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May 6, 2005

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2005 NOTRE DAME BASEBALL – at St. John’s (May 7-8)

PRIMETIME SERIES – The Notre Dame baseball team (27-15-1, 10-4-1 BIG EAST) returns from its finals break for a showdown series at St. John’s … all three games of next weekend’s series at St. John’s will be telecast live nationally, respectively by ESPNU (May 7, noon EDT/11:00 in South Bend), ESPN2 (May 7, 6:00 p.m.) and CSTV (May 8, noon) … ND played five games in six days before the six-day break from competition for final exams … the Irish are making their first roadtrip in four weeks … Paul Mainieri, in his 11th season at ND and 23rd overall as a college head coach, heads into the SJU series with an 809-466-3 career record (.634) that includes 478-187-2 (.718) with the Irish … he recently became the 27th active Div. 1 coach with 800-plus career wins as a college head baseball coach … in addition to the many noteworthy accomplishments on the field by Mainieri’s players, the Irish baseball program also owns a 100% graduation rate during the Mainieri era (59-of-58, among 4-year players, with 11 others who signed professionally as juniors having returned to complete or near completion of their degree requirements).

UPDATED BIG EAST STANDINGS
Team (W-L, Pct.; Remaining Series)
1. St. John’s (13-4, .765; Notre Dame … bye … at Villanova)
2. Boston College (14-5, .737; Pittsburgh … bye … at UConn
3. Notre Dame (10-4-1, .700; at St. John’s … at Pittsburgh … West Virginia
4. Rutgers (9-9, .500; bye .. at Georgetown … Seton Hall
5. Pittsburgh (8-8, .500; at Boston College … Notre Dame … at Georgetown)
6. Connecticut (8-9, .471; bye … at Seton Hall … Boston College)
7. Villanova (7-11-1, .395; bye .. West Virginia … St. John’s)
8. Georgetown (6-13, .316; bye … Rutgers … Pittsburgh)
9. West Virginia (5-11, .313; Seton Hall … at Villanova … at Notre Dame)
Seton Hall (5-11, .313; at West Virginia … UConn … at Rutgers)

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS – Notre Dame starting pitchers (in order) are slated to be sophomore RHP Dan Kapala, junior LHP Tom Thornton and sophomore RHP Jeff Manship while SJU is expected to counter with junior RHP Anthony Varvaro, senior RHP Jim Wladyka and sophomore RHP Anthony Sullivan.

RADIO, LIVE-STATS & HOTLINE – All of Notre Dame’s 2005 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 most road games … 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).

Notre Dame-St. John’s Series (ND Leads 16-7 … 10-2 in last 12)
At ND: ND leads 7-5
At SJU: ND leads 6-2
Season Series Won: ND 4, SJU 2 (1 split)
BE Tournament: ND leads 3-0
One-Run Wins: ND 4, SJU 4
Series Continuous Since: 1998

Date … Site … Result
4/4/96 … ND (7) … W, 7-3
5/17/96 … BET-1 … W, 4-0
5/9/98 … ND (7) … L, 0-3
5/9/98 … ND … W, 2-1
5/10/98 … ND … L, 5-6
5/14/98 … BET-1 … W, 3-2
5/15/99 … SJU (7) … L, 4-5
5/15/99 … SJU … W, 5-2
5/16/99 … SJU … L, 5-14
4/29/00 … ND (7) … W, 8-3
4/29/00 … ND … L, 4-6
4/30/00 … ND … W, 9-8
4/28/01 … SJU (7) … W, 3-2
4/28/01 … SJU … W, 5-0
4/29/01 … SJU … W, 7-3
4/16/02 … ND (7) … W, 4-1
4/16/02 … ND … L, 3-4
4/17/02 … ND … W, 5-2
4/6/03 … SJU (7) … W, 11-3
4/6/03 … SJU … W, 18-3
4/12/04 … ND (7) … W, 7-1
4/12/04 … ND … L, 1-2
5/28/04 … BET-3 … W, 9-2

Series Scoring (Total; Avg.) Notre Dame (129; 5.6) St. John’s (76; 3.3)

ND Most Runs: 18 (2003)
ND Widest Margin: 15 (18-3, 2003)
SJU Most Runs: 14 (1999)
SJU Widest Margin: 9 (14-5, 1999)
High-Scoring Game: 21 (ND 18-3, ’03)
Low-Scoring Game: 3 (ND 2-1, ’98)
ND Win Streak: 6 (2000-02)
Shutouts By: ND 2, SJU 1

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

THORNTON’S SITUATIONAL PITCHING – Has allowed 39% of leadoff batters to reach (avg. of 3.6 per 9 IP) while allowing opponents to hit .302 with runners on base but just .239 with 2 outs … has totaled nearly the same number of groundouts (88) as flyouts (80) … averaging 562 IP per start … his 9-inning averages include 4.1 Ks, 2.0 walks, 9.7 hits allowed and 11.2 groundouts … LH batters are hitting just .269 vs. him in ’05 (.279 by RH batters).

MORE THAN JUST STUDENTS OF THE GAME – Tom Thornton – now 4-1 in his last 5 decisions with the Irish – and junior SS Greg Lopez (3.36 GPA; anthropology and pre-professional science) currently are under consideration for 2005 Academic All-America honors .. .Thornton took 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)

FAMILY CONNECTIONS – The probable starters for game-2 of this weekend’s series, ND junior LHP Tom Thornton and SJU senior RHP Jim Wladyka, have several unique family connections … Wladyka’s father Joe runs various high school baseball showcases in the New Jersey area and it was at one of these events that ND head coach Paul Mainieri volunteered to give Wladyka’s daughter Beth a tour of Notre Dame … Beth ended up attending (and graduating) from Notre Dame, as did her brother Joe, Jr. (who also attended walk-on tryouts with the ND baseball team one season) … the connection to Thornton came in 2001 when the elder Wladyka thought that the intellectual pitcher and Notre Dame would be a good fit … Thornton and the Irish coaches eventually chose one another and the rest is history.

TALL TOM TERRIFIC – Junior LHP Tom Thornton is the first pitcher in the 11-year Paul Mainieri era to toss three consecutive 9-inning complete-game victories … Thornton’s season ERA dropped from 5.59 to 3.84 during that stretch of three straight 9-inning CGs.

AMONG THE BIG EAST STAT LEADERS – Tom Thornton ranks 2nd among the league’s pitchers in starts (11), 4th in complete games (4) and innings (70.2) and 5th in wins (5-4) … in league games only, he ranks 3rd in wins (4-1), 5th in ERA (2.31; 3rd among starters) and 8th in innings (39.0)

BIG EAST Leaders in Conference ERA
1. Robert Brant (Pittsburgh) … 0.00 (16.2 IP)
2. Craig Hansen (St. John’s) … 1.48 (24.1 IP)
3. Anthony Varvaro (St. John’s) … 1.95 (37 IP)
4. Thomas Braun (Georgetown) … 2.03 (31 IP)
5. Tom Thornton (Notre Dame) … 2.31 (39 IP)

WALK IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD – Notre Dame pitching coach Terry Rooney preaches the value of low walk totals to his pitchers and the Irish staff has responded by averaging just 2.3 walks per 9 IP (35 in 140.0) during the current 13-1-1 streak … ND was just 14-14 at the 28-game point, with a staff avg. of 3.9 BB per 9 IP in those games (143 in 385.2) … junior LHP Tom Thornton has led the way in stamping out walks during the past month, as he has issued just one free pass in his last four outings (spanning 32.0 innings).

