Feb. 12, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team was well represented in Baseball America’s 2009 season preview. The Irish, picked to finish second in the BIG EAST, was projected to reach the NCAA Tournament’s field of 64.
Notre Dame was penciled into the Irvine Regional as the fourth seed. UC Irvine was the host and top-seed, while Stanford (#2 seed) and defending national champion Fresno State (#3 seed) rounded out the regional.
The Irish had three players listed among the top 50 in their respective class. LHP Sam Elam (Sr., Mesquite, Texas) was rated the 39th-best senior in the nation, while OF A.J. Pollock (Jr., Hebron, Conn.) was the 10th-ranked junior and RHP Evan Danieli (East Hanover, N.J.) was the 48th-rated sophomore.
Pollock not only was named all-BIG EAST, but was also listed by the publication as a first team All-American. He and Louisville third baseman Chris Dominguez were the only two BIG EAST players honored.
Pollock has already been named a second team Louisville Slugger pre-season All-American by Collegiate Baseball and preseason first team all-BIG EAST by the coaches. Pollock has also been named to the Wallace Award Watch List and listed as the 39th overall prospect, 16th collegiate prospect and top overall prospect from the BIG EAST Conference for the 2009 MLB Draft by Baseball America. He was also ranked as the seventh-best prospect from the Cape Cod League by Baseball America following his Most Valuable Player season this past summer.
Sophomore RHP Brian Dupra (Rochester, N.Y.) was also named the first team all-BIG EAST relief pitcher. Danieli and Dupra were ranked as the second and third best prospects in the league heading into the 2010 MLB Draft.
Notre Dame opens the 2009 spring season on Feb. 20-22 with the BIG EAST vs. Big Ten Challenge in Tampa, Fla. The Irish will face Ohio State (Fri.), Illinois (Sat.) and Purdue (Sun.).
— ND —