March 8, 2006
IRISH SET FOR ANNUAL VISIT TO SAN ANTONIO – The Notre Dame baseball team (2-5) will be looking to rediscover its winning ways while spending spring break in the familiar locale of San Antonio – at double-A Wolff Stadium – for the new UT San Antonio Classic and the traditional Irish Baseball Classic … the first games are vs. a Texas A&M team that is 13-3 and has cracked the national top-25 polls (March 10; 7:00 central), Iowa (March 11; 11:00; and March 13; 7:00) and Illinois (March 12; 7:00) … ND already has suffered several tough losses – including a pair of one-run games in Millington, Tenn., in which the Irish held late leads but gave up costly unearned runs (7-6 vs. Memphis, in 10; 4-3 vs. Oklahoma), and three games at Minnesota’s DQ Classic in which ND batted a combined 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position … two of the DQC losses came vs. pitchers ranked among the top-15 pro propects in all of college baseball (Nebrasja’s Joba Chamberlain and Arizona’s Mark Melancon … the Arizona game (2-0, in 10) marked ND’s second extra-inning loss of the young season … the Irish entered 2006 with the nation’s seventh-best winning pct. of the 2000s (now .721; 281-108-2) … the veteran Irish lineup returns 8-of-9 position starters, with six seniors in the regular lineup … ND’s pitching staff is fronted by a seasoned three-man rotation that includes senior LHP Tom Thornton and a pair of junior RHPs (Jeff Manship and Jeff Samardzija) who are rated among the nation’s top 100 prospects) … those three pitchers and sophomore LHP Wade Korpi combined for a 1.17 ERA as the opening-week starters … the Irish in 2005 won an unprecedented fourth straight BIG EAST tournament title before advancing to the NCAA Regional final for the sixth straight season, en route to a 38-24-1 final record.
** Note – see PDF for complete notes and also check back to und.com throughout spring break for updated notes, including player bio. capsules. **