IT’S ALL THEIR FAULT – Notre Dame would be riding an NCAA-record 422-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 (190) for the 2nd-longest scoring streak in the program’s history … ND has scored in virtually every game (all but six) of the 11-year Paul Mainieri era (99.09%; 660 of 666).

Dan Kapala CAREER STATS (RHP, So., 6-5/225 … Royal Oak, MI) … see PDF for yearly stats and career totals

Kapala’s 2005 Situational Stats: 35% of leadoff batters reached (3.2 per 9 IP) … .239 opp. batting with runners on and .283 with 2 outs … has limited LH batters to .197 hitting in ’05 but .325 by RH hitters

Kapala’s 2005 Nine-Inning Averages: 10.0 hits, 3.0 walks, 4.0 Ks, 11.2 groundouts (avg. 15.2 outs via Ks or GOs)

Dan Kapala 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

SHINING STARTER – Sophomore RHP Dan Kapala was a top setup pitcher for the Irish in 2004 and for the first half of the ’05 season before being shifted into a weekend starter role, in part due to the injury problems with three pitchers (senior RHP John Axford and sophomore RHPs Jeff Manship) and a slow start to the season from two-sport standout Jeff Samardzija (a sophomore RHP who wrapped up spring football on April 23) … the first start of Kapala’s career was a tough task on the road, facing Boston College ace Mike Wlodarczyk (one of the top candidates for BIG EAST pitcher of the year) in the first game of that series … Kapala allowed just one earned run in the first four innings that day before tiring in the 5th – but he now has won his last three starts in fairly impressive fashion, with a 3.15 ERA and .276 opp. batting avg. in those games (20 IP, 21 H, 7 Ks, 5 BB, .276 opp. avg.), lowering his season ERA to 3.80 (.278 opp. avg.) … Kapala beat UConn (8 IP) and Villanova (7 IP) in back-to-back complete games to give the Irish series-opening wins.

MILESTONE MARKERS – The following players are approaching (or recently reached) statistical milestones in their ND careers:
Steve Andres – 98 hits, 86 runs
Matt Bransfield – 105 hits
Craig Cooper – 95 runs, 102 RBI
Greg Lopez – 89 RBI, 85 runs
Matt Edwards – 181 RBI, 45 doubles, 83 walks
Cody Rizzo – 81 RBI

CONFERENCE COMMAND – Through 10 seasons of play in the BIG EAST, Notre Dame has remained a consistent presence atop the league standings:
• Paul Mainieri owns the top winning pct. in BIG EAST history (.741; 167-58-1, in BIG EAST regular-season games)
• ND’s .724 overall win pct. (437-166-2) during the past 10 seasons (’96-’05) is best among any BIG EAST team
• St. John’s owns the best BIG EAST Tournament winning pct. during the past 10 seasons (.579; 11-8) but the Irish are next at .563 (21-14)
• ND has totaled 65 BIG EAST series wins, 14 series ties and just 11 series losses
• The Irish have been swept just seven times in 87 all-time BIG EAST doubleheaders (with ND sweeping 50 of them, plus 30 splits)
• ND’s dominance in the league over the past seven seasons (’99-’05) has produced a .750 win pct. (124-41-1)

STENCIL THEM IN – Two ND players have started all 43 games this season: freshman 2B/3B Brett Lilley and senior Matt Edwards (1B/3B/DH) … Edwards is the only player to hit in the same spot (3-hole) in all 43 games.

NOTRE DAME PROBABLE LINEUP (* indicates lefthander hitter, ** indicates switch hitter)

Pos. – Player, Yr./Ht./Wt., Hometown … 2005 Statistics and Notes
CF – #16 Alex Nettey, Jr./6-1/200, Dolton, IL … .301, 17 RBI, 2 HR … 31 R, 2 3B, 6 2B, 9 HBP, 6 SB … Car.: .271, 25 RBI, 2 HR, 51 R, 11 2B, 16 BB, 9-15 SB
3B – #2 Brett Lilley*, Fr./5-7/165, North Canton, OH … .372, 19 RBI … 39 R, 4 2B, 27 BB, 20 HBP, 9-15 SB … ’04 Hoover HS (SS): .375, 5 RBI, 16 ABs (hand injury) … ’03 Canton Central Catholic HS: .469, 45 R, 15 2B
1B – #14 Matt Edwards, Sr./6-2/195, Mechanicsville, VA … .367, 54 RBI, 12 HR … 44 R, 15 2B, 23 BB, 6 HBP … ’04: .310, 10 HR, 54 RBI … 13 2B, 32 BB, 3B, 48 R … career: .347, 32 HR, 181 RBI, 45 2B, 83 BB … ’03: 1st team all-BIG EAST, 2nd team all-region
LF – #9 Craig Cooper, Jr./6-2/220, Plainview, NY … .307, 39 RBI, 5 HR … 8 2B, 12-14 SB, 31 R, 23 BB … ’04: .360, 10 HR, 48 RBI…12-17 SB,42 R,13 2B, 25 BB … career: .327, 15 HR, 102 RBI, 34-44 SB, 27 2B, 95 R … 1st player ever to lead BE in avg. (.470), OB, slug. (’04)
DH – #12 Matt Bransfield, Jr./6-1/205, Englewood, CO – .333, 11 RBI … 11 R, 4 2B, 8 BB (20 GP/injured) … ’04: .306, 12 HR, 58 RBI … 3 3B, 12 2B, 44 R, 22 BB … career: .312, 12 HR, 79 RBI, 19 2B, 33 BB, 68 R
RF – #17 Cody Rizzo, Jr./6-1/200, Temecula, CA … .235, 14 RBI, 2 HR, 3B,5 2B,29 R,20 BB,13 HBP,11 SB … ’04: .263, 4 HR, 29 RBI … 5 2B, 39 R, 21 HBP, 5-6 SB … career: .278, 10 HR, 81 RBI, 21 2B, 121 R, 17-22 SB … top HBP seasons in ND history (28 in ’03; 62 total)
C – #11 Sean Gaston*, So./6-0/185, Brownsburg, IN … .289, 23 RBI … 24 R, 5 BB, 3 HBP, 4-4 SB … ’04: .316, 11 RBI … 11 R, 3 2B, 5 BB (23 GP/illness) … Career: .297, 34 RBI … 35 R, 7 2B, 10 BB, 8-8 SB
2B – #7 Ross Brezovsky*, Fr./5-10/170, Naples, FL … .276, 16 RBI … 22 R, HR, 2 3B, 7 2B, 12 BB, 3 SB … ’04 Collier HS: .390, 21 RBI, 10 SB (2nd team all-state)
SS – #4 Greg Lopez, Jr./6-0/185, Upper Arlington, OH … .292, 29 RBI, 2 HR … 29 R, 3B, 5 2B, 7 BB, 13 HBP … ’04: .332, 2 HR, 34 RBI … 39 R, 14 2B, 10 SAC, 4-5 SB … career: .292, 4 HR, 89 RBI, 85 R, 20 2B, 22 SAC … 3rd team all-BIG EAST (’04)

