current sophomore C Sean Gaston went 5-for-6 early in the 2004 season vs. Florida Memorial (at FAU) while CF Scott Sollmann hit 5-for-6 at Purdue in his freshman season (5/10/94) and 1B Joe Binkiewicz had a 5-for-5 game vs. Dayton as a rookie (5/20/89) … each of the above four players is a lefthanded hitter – in fact, 10 of the past 17 Irish players to get five-plus hits in a game have been lefthanded or switch-hitters … starting with Steve Stanley late in the ’01 season, five of the past seven to do so have hit from the left side (also Brian Stavisky and Paul O’Toole in ’02 and Gaston in ’04, plus righthanders Steve Sollmann in ’02 and Matt Macri in ’04) … Sollmann (6-for-7 vs. South Alabama in the 2002 NCAA regionals) and his former teammate Alec Porzel (6-for-6 vs. Pittsburgh, in 2001) share the Notre Dame record for hits in a game.

DOUBLE DISTINCTION – The 2005 season already has seen one Notre Dame player (Brett Lilley) register a five-hit game while another (Matt Edwards) has knocked out three home runs in a game … just two previous seasons (1906 and ’98) in the program’s 113-year history have seen a 5-hit game and 3-HR game from ND players … Clarence “Jerry” Sheehan smacked three HRs vs. Hillsdale on April 23, 1906 … two weeks later, his teammate John Brogan had a 5-hit game vs. Rose Poly (May 7) and Sheehan then had a 5-hit game of his own the next week at DePauw (May 15) … the 1906 season remained alone in that unique distinction until 1998, when 1B Dan Leatherman was an unlikely 5-hit producer (April 23, vs. Toledo) followed two days later by All-America 3B Brant Ust’s 5-for-5, 3-HR game at Seton Hall … Sheehan, Ust and Joe Binkiewicz remain the only players ever to have a 5-hit and 3-HR game during their ND careers (Binkiewicz went 5-for-5 vs. Dayton in ’89 and then had a pair of 3-HR games, vs. Evansville and Michigan, in the ’91 season).

DOHERTY REMAINS IN RANGE OF RECORDS – Junior All-America closer Ryan Doherty’s career stats have him in position to challenge ND record for career Ks per 9 IP (12.17), low hits per 9 IP (6.37) and K-to-walk ratio (3.89) … two of those standing records – 12.66 Ks/9 IP and 6.27 H/9 IP – were set 40 years ago by Dan McGinn (’64-’65) … Doherty’s former teammate Chris Niesel ended his career in ’04 with the K-to-BB record (4.09) … Doherty’s career ERA has risen a bit this season (from 2.30 to 2.67) … his 17 career saves trail only John Corbin (20; ’97-’00) and J.P. Gagne (19; ’00-’03) in the ND record book … his next strikeout will be the 100th of his ND career … Doherty has converted 16-of-18 save chances the past two seasons and has allowed just 3-of-24 inherited baserunners to score in the ’04 and ’05 (2-of-7) seasons.

NOTRE DAME 2005 CAREER STAT UPDATES (as of April 3)(Note: see PDF for each players yearly and career stats)

Steve Andres (OF, Jr., Bats: Left … Napa, CA … 2004 NCAA South Bend Regional All-Tournament Team)
• Ranks 4th on team in times hit-by-pitch (5) … batting 2-for-13 since Spring Break (7 GP)
Situationally Speaking – batting .209 vs. RHPs (0-for-3 vs. LHPs) … owns a .214 leadoff on-base pct. … hitting .222 with runners on base, .167 (1-for-15) with runners in scoring position and .214 with 2 outs (5 RBI) … 0-for-1 with bases loaded … 1-for-2 as a pinch-hitter
Lineup Notes – his 12 starts include 6 in LF, 5 as DH, 1 at C … has 9 starts in cleanup spot (2 in 7-hole, 1 in 8-hole)
BIG EAST Stats – hit 1-for-5 last week vs. Georgetown and Seton Hall (4 GP/1 GS, RBI, R, 2B, BB, K) … a .306 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (32 RBI, 5 HR) … hit .338 vs. BIG EAST teams in ’04 (17 RBI, 3 HR, 2 3B, 6 2B, 15 BB)
Career vs. Rutgers – hit .292 with 8 RBI vs. RU in ’03 and ’04 (7-for-24, 2 HR, 3B, 2B, 4 R, 4 BB, 7 Ks, SB, 7 GP)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .200 in limited action (1-for-5, RBI, R, 2B, 2 BB, K)
Spring Break Stats – hit .333 with 5 RBI and 2 HR (6-for-18, 6 R, 5 BB, 3 Ks)
Top ’05 Games – repeated as all-tournament selection at 2005 Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic (.500, 5-for-10, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 Ks) … homered at the ACIBC vs. Oral Roberts and in 3rd-place game vs. Southwest Missouri (2 RBI, 2 R in both games, added 2 BB vs. SMS) … hit HR in 2nd AB of season, vs. Florida A&M