OFF THE BENCH – 2005 Statistics and Notes
LF – #36 Steve Andres*, Jr./5-10/200, Napa, CA … .222, 17 RBI, 4 HR … 22 R, 3B, 4 2B, 16 BB, 5 HBP … ’04: .320, 8 HR, 39 RBI … 44 BB, 13 2B, 4 3B … career: .284, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 86 R, 7 3B, 19 2B, 79 BB
DH – #3 Tony Langford, Fr./5-11/175, Fort Worth, TX … .304, 18 RBI, 2 HR … 10 R, 6 2B, 2 BB, SB … ’04 FWCDHS: .413, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 8 2B
OF – #6 Danny Dressman* So./5-9/180, San Jose, CA … .288, 10 RBI … 9 R, 3B, 2 2B, 4 BB, 4 SAC, 1-2 SB … ’04: .264, 18 RBI … 25 R, 7 2B, 18 BB, 2-4 SB, 5 SAC … career: .272, 28 RBI, 3B, 9 2B, 34 R, 22 BB, 3-6 SB
IF – #5 Eddie Smith*, Jr./5-11/165, Olympia, WA … .304 (16 GP/2 GS), 2 RBI … 2 R, BB, 2 HBP … ’04 Centralia CC: .307, 38 R, 8 2B, 11 SB, 18 HBP
1B – #44 Mike Dury**, So./6-5/230, Indianapolis, IN … .200 (27 GP/10 GS), 8 RBI, HR … 2 2B, 5 R, 2 BB … ’04: .250, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 HBP … career: .214, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 2 2B, 9 R, 5 BB
C – #25 Nick Mainieri, Jr./5-11/180, South Bend, IN … 9 GP (1-for-5, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB) … ’04: 6 GP, 3 R, 2 BB

SJU SERIES BULLPEN – 2005 Statistics and Notes
RHP – #45 Jeff Samardzija, So./6-5/215, Valparaiso, IN … 4.41, 5-0, 10 GP/6 GS, 51 IP, 37 Ks, 17 BB, 60 H/.290 … ’04: 2.95, 5-3, 20 GP/6 GS, 64 IP,42 K,17 BB,50 H/.209 … Car.: 3.60, 10-3,30 GP/12 GS, 115 IP,79 K,34 BB, 110 H/.247
RHP – #20 Derik Olvey, So./6-2/205, Pelham, AL … 3.58, 2-1, 53 IP, 117 GP/5 GS, 40 H/.279, 13 BB, 28 K … ’04: 3.52, 1-0, 4 GP/2 GS, 15.1 IP, 14 H/.241, 3 BB, 7 K … Car.: 3.57, 3-1, 17 GP/5 GS, 53.0, 58/.279, 13 BB, 28 K
LHP – #13 Wade Korpi, Fr./5-10/190, Lake Worth, FL … 5.44, 3-1, 15 GP/6 GS, 43 IP, 27 Ks, 25 BB, 61 H/.347 … ’04 Santaluces HS: 1.19, 10-0 ,65 IP, 125 K,28 BB,28 H
RHP – #47 Ryan Doherty, Jr./7-1/255, Toms River, NJ … 4.50, 1-2, 5 SV, 26 IP, 15 GP, 25 H/.260, 13 BB, 31 Ks … ’04: 2.38, 5-1, 34 IP, 46 K, 11 BB, 19 H, .160 opp. avg. … converted 12-of-13 saves (’04), 1-of-17 IBR scored … car.: 2.94, 8-3, 18 SV, 88.2 IP, 121 K, 35 BB, 65 H/.203
RHP – #32 Jess Stewart, So./6-3/215, Manassas, VA … 2.31, 1-1, 8 GP/3 GS, 11.2 IP, 15 H/.306, 6 BB, 3 Ks … ’04: 3.38, 7-1, 12 GP/8 GS, 40 IP, 41 H/.270, 8 BB,20 K … Car.: 3.14, 8-2, 20 GP/11 GS, 51.2 IP, 56 H/.279, 14 BB, 23 K
RHP – #3 Tony Langford, Fr./5-11/175, Fort Worth, TX … 3.72, 2-0, 10 GP, 9.2 IP, 9 H/.273, 5 BB, 6 Ks … ’04 FW Country Day: 1.11, 5-3, 50 IP, 81 Ks, 18 BB
LHP – #33 Scott Bickford, Sr./6-5/170, Owings, MD … ’05: 4.42, 2-1, 15 GP, 18.1 IP, 3 BB, 12 Ks, 19 H/.257 … career: 4.96, 2-1, SV, 32.2 IP, 27 K, 10 BB, 34 H/.258
LHP – #44 Mike Dury, So./6-5/230, Indianapolis, IN … 2.20, 16.1 IP, 15 GP, 18 H/.290, 3 BB, 7 Ks … ’04: 1.88, 2-0, 14.1 IP, 11 GP, 13 H/.255, 4 BB, 10 K … career: 2.05, 3-0, 26 GP, 30.2, 32 H/.274, 7 BB, 17 Ks
LHP – #51 Joey Williamson, Fr./6-1/190, Lantanta, FL … 7.40, 1-1, 11 GP/2 GS, 20.2 IP, 16 Ks, 9 BB, 34 H/.362 … ’04 Santaluces HS: 0.57, 9-1 ,68 IP, 90 Ks, 22 BB, 54 H
LHP – #24 David Gruener, Fr./6-2/210, Gig Harbor, WA … 6.27, 0-1, 18.2 IP, 13 GP, 28 H/.350, 9 BB, 9 Ks … ’04 Life Christian Acad.: 1.90, 4-1, 30 IP, 65 Ks, 5 BB
RHP – #38 Tyler Jones, Sr./6-4/210, Arlington, TX … 5.06, 0-0, 7 GP, 5.1 IP, 8 H/.333 … ’04: 9 GP, 14 R/13 ER, 3 K/4 BB, 17 H … car.: 7.71, 3-1, SV, 32 GP/2 GS, 37.1 IP, 24 Ks, 15
RHP – #49 John Axford, Sr./6-6/190, Port Dover, ONT … 4 GP/1 GS, 7 ER, 0-1, 3 H, 8 BB, 3 Ks (inj. rehab) … Car.: 4.52, 14-6, 35 GP/26 GS, 143.1 IP, 125 H, 136 K

FAR AND WIDE – Notre Dame’s 2005 roster includes players from 15 states and Canada, with no more than four players from any state … the breakdown includes 4 from Indiana, 3 each from California, Florida and Texas, and a pair each from Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, plus players from Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Ontario … the 11-year Paul Mainieri era has featured players from 35 states (plus Canada), those listed above plus: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oregon … the list of all-time ND baseball monogram winners includes players from 44 states (all but Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Vermont), plus Canada and Panama.