Matt Bransfield (DH/1B/C, Jr., Bats: Right … Englewood, CO)
• Suffered broken hand in first plate appearance of season (vs. Florida A&M) before missing 18 games … returned to action on March 26 vs. Seton Hall.
BIG EAST Stats – a .303 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (46-for-152, 33 RBI, 8 HR) … led BIG EAST with 33 RBI in 2004 conference games while batting .303 with 6 HRs (5 2B, 10 BB, 3 HBP, 14 Ks)
Career vs. Rutgers – hit .238 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. RU (5-for-21, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 Ks)

Ross Brezovsky (3B, Fr., Bats: Left … Naples, FL)
• Leads team in triples (2), also 3rd in doubles (3), 5th in batting avg. (.313), slugging pct. (.418) … looking to end 4-for-21 slump (.191) in past 8 GP
Situationally Speaking – Leads team with .600 batting (6-for-10) vs. LHPs (.263 vs. RHPs), also 5th on team in batting with runners on base (.359) … owns a .263 leadoff on-base pct. … hitting .320 with runners in scoring position, .200 with 2 outs (2 RBI) … 0-for-4 with bases loaded … 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
Lineup Notes – His 17 starts include 15 at 3B and single starts at LF and SS … has hit mostly in 8-hole (7 games), plus 4 as leadoff hitter and 3 starts in both 7- and 9-hole
BIG EAST Stats – hit 0-for-4 last week vs. GU and SHU (3 GP/1 GS, 2 Ks)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit 2-for-10 in platoon duty (2 R, 3 BB, 2 Ks, SAC, E)
Spring Break Stats – hit .273 in 5 games (6-for-22, 3 R, 3B, 3 Ks, 2 Es)
Top ’05 Games – plated Alex Nettey with groundrule double to end 4-3 win over Florida A&M … closed Dayton series with 3-for-4 games (2 R, HBP; 10-11) … hit 3-for-5 vs. Oral Roberts (R) en route to earning all-tournament spot at Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic (.357, 5-for-14, 3 R, 3B, 2 Ks, E)

Craig Cooper (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Plainview, NY … 2nd Team All-BIG EAST in 2004)
• Leads team in walks (16), also 2nd in RBI (19) and stolen bases (6), 3rd in hits (24), slugging pct. (.444), home runs (3), doubles (3), total bases (36), 4th in on-base pct. (.436) and starts (21), and 5th in runs (17) … one of four ND players to appear in all 23 games.
Situationally Speaking – 2nd on team in 2-out batting (.400) and 2-out RBI (6), 3rd in batting with runners in scoring position (.400), 5th in batting vs. RHPs (.323; batting just .188 vs. LHPs) … also owns .417 leadoff on-base pct. while batting .357 with runners on base … 0-for-2 with the bases loaded … 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter … has struck out “looking” just once this season.
Lineup Notes – His 21 starts include 8 in LF, 5 at 1B, 4 in CF, 3 in RF, 1 at DH … has hit mostly cleanup (7) or in 5-hole (6), plus starts in 6th (4), 7th (3) and leadoff (1) spots
Career vs. Rutgers – owns team-best .381 batting in previous gms vs. RU (8-for-21, 2 RBI, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 5 SB)
BIG EAST Stats – led team by hitting .571 (4-for-7) last week vs. GU and SHU (4 GP/2 GS, 2 RBI, R, 5 BB, 2 SB, E) … a .396 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (42-for-106, 25 RBI, 3 HR) … led BIG EAST players with in 2004 conference batting avg. (.470), slugging (.712) and on-base (.545), adding 16 RBI, 3 HR, 7 2B, 11 BB, 10 Ks, 6 SB)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .368 with 6 RBI in 7 GP (7-for-19, 5 R, HR, 7 BB, HBP, K, 2 SB, E)
Spring Break Stats – hit .333 with 5 RBI and a HR (8-for-24, 4 R, 2B, 4 BB, 2 Ks, SB)
Top ’05 Games – hit 2-for-4 in early loss at Central Florida (1-2) before helping beat Knights in 4-2 game (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB) … went 3-for-4 in first win over Southwest Missouri (2 RBI, 2 R, HR) … also homered vs. South Dakota State (2 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB) and Cincinnati (1-for-3, 2 R, BB, SB)

Matt Edwards (1B, Sr., Bats: Right … Mechanicsville, VA … First Team All-BIG EAST in 2003)
• Leads team in seven major categories – RBI (35), home runs (9), slugging pct. (.775), runs (27), hits (28), doubles (8) and total bases (69) – plus 2nd in batting avg. (.382) and on-base pct. (.477), and 4th in walks (13) … joins Brett Lilley as only players to start all 23 games … has hits in 18 of past 20 games (with 8- and 10-game hit streaks)
Situationally Speaking – Owns team-best .630 leadoff on-base pct., also 2nd in batting with runners on base (.374) and in scoring position (.405) and batting vs. RHPs (.400; just .286 vs. RHPs) … batting just .185 with 2 outs (5 RBI) … hitting 2-for-5 with the bases loaded
Lineup Notes – his 23 starts include 16 at 1B and 7 at 3B … has made all his starts batting in 3-hole
Career vs. Rutgers – hit .286 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. RU (8-for-28, 3 RBI, 3 R, HR, 2B, 4 BB, SB)
BIG EAST Stats – led ND regulars by batting .357 (5-for-14) last week vs. GU and SHU (5 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, HBP, SB) … a .317 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (66-for-208, 52 RBI, 9 HR) … hit just .250 during 2004 BIG EAST regular-season games (17 RBI, 3 HR, 4 2Bs, 11 BB, 22 Ks)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .417 with 14 RBI and 4 HR in 7 GP (10-for-24, 9 R, 3 2B, 6 BB, HBP, K, SF, SB, E)
Spring Break Stats – hit .391 with 10 RBI and 2 HR (9-for-23, 6 R, 2 2B, 4 BB, K, SF, 3 Es)
Top ’05 Games – first ND player since ’98 to hit 3 HR in game (vs. Western Michigan, 6 RBI, 2 IBB) … homered in opener vs. Florida A&M (RBI, 4 R, 2B, BB, HBP) … his 8-for-17 Dayton series included HR in 10-2 win (2 RBI, 3 R) … launched grand slam vs. Texas-San Antonio and homered next day vs. Southwest Missouri, as part of his all-tournament performance at the Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic … added HRs at Evansville and in game-2 vs. Georgetown … hit 2-for-4 in home opener vs. Cincinnati (3 RBI, 2B)Sean Gaston (C, So., Bats: Left … Brownsburg, IN)
• 2nd on team in sac. bunts (4), also 4th in RBI (12), runs (18) and starts (21), and 5th in hits (22) and games played (21) … looking to halt 5-for-30 slump (.167) in past 8 games
Situationally Speaking – ranks 5th on team in leadoff on-base pct. (.467) … also batting .226 with runners on, .212 with runners in scoring position and .179 with 2 outs … hitting .294 vs. LHPs, .262 vs. RHPs … 1-for-3 with the bases loaded
BIG EAST Stats – hit .214 (3-for-14) last week vs. GU and SHU (4 GS, 2 RBI, R, K,SAC, SB) … hit .077 in limited action during 2004 BIG EAST regular season (1-for-13, RBI, R, 2 BB, 2 Ks)
Lineup Notes – has made all 21 of his starts at catcher while batting allover the lineup, with 6 starts in the 6-hole plus starts in the 5th (4), 8th (4), 7th (3), 2nd (2) and 4th (2) spots
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .136 in 6 GS (3-for-22, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 Ks, 2 SAC, SB)
Spring Break Stats – hit .280 with 4 RBI in Round Rock and San Antonio games (7-for-25, 5 R, 2B, HBP, K)

Top ’05 Games – hit 4-for-6 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, R) … went 3-for-4 in second game vs. Southwest Missouri (RBI, 3 R, HBP) and 3-for-5 to help spark comeback win over Northern Illinois (RBI, 3 R, 2B)