OUTFIELD MERRY-GO-ROUND – Notre Dame entered the 2005 season with a trio of juniors returning as starters in the outfield (LF Steve Andres, CF Craig Cooper and RF Cody Rizzo) but there has been a steady variety of lineups in the OF this season as the Irish look for consistency from that group … another junior, Alex Nettey, actually has emerged as the starter in CF and is doing a solid job as well batting from the leadoff spot … freshman Tony Langford, a prep infielder, even has been used significantly as a starter in LF … here’s a breakdown of the OF starting assignments so far in 2005:

Notre Dame’s 2005 Starting Outfielders
Left Field: Craig Cooper (14 starts), Tony Langford (13), Steve Andres (11), Danny Dressman (4), Ross Brezovsky (1)
Center Field: Alex Nettey (39), Craig Cooper (4)
Right Field: Cody Rizzo (31), Craig Cooper (9), Tony Langford (2), Danny Dressman (1)

TALE OF THE TAPE – see PDF for statistical comparisons of ND and SJU

SERIES NOTES – ND leads the series with SJU 19-7 (6-2 at SJU), with the Irish winning 10 of the last 12 … ND has won four of the previous series while SJU has won two (one game in ’96, dnp in ’97, split in ’04) … the series has featured 8 one-run wins (4 each) … SJU’s 3-0 win at ND on May 9, 1998, remains one of only two shutout losses for the Irish at Eck Stadium during the Paul Mainieri era (since ’95, a span of 313 games) … ND has lost just seven three-game BIG EAST series during 11 seasons of league play, with SJU owning two of them (’98, ’99) … Aaron Heilman’s 2-1 loss to SJU in ’98 was one of just seven losses in his 43-7 career … ND won the first two games of the SJU series (7-3, 4-0, in ’96) but the teams alternated victories in the next 10 games … the ND-SJU series featured just one regular-season game in 1996 and ’97 due to weather (ND also beat SJU in the ’96 BIG EAST Tournament, 4-0) … the teams then split four games in 1998 (SJU won a series at ND but the Irish won a BIG EAST Tournament meeting later in that ’98 season) and also split a 2004 doubleheader at Eck Stadium, with ND winning the BET rematch.

FRIEND OR FOE? – This weekend’s series will be extra special for ND junior OF/1B Craig Cooper, a Long Island native from Plainview who starred at Chaminade HS and with the Oyster Bay Yellow Jackets … Cooper and SJU’s Chris Joachim were teammates on the Long Island team at the 2001 Empire State Games … ND sophomore LHP/1B could face one of his summer-league teammates this weekend, as Dury and SJU’s Greg Thomson played for the Madison (Wis.) Mallards of the Northwoods League during the summer of ’04.

EN GARDE! – Notre Dame and St. John’s are starting to develop a steady baseball rivalry but the teams have been longtime rivals in other sports such as fencing and men’s soccer … SJU was the only team that qualified the maximum 12 fencers for the recent 2005 NCAA Fencing Championships (a combined men’s and women’s event) but Notre Dame surged to win its seventh NCAA title, despite having just 11 competitors (ND became the first team ever to win the NCAA fencing title without the full allotment of fencers) … one year earlier, the ND men’s soccer team beat SJU to claim that program’s first-ever BIG EAST Tournament title (in the fall of ’03).

Notre Dame Career Stats vs. St. John’s
Lopez – 4 GP/3 GS, .727 (8-for-11), 3 R, 2B, 2 Ks, 2 RBI
Andres – 5 GP/3 GS, .500 (5-for-10), 2 R, 2 2B, 3B, 4 BB, K, 2 RBI
Edwards – 5 GS, .421 (8-for-19), 8 R, 3 HR, 3B, BB, 2 Ks, 7 RBI
Rizzo – 5 GS, .400 (6-for-16), 8 R, HR, 3B, 2B, BB, 3 Ks, 4 RBI
Bransfield – 4 GP/3 GS, .400 (4-for-10), 2 R, 3B, 3 BB, K, 2 RBI
Cooper – 4 GS, .333 (4-for-12), 4 R, 2 BB, 2 RBI, SB
Gaston – 2 GS, 0-for-5, BB, K
Nettey – 2 GP, R
Dressman – GP, RBI
TOTALS – .427 (35-for-82), 28 R, 4 HR, 4 3B, 4 2B, 12 BB, 10 Ks, 2 SB

Player G/GS W-L (SV) IP H R ER K/BB WP/HB ERA
Samardzija – 0.00, GS, 0-1, 7.1 IP, 2 H, 2 UER, 2 BB, K
Doherty – 0.00, GP, 0-0, 1.0 IP, H
Axford – 1.42, GS, 1-0, 6.1 IP, 3 H, R, 5 Ks, 6 BB
TOTALS – 0.61, 1-1, 14.2 IP, 6 H 3 R, 1 ER, 7 Ks, BB

ST. JOHN’S CAREER STATS VS. NOTRE DAME
Joe Burke – 3-for-10 (.300), 2 RBI, R, 2 2B, K, PB
Eddie Schultz – 3-for-11 (.273), 2 RBI, 2 BB, K, CS
Jim Martin – 7-for-26 (.269), 3 R, 2B, 3 Ks, 3 Es
Chris Joachim – 1-for-5 (.200), 2 R, BB, HBP
P.J. Antoniato – 2-for-11 (.182), HBP, K, CS
Greg Thomson – 1-for-11 (.091), K
Blake Hershelman – 1-for-14 (.071), RBI, 4 Ks, 2 Es
Kevin Devenney – 0-for-3, SAC
TEAM TOTALS – 18-for-91 (.198), 5 RBI, 5 R, 3 2B, 3 BB, 2 HBP, SAC, CS, 5 Es, PB

Anthony Varvaro – 3.38 ERA, 0-1, 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 7 R/2 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 99 pitches (64 strikes)
Anthony Sullivan – 7.73 ERA, 2 GP, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, HBP, 3 WP
Jim Wladyka 12.00 ERA, 0-2, 2 GS, 6.0 IP, 13 H, 9 R/8 ER, 3 BB
Craig Hansen – 14.73 ERA, 0-1, SV, 2 GP/1 GS, 7.1 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 4 BB, 6 Ks, HB
Ryan Delaney – 27.00 ERA, 0-1, GS, 1.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R/3 ER, BB
TEAM TOTALS – 11.05 ERA, 0-5, SV, 8 GP, 22.0 IP, 42 H, 35 R/27 ER, 11 BB, 8 Ks, 3 WP, 2 HB