BRETT LILEY (2B, Fr., Bats: Left … North Canton, OH)
• Leads team in batting avg. (.384), on-base pct. (.553) hit-by-pitch (14) and sac. bunts (5), also 2nd in runs (20), hits (28) and walks(15), 3rd in stolen bases (4), and 4th in RBI (12) and total bases (29) … joins Matt Edwards as only players to start all 23 games
Situationally Speaking – leads team in batting with runners on base (.441) and in scoring position (.455), 2-out batting (.500), 2-out RBI (7), pct. of baserunners advanced (74%) and batting vs. RHPs (.414; just .267 vs. LHPs), plus 2nd in leadoff on-base pct. (.630) … batting 2-for-4 with the bases loaded … has struck out looking just once all season.
Lineup Notes – has made all 23 of his starts at 2B while batting mostly in the 2-hole (16, plus 7 at leadoff)
BIG EAST Stats – hit .333 (4-for-12) in action vs. GU and SHU (RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, HBP, 2 Ks, 2 SAC, 1-2 SB)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – led team with .478 batting (11-for-23, 6 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, HBP, 3 Ks, 3 SAC, 3 SB, E)
Spring Break Stats – hit .368 and scored 6 runs in Round Rock and San Antonio (7-for-19, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 5 HBP, 4 Ks)
Top ’05 Games – became first ND freshman ever to post 5-hit game in home opener (vs. Cincinnati, 2 RBI, R, 2 SB) … hit-by-pitch 4 times (one shy of tying NCAA record) in 4-2 win over Central Florida (1-for-1, R) … hit 3-for-4 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, 2 R, 2B, BB, HBP)

Greg Lopez (SS, Jr., Bats: Right … Upper Arlington, OH … Third Team All-BIG EAST in 2004)
• Ranks 2nd on team in RBI (19) and doubles (4), 3rd in starts (22), 4th in total bases (29) and 5th in hits (22) … one of four ND players to appear in all 23 games this season
Situationally Speaking – ranks 3rd on team in 2-out batting (.286; 2 RBI) and batting with runners on base (.371), 4th in batting vs. LHPs (.353) … also owns a .444 leadoff on-base pct. and .320 batting with runners in scoring position … hitting .353 vs. LHPs, .276 vs. RHPs … batting 2-for-3 with bases loaded … has stuck out looking just once this season.
Lineup Notes – had made 22 starts at SS (plus at 3B, vs. Chicago State) while batting in the 9th (14) and 8th (8) spots
Career vs. Rutgers – hit .200 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. RU (2 RBI, R, BB, K, CS)
BIG EAST Stats – hit .231 (3-for-13) last week vs. GU and SHU (3 RBI, 2 R, 3 2B, 2 BB, 3 Ks, SF, 4 Es) … .326 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (56-for-172, 23 RBI) … hit .353 in ’04 BE regular-season games (10 RBI, 8 2B, 5 BB, 11 Ks)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .320 in 7 GS (8-for-25, 5 RBI, 6 R, 4 2B, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 2 SF,SAC, 6 Es)
Spring Break Stats – hit .200 with 3 RBI in Round Rock and San Antonio games (4-for-20, 3 R, 3 BB, HBP, 6 Ks, SF)
Top ’05 Games – help Irish rally to 4-3 win over Florida A&M (2-for-4, R) … hit 3-for-3 in 11-10 loss to Dayton (4 RBI, R, SAC, SF) … had 3 RBI in comeback win over Northern Illinois (1-for-3, R, SF) … had 3 doubles in game-2 vs. Georgetown (2 RBI, R, BB)

Alex Nettey (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Dolton, IL)
• Ranks 3rd on team in hits (24), doubles (3), total bases (32), hit-by-pitch (7) and stolen bases (4), 4th in batting (.333) and slugging (.444), 5th in on-base (.435) and runs (17) … enters RU series riding a team-best and career-best 12-game hitting streak (18-for-49, 9 RBI, 13 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 BB, 5 HBP, 3 SB) that has boosted his season avg. from .261 to .333
Situationally Speaking – ranks 4th on team in leadoff on-base pct. (.526), batting with runners in scoring position (.381) and batting vs. RHPs (.333), plus 5th in 2-out batting (.259; 3 RBI) and batting vs. LHPs (.333; also batting .333 vs. RHPs) … hitting .324 with runners on … 1-for-1 with the bases loaded … has struck out “looking” just once all season
Lineup Notes – has made all 19 starts in CF, batting mostly leadoff (10), plus starts in 9th (6), 2nd (2) and 8th (1) spots
Career vs. Rutgers – has played sparingly vs. the Knights (1-for-3, R, SB, 5 GP)
BIG EAST Stats – hit .250 (4-for-16) last week vs. GU and SHU (2 RBI, 3 R, HR, 2B, BB, HBP, 2 Ks, SAC, SB) … hit .167 in limited duty during 2004 BIG EAST regular-season games (1-for-6, 3 R, BB, SB)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .321 in 7 GP (9-for-28, 6 RBI, 9 R, HR, 2B, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 5 Ks, SAC, 2 SB)
Spring Break Stats – hit .353 in Round Rock and San Antonio games (6-for-17, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 3 BB, HBP, K, SB)
Top ’05 Games – doubled and scored game-ending run vs. Florida A&M (4-3; 2-for-3) … hit 3-for-4 vs. Oral Roberts (RBI, R, 2B) as all-tournament pick at Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic (.385, 5-for-13, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 1-2 SB) … had 2-run HR for only hit in game-2 vs. Georgetown (1-for-7, SAC) … 2-for-3 vs. Western Michigan (RBI, 3 R, BB, HBP)