ND-SJU SERIES STATS (vs. Pitchers)

vs. Varvaro (2004)
Andres – 1-for-3, K … KS, 3-1, 1B-MI
Bransfield- 0-for-2, BB, R … BB/R, FF-6, FC
Edwards – 0-for-3, R … P-6, 4-3, E5D/R
Rizzo – 2-for-3, RBI, R, 3B, 2B … 2B-RL/R, 6-3, 3B-RC/RBI
Cooper – 0-for-2 … P-4, 6-3
Gaston – 0-for-2, BB … BB, 6-3 MI, F-7
Lopez – 3-for-3, RBI, 2 R … 1B-7/RBI, 2B-RC/R, 1B-MI/R
Totals – 6-for-18 (.333), 2 RBI, 5 R, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, K

vs. Wladyka (2003)
Edwards – 0-for-2 … L-6, 1B-7
Rizzo – HR-RC/RBI
Andres – BB
Lopez – 1-3/SAC

vs. Sullivan (2004; 2 GP)
Dressman – F-7/SF/RBI … P-7
Lopez – advanced on 2 WP … 1B-9
Edwards – on-base/R, HBP
Bransfield – F8-LC
Andres – 3B-RC
Cooper – 1B-7/RBI/R
Nettey – pinch-runner/R
Totals – 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3B, HBP 2 WP

vs. Hansen (2003 and 2004)
Edwards – 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, SB … ’03: 643/GDP, 3B-RL/R, 1B-7/SB/R … ’04: 643/GDP
Rizzo – 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, K … ’03: KS, 1B-6/RBI/R, 1B-5/RBI/R … ’04: 1B-7
Cooper – 1-for-1, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R, SB … ’03: 1B-LS/SB/R, BB/R, BB/RBI
Lopez – ’04: 1B-RS
Gaston – ’04: 4-3 GDP
Bransfield – ’04: KS
Andres – ’04: 4-3
Totals – 7-for-13 (.539), 3 RBI, 6 R, 3B, 2 BB, K, 2 SB, 3 GDP

vs. Delaney (2004 BET)
Bransfield – 1B-8/R
Andres – 2B-RC/2 RBI

vs. Samardzija (2004)
Antoniato – 0-for-3 … 5-3, 5-3, L-4
Martin – 0-for-3 … F8-RC, 4-3, E4F
Hershelman – 0-for-2, 2 Ks … 6-3, KS, KS
Burke – 1-for-3, RBI, R, 2B … 4-3, 3U, 2B-7/RBI/R
Schultz – 1-for-2, BB, RBI, CS … 6-3, BB, 1B-8/RBI/CS
Devenney – 0-for-2, SAC … 5-3, F-7, 1-4/SAC
Totals – 2-for-15 (.133), 2 RBI, R, BB, 2 Ks, CS, SAC

vs. Doherty (2004; 2 GP)
Antoniato – KS … 1-3
Martin – F8-RC … 463 GDP
Hershelman – KS
Totals – 0-for-5, 2 Ks, GDP

DUCK CALL – Notre Dame and St. John’s both have placed multiple players with the Madison Mallards summer-league team (of the Northwoods League) during the past few years … former ND catcher Javi Sanchez and former SJU shortstop Mike Rozema became good friends as Mallards teammates in the summer of ’03, with current ND pitcher Tyler Jones and former Irish 1B/LHP Joe Thaman also playing on that team … current Notre Dame LHP/1B Mike Dury and SJU’s Greg Thomson were teammates on the 2004 Madison Mallards while Dury and his classmate, OF Danny Dressman, are slated to play for Madison in the summer of ’05.

PLENTY OF FIREWORKS IN LAST ND VISIT – The Irish rolled to a doubleheader sweep at SJU in 2003 (11-3, 18-3), in possibly the ND program’s most dominant day ever in BIG EAST play (the second game remains the largest margin of victory for the Irish in a BE game) … ND had 27 hits in the doubleheader and allowed just 3 earned runs … Chris Niesel (7 IP, 3 R/2 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 10 GOs) and Ryan Kalita (7 IP, 3 R/1 ER. 6 H, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 14 GOs) picked up the wins … Matt Edwards (6-for-9, 5 RBI, 5 R, 2 HR, 3B) and Steve Sollmann (7 RBI, 2 opp.-field HR) paced the offense, with both of Edwards’ blasts going to dead-center field (a feat accomplished just twice previously in SJU Ballpark history) … ND’s 7-9 hitters – Coy Rizzo, Craig Cooper and junior Joe Thaman – combined to bat 6-for-11 in the nightcap (2 BB, 7 RBI, 7 R) … ND stranded just 5 runners in both games.

ONE YEAR LATER – Notre Dame headed into its 2004 doubleheader vs. St. John’s with a similar victory total (24) to the current team (27) but that ’04 Irish team had lost just three times at that point, compared to the 15 losses and one tie already suffered by the ’05 Irish team.

NOTES FROM THE 2004 ND-SJU DOUBLEHEADER (7-1 ND, 2-1 SJU)
• ND senior 2B Steve Sollmann missed the SJU games due to his fractured jaw injury (his classmate, C Javi Sanchez, filled in at 2B).
• ND junior RHP Grant Johnson (5 IP, 2 H, 3 Ks, 8 popups, HB, 18 BF, 72 pitch in controlled pitch count) and freshman RHP Jeff Samardzija (7.1 IP, 2 UER, 2 H, BB, 2 Ks, 11 GOs. 26 BF, 85 pitches) nearly pitched the Irish to the sweep, in a rare Monday doubleheader following Easter weekend … Samardzija retired the first 14 he faced in game-2, took a no-hitter into the 7th and extended the second-longest personal shutout streak of the Paul Mainieri era to 22 innings but SJU used a pair of unearned runs to escape with a split.
• ND improved to 26-4 for the best 30-game start in the program’s history (besting the 24-5-1 in 2001)
• The teams combined for nine errors, with eight of the 11 runs coming unearned (including all three in the nightcap and five of the ND runs in the opener) while the Irish posted their 13th error-free game of the season in the opener.
• Eddie Schultz was the first player to reach base vs. Samardzija, on a 5th-inning walk that ended up being the only base on balls issued by ND all day.
• Four-year All-American and current New York Mets pitcher Aaron Heilman is the only ND pitcher during the Mainieri era to log a longer shutout streak than Samardzija, who did not allow a run for 22.2 innings over the span of nine appearances … Heilman logged 33 straight shutout innings over 19 relief appearances as a freshman in 1998, en route to leading the nation with a 1.61 ERA.
• Just three ND players – Greg Lopez (5-for-6), Cody Rizzo (3-for-6) and Matt Macri (3-for-7) – managed 3-plus hits in the doubleheader, with the rest of the team combining to bat 5-for-38 (.132) in the two games.
• Joe Thaman retired 6 of the 8 batters he faced to close the opener and register the first save of his brief ND pitching career (R, 2 H, K) … Anthony Varvaro suffered his first loss of the season (5.1 IP, 7 R/2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks).
• Matt Tosoni (7.1 IP, UER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks) picked up the SJU win while Craig Hansen notched his 4th save (2.2 IP, 9 BF, 2 H, 2 Ks).
• ND’s chances in the nightcap included two runners on in the 1st (Tosoni rolled up a groundout) and a runner picked off in the 2nd before senior Javi Sanchez drove the ball over the head of RF Blake Hershelman … Sanchez chugged around the bases and appeared to slide in for the triple but he was called out to end the inning.
• The Irish claimed a brief lead in the 7th inning of game-2, when Macri sent a leadoff single into left field on a 2-2 count (taking second on another outfield error) … Matt Bransfield then singled through the left side for the 1-0 lead, but SJU added another pickoff to end the inning.
• SJU’s Jim Martin sent a one-out bouncer to the right side in the top of the 7th and the ball bounced up on the 2B Sanchez, who still had the chance to recover and make the forecourt but he bobbed the ball … Joe Burke then delivered with two outs, on a dipping hit to left field … Fournier made a diving try to preserve the no-hitter but the ensuing double tied the game, with Schultz then providing the go-ahead single to short-center field on a 2-2 pitch.
• Hansen later rolled up a double play in the 7th (runners on first and second) before getting an 8th-inning strikeout with two outs and the tying run on second … the leadoff batter then reached in the 9th but Hansen induced another double-play ball to help seal the win.
• The ND pitchers put 14 zeroes on the board in 16 innings of play vs. SJU.