Cody Rizzo (OF, Jr., Bats: Right … Temecula, CA)
• Leads team in stolen bases (8), also 2nd in team in walks (15) and hit-by-pitch (9), 3rd in on-base pct. (.464), runs (18) and doubles (3), and 5th in games played (21) … looking to end 3-for-16 slump (.188) in past 9 games
Situationally Speaking – 2nd on team in 2-out RBI (6) … owns a .412 leadoff on-base pct. while batting .324 with runners on, .250 with runners in scoring position and .250 with 2 outs … hitting .298 vs. RHPs but just .083 (1-for-12) vs. LHPs … yet to bat with the bases loaded this season.
Lineup Notes – has made all 20 of his starts in RF while batting mostly in 5th (8) and 6th (7) spots, plus 4 in 7th, 1 in 8th
Career vs. Rutgers – hit .241 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. RU (7-for-29, 3 RBI, 8 R, 2B, 4 BB, 5 Ks)
BIG EAST Stats – hit .286 (2-for-7) vs. GU and SHU (3 GS, RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 HBP, 3 SB) … .273 career hitter vs. BIG EAST teams (48-for-176, 29 RBI, 2 HR) … hit .262 in ’04 BIG EAST regular season (17 RBI, HR, 3B, 5 2B, 9 HBP, 12 K)
Homestand Stats (March 22-30) – hit .250 in 6 GP/5 GS (3-for-12, RBI, 8 R, 5 BB, 6 HBP, K, 6 SB)
Spring Break Stats – hit .111 in Round Rock and San Antonio games (2-for-18, 2 R, 3 BB, HBP, 6 Ks, SB)
Top ’05 Games – hit 3-for-5 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B, SB) … helped Irish rally past Northern Illinois (2-for-2, RBI, 2 R, 3B, BB, HBP)

Danny Dressman (OF, So., Bats: Right … San Jose, CA)
• 2nd on team with 4 sacrifice bunts … 1-for-3 as a pinch-hitter … has made 3 starts in LF and 3 as DH, batting 2-hole in 3 of those games (also leadoff, 5th and 6th)
Bench Boost – has hit just 3-for-23 (.130, 2 RBI) this season as a starter but has delivered off the bench, batting 7-for-15 (.467, 8 RBI) in games while playing as a reserve … has sparked the Irish off the bench vs. Florida A&M (3-for-4, 3 RBI, R, BB), South Dakota State (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Chicago State (2-for-2, 3 RBI, R, 3B, BB)

Mike Dury (1B/LHP, So., Bats: Switch … Indianapolis, IN)
• Has made all 8 of starts as DH while batting mostly in 6-hole (5), plus starts in cleanup, 5th and 7th spots … hit 2-for-4 vs. Texas State (2 RBI, SF) and 2-for-5 in home opener vs. Cincinnati (RBI, R, 2B) … launched 3-run HR from right side and RBI double from left side vs. Chicago State (3-for-4, 2 R, HBP)

Tony Langford (IF, Fr., Bats: Right … Fort Worth, TX)
• Has made 5 starts in LF and 4 as DH, batting mostly in 7-hole (7; plus starts as #5 and #8 batter) … hit 3-for-4 in his first start, vs. Southwest Missouri (3 RBI, R, BB), followed by 2-for-4 game vs. Evansville (2B) and 2-for-5 vs. South Dakota State (RBI) … added 3-for-6 effort in game-2 vs. Georgetown (RBI, 2 R, 2B)

(see PDF for career stats of other players/pitchers)

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL 2005 ROSTER (as of Feb. 23; see PDF)