BIG EAST TOURNEY SHOWDOWN RECAP – Regular-season champion Notre Dame beat runner-up St. John’s in the 2004 BIG EAST Tournament winners-bracket game, 9-2, with the Irish going on to claim an unprecedented third tournament title … Matt Bransfield (RBI, R, 3B), Steve Andres (2 RBI, R, 3B, 2 2B, BB) and Greg Lopez each had 3 hits to lead ND’s 14-hit attack while Chris Niesel picked up the win (7.1 IP, 9 H, UER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 11 GOs) … Matt Edwards (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) added his 10th home run of the season … Robert Delaney suffered the loss after being touched for 5 runs (3 earned) in 1.0-plus innings (5 H, BB).

NINE UPCOMING ND BASEBALL GAMES TO BE TELECAST LIVE – Fans of the Notre Dame baseball team will have plenty of chances to see the Irish on national and regional television in upcoming weeks, as nine games involving Notre Dame will be telecast in the one-month stretch from April 20 -May 20 … most notably, all three games of Notre Dame’s series at St. John’s (May 7-8) will be aired live, respectively on ESPNU, ESPN2 and CSTV … Detroit-based Comcast Local will telecast six Notre Dame baseball games live throughout the state of Michigan and in South Bend on Comcast Cable channel 3 … those games also will be aired on a tape-delayed basis by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and possibly by other Comcast affiliates (consult your local Comcast listings and check back to und.com during the next month for any additional affiliate broadcast information that Comcast Local is able to provide) … the first Comcast Local telecast will be the ND-Purdue game on Wed., April 20, at South Bend’s minor-league Coveleski Stadium (6:05 EST; 7:05 in Michigan) … two days later, CL will air the Friday-night game between Notre Dame and Villanova at Eck Stadium (6:05 EST) … the other Comcast Local telecasts include: the annual Baseball Bash game between ND and Michigan at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in the Grand Rapids suburbs, on May 11 (7:00 EDT; 6:00 EST/in South Bend); the May 18 game at Eck Stadium between the Irish and USC (6:05 EST); and the Friday-night doubleheader at The Eck on May 20 between ND and West Virginia (3:05 EST) … all three games of the ND-St. John’s series will be nine-inning games, due to a full break (i.e. longer than 30 minutes) between the first and second games on Sat., May 7. The first game (noon EDT; 11:00 a.m. EST/in South Bend) will be shown live on ESPNU while the second game (6:00 EDT) will be aired live on ESPN2 … the ND-SJU series finale, on Sun., May 8 (noon EDT), will be telecast live on College Sports Television (CSTV). All three games also could be rebroadcast (on ESPNU or CSTV, check listings and look for later info. on und.com) … here is the inclusive listing of the television broadcast schedule for the upcoming Notre Dame baseball games (all times are local to the site):

Notre Dame Baseball 2005 Live Television Broadcasts
Wed., April 20 – Comcast Local, vs. Purdue (Coveleski Stadium; 6:05 EST)
Fri., April 22 – Comcast Local, vs. Villanova (Eck Stadium; 6:05 EST)
Sat., May 7 – ESPNU, at St. John’s (The Ballpark; noon EDT)
Sat., May 7 – ESPN2, at St. John’s (The Ballpark; 6:00 EDT)
Sun., May 8 – CSTV, at St. John’s (The Ballpark; noon EDT)
Wed., May 11 – Comcast Local, vs. Michigan (5th 3rd Band Ballpark; Comstock Park, Mich.; 6:05 EST)
Wed., May 18 – Comcast Local, vs. USC (Eck Stadium; 6:05 EST)
Fri., May 20 – Comcast Local, doubleheader vs. West Virginia (Eck Stadium; 3:05 EST)

LEFTSIDE LOCKDOWN – Notre Dame’s strong defense on the leftside of the diamond includes a pair of players (junior SS Greg Lopez and freshman 2B Brett Lilley) who each have posted 34 error-free games this season, with Lilley opening the season at 2B … Lopez opened the ’05 season without an error in the first 15 games and enters the SJU series with just one E in his previous 14 games (6-game errorless streak) … he had four straight games with Es (March 19-24) but has not made errors in back-to-back games at any other time this season … Lopez has only 4 multi-E games in ’05 (none with 3-plus Es) and had 42 E-free games in ’04 (for 76 total in ’04 and ’05) … Lilley logged an impressive 21-game span without an error (96 fielding chances) from March 24-April 21 (spanning time at 2B and 3B) … four of Lilley’s teammates combined for 18 errors at 3B in the first 28 games of the season but he then turned in 9 error-free games to open his stint at the hot corner (in 40 chances) … Lilley now has totaled 11 error-free games in 15 GP at 3B (6 Es).

ND SUMMER-BALL PLANS INCLUDE LARGE CAPE-COD CONTINGENT – Notre Dame’s current players again are slated to scatter to some of the top wood-bat leagues during the summer of ’05, including five who are set to join the prestigious Cape Cod League (several other ND players also could end up in the ’05 CCL, pending the outcome of the MLB draft) … here’s a look at the summer plans for some of the Notre Dame players:

Notre Dame Baseball 2005 Summer Teams (as of May 1)
Greg Lopez – Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Cape Cod League
Dan Kapala – Falmouth Commodores, Cape Cod League
Sean Gaston Cotuit Kettleers, Cape Cod League
Jeff Manship – Cotuit Kettleers, Cape Cod League
Derik Olvey Cotuit Kettleers, Cape Cod League
Matt Bransfield – Mat-Su Miners, Alaska League
Cody Rizzo – Mat-Su Miners, Alaska League
Alex Nettey – Fayetteville (NC) Swampdogs, Coastal Plains League
Brett Lilley – Delaware (OH) Cows, Great Lakes League
Danny Dressman – Madison (WI) Mallards, Northwoods League
Mike Dury – Madison (WI) Mallards, Northwoods League
Ross Brezovsky – Hays (KS) Larks, Jayhawk League
David Gruener – Hays (KS) Larks, Jayhawk League
Wade Korpi – Staunton (VA) Braves, Valley League
Joey Williamson – Luray (VA) Wranglers, Valley League
Tony Langford – (team TBA), Texas Collegiate League
Eddie Smith – (team TBA), Central Illinois Collegeiate League

MAINIERI JOINS 800-WIN CLUB

Notre Dame’s Paul Mainieri has become the 27th active Division I head coach to reach 800 victories in his career as a college head baseball coach … Arizona’s Andy Lopez and North Carolina’s Mike Fox also eclipsed 800 career wins earlier this season. Here is the updated list, as of the April 17th games:

1,518 – Augie Garrido (Texas; 37 total seasons as college head coach)
1,486 – Gene Stephenson (Wichita State; 28)
1,414 – Chuck Hartman (Virginia Tech; 46)
1,414 – Larry Hays (Texas Tech; 35)
1,371 – Mike Martin (FSU; 26)
1,328 – Larry Cochell (Oklahoma; 39)
1,256 – Ron Polk (Mississippi State; 32)
1,229 – Richard Jones (Illinois, 39)
1,210 – Mark Marquess (Stanford; 29)
1,126 – Jay Bergman (UCF; 29)
1,063 – Bob Morgan (Indiana; 30)
1,055 – Jim Morris (Miami; 24)
1,039 – Bob Warn (Indiana State; 30)
1,024 – James Wilson (Temple; 46)
1,012 – Danny Price (FIU; 26)
987 – Jim Gilligan (Lamar; 29)
965 – Dewey Kalmer (Bradley; 38)
952 – Pete Dunn (Stetson; 26)
910 – Jack Leggett (Clemson; 26)
884 – Steve Kittrell (South Alabama; 23)
869 – Mark Johnson (Texas A&M; 21)
855 – John Anderson (Minnesota; 24)
851 – Fred Hill (Rutgers; 29)
828 – Bob Todd (Ohio State; 22)
815 – Andy Lopez (Arizona; 23)
813 – Mike Fox (UNC; 22)
801 – Paul Mainieri (Notre Dame; 23) … now has 808 wins

797 – Pat Murphy (Arizona State; 21)
796 – Joel Murrie (Western Kentucky; 26)
796 – Ray Tanner (South Carolina; 18)
794 – Keith Guttin (Southwest Missouri; 23)

* Here is a conference breakdown of the 26 active members of the 800-win club (as of April 17):
5 – ACC
4 – Big 12, BIG 10
3 – MVC
2 – BIG EAST, Pac-10, A-Sun, Sun belt
1 – SEC, A-10, Southland

* ND’s 2005 schedule includes games vs. UCF (1-1), Texas A&M (loss) and Rutgers (0-2) … the ’04 ND squad also faced Virginia Tech, Texas Tech and Arizona … Mainieri has matched wits with several other current 800-win coaches in recent years, including games vs.: FSU (’02 NCA Super Regional); Illinois (’01; ’04 rainout); Stanford (’02 CWS); Miami (’99); FIU (’02; ’01 NCAA Regional); South Alabama (’02 NCAA Regional); Minnesota (’03); Ohio State (’02 NCAA Regional).

* During the 11-year Mainieri era at ND, his Irish teams have combined for a 50-45 record vs. teams coached by the current 800-win coaches, including games vs.: Rutgers (20-14), VT (6-6), Illinois (4-1), IU (3-0), FSU (3-1), UCF (3-1), Miami (2-6), Arizona (2-1), OSU (2-1), South Alabama (1-0), Texas Tech (1-0), ISU (1-1), Minnesota (1-2), FIU (1-6), Stetson (0-1), Texas A&M (0-1) and Stanford (0-2) … Mainieri’s ND teams were 4-1 vs. Mississippi State before Polk’s return … IU’s Bob Morgan is the father of former ND standout women’s basketball player Beth Morgan while current ND pitching coach Terry Rooney previously was on Pete Dunn’s staff at Stetson … teams led by four members of the current 800-win club – Garrido, Marquess, Leggett and Mainieri – were among the eight competitors at the 2002 CWS (as was South Carolina, with Ray Tanner currently owning 796 wins).

DYNAMIC DUOS – Notre Dame senior 1B Matt Edwards (.367, 7th) and freshman 3B Brett Lilley (.372, 6th) rank as one of the top hitting combos in the BIG EAST … Lilley is the only BIG EAST freshman with an overall batting avg. above .350 … here’s a look at the teams with multiple players among the BIG EAST’s top-15 batting avg. leaders:

Pittsburgh – Ben Copeland (.387, 2nd), Jim Negrych (.383, 3rd) and
Jimmy Mayer (.355, 11th)
Notre Dame – Brett Lilley (.372, 6th) and Matt Edwards (.367, 7th)
Rutgers – Johnny DeFendis (.373, 5th) and Cory Rodriguez (.359, 9th)
Connecticut – Tony Mallozzi (4th, .382) and Jeff Hourigan (10th, .358)
St. John’s – Greg Thomson (.370, 7th), Joe Burke (.355, 12th) and P.J. Antoniato (.350, 15th)
West Virginia – Lee Fritz (.354, 13th) and Doug Nelms (.351, 14th)

SEEING RED – ND assistant coach David “Red” Grewe charts plate discipline with a ratio of BB+HBP-Ks and freshman 3B Brett Lilley now is +30 (27+20-17) while junior OF Craig Cooper is +23 (23+13-13) in that “Red Ratio” … ND as a team is +39 (161 BB, 97 HBPs, 219 Ks):

2005 “RED RATIO” CHART
Player … Walks + Hit-By-Pitch – Strikeouts = “Red Ratio” (BB+HBP-Ks)
Brett Lilley … 27 + 20 – 17 = +30
Craig Cooper … 23 + 13 – 13 = +23
Matt Edwards … 23 + 6 – 16 = +13
Cody Rizzo … 20 + 13 – 24 = +9
Steve Andres … 16 + 5 – 15 = +6
Matt Bransfield … 8 + 3 – 8 = +3
Alex Nettey … 9 + 12 – 20 = +1
Sean Gaston … 5 + 3 – 14 = -6
Danny Dressman … 4 + 1 – 11 = -6
Mike Dury … 2 + 1 – 11 = -8
Ross Brezovsky … 12 + 3 – 24 = -9
Tony Langford … 2 + 2 – 11 = -11
Greg Lopez … 7 + 13 – 32 = -12
Others … 3 + 2 – 3 = +2
TEAM TOTALS … 161 + 97 – 219 = +39

Note: Lilley, Cooper and Edwards are a combined +66 in the Red Ratio (the rest of the team is -27)

GREAT GLOVES GALORE – ND head coach Paul Mainieri traditionally has recruited prep shortstops who then have starred for the Irish at other positions and a quick look at the current ND infield reveals four different HS shortstops manning the positions: senior 1B Matt Edwards, freshman 2B Ross Brezovsky, junior SS Greg Lopez and freshman 3B Brett Lilley … the 2004 team had a similar setup with Edwards, Lopez and 3B Matt Macri, plus a catcher (Javi Sanchez) who had started at SS for most of the 2002 College World Series … interestingly, the other infielder on that 2004 team (2B Steve Sollmann) had completed the rare position switch of going from the outfielder (he was a standout prep CF) to a middle-infield spot.

COOPER CLICKING IN CONFERENCE … AGAIN – Notre Dame junior OF/1B Craig Cooper owns a .414 career batting avg. in regular-season BIG EAST games, good for 6th in the BIG EAST record book and best by any player since recordholder Joe Cirrone hit .443 for Rutgers (’97, ’99-’00) … Cooper – who currently ranks 3rd among BIG EAST players with a .395 conference batting avg. – came on strong at the end of the ’04 season to become the first player ever to lead the BIG EAST in conference batting avg. (.470), on-base pct. (.545) and slugging pct. (.712) during the same season but it was not enough to claim 1st-team all-BIG EAST honors … Cooper was just the 5th BIG EAST batting champ not to earn 1st team all-BIG EAST … nine BIG EAST batting champs have earned the league’s MVP award, including ND players Brant Ust (’98) and Steve Stanley (’02) … three ND players currently rank 7th or higher on the BIG EAST chart for career batting in conference games (no other team has more than one player ranked that high), with Randal Brooks holding down the 4th spot (.420) and Brant Ust currently ranked 7th (.413):

Career Batting Average in BIG EAST Regular-Season Games (min. 90 ABs)
1. Joe Cirrone (Rutgers; ’97, ’99-’00) … .443 (51-for-115)
2. Martese Robinson (Seton Hall; ’85-’87) … .432 (83-for-192)
3. Dennis McCaffery (Villanova; ’90-’91) … .432 (66-for-157)
4. Randall Brooks (Notre Dame; ’96-’97) … .420 (69-for-165)

5. Jason Frushour (West Virginia; ’96-’97) … .418 (66-for-158)
6. Craig Cooper (Notre Dame; ’03-present) … .414 (55-for-133)
7. Brant Ust (Notre Dame; ’97-’99) … .413 (100-for-242)

Note: Cirone and Robinson are the only 3- or 4-year players with a higher career avg. than Cooper

EDWARDS, THOMSON RANK AMONG BIG EAST’S ALL-AROUND TOP HITTERS – When looking at the OPS stat that combines on-base and slugging percentages, two players from this weekend’s ND-SJU series rank among the best in the BIG EAST … SJU’s Greg Thomson owns a 1.144 OPS (.470 on-base, .674 slugging) that trails only the 1.172 compiled by Pittsburgh’s Jim Negrych (1.172; .500+.672), the preseason BIG EAST player of the year … ND senior 1B Matt Edwards is not far behind at 1.133 (.453+.680) … the only other BIG EAST player with a better OPS than Edwards is Pitt’s Ben Copeland (1.142; .480+.662).

BIG EAST Conference 2005 Overall OPS Leaders
1. Jim Negrych (Pittsburgh) … .500 on-base pct.,.672 slugging pct, 1.172 OPS
2. Greg Thomson (St. John’s) … .470 on-base pct., .674 slugging pct., 1.144 OPS
3. Ben Copeland (Pittsburgh) … .480 on-base pct., .662 slugging pct., 1.142 OPS
4. Matt Edwards (Notre Dame) … .453 on-base pct., .680 slugging pct., 1.133 OPS

HOME-RUN HERO – Craig Cooper’s 12th-inning HR beat Purdue at Coveleski Stadium (9-7) as he became the first ND player to hit a game-ending HR since the 2002 CWS game vs. Rice (when Brian Staviksy won that 5-3 game) … Cooper’s next at-bat produced a 1st-inning grand slam that sparked the 9-8 win over Valparaiso.

MAJOR-LEAGUE MAULER – To put Matt Edwards’ 2005 power and run-producing numbers in perspective, he would be on pace to total 45 home runs and 203 RBI in a 162-game Major League season.

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, became 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 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 …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 game, by Andy Pilney vs. the University of Chicago in 1934 … 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 previous time Matt Edwards 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.

FIVE-HIT HOME DEBUT – Brett Lilley turned in a 5-for-5 game vs. Cincinnati on March 22, 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, ’02 NCAA regionals) and his former teammate Alec Porzel (6-for-6 vs. Pittsburgh, ’01) share the ND record for hits in a game.

IRISH CLOSE 11-1-1 HOMESTAND – Notre Dame’s current 13-1-1 streak includes a productive homestand (11-1-1) that saw the Irish sweep Connecticut before going 2-0-1 vs. Villanova, plus wins over Bowling Green, Purdue (at downtown Coveleski Stadium), Valparaiso, Manchester and Cleveland State (2) and a loss to Central Michigan … the Irish hit .322 in the 13-game homestand – led by freshman 3B Brett Lilley (.449) and junior DH/C/1B Matt Bransfield (.448) – with a 3.61 staff ERA and .976 fielding pct. (18 Es).

BREZOVSKY BREAKS OUT – Freshman 2B Ross Brezovsky (Naples, Fla.) ended his recent slump by batting 4-for-4 with 5 RBI in the 13-3 win over Cleveland State (BB, 2 R, HR, 2 2B) … Brezovsky entered that game with a sagging .252 season batting average that included just a .160 mark at Eck Stadium … he had 2 RBI in the season-opening win over Florida A&M but had registered just one other multi-RBI game before knocking in five runs in the final game of the homestand … Brezovsky’s 4-for-4 game boosted his season avg. from .252 to .276 (he is batting 65 points higher, .341, with runners in scoring position).

ALL HE DOES IS GET EXTRA-BASE HITS – Junior LF/DH Steve Andres remains the master of the extra-base hit, as he has totaled two more extra-base hits (9; 4 HR, 3B, 4 2B) than singles (7) in ’05 … Andres has hit just one single since April 6, as three of his past four hits have gone for extra bases (including doubles vs. Cleveland State and Purdue and a triple vs. Bowling Green) … since hitting a single vs. Northern Illinois on March 18, Andres has totaled six extra-base hits (also 2Bs vs. Seton Hall and Rutgers and a HR vs. Toledo) and just two singles … he is batting only .222 this season but ranks 3rd on the team in slugging pct. (.472) and home runs (4) and 5th in extra-base hits while also owning a .398 on-base pct., thanks to 16 walks and 5 HBPs … his .870 OPS (on-base plus slugging) ranks 4th among the 2005 ND players.

ON A ROLL – Notre Dame is in the midst of the 12th double-digit unbeaten streak (10-0-1) of the 11-year Paul Mainieri era, with five previous Irish teams posting longer unbeaten streaks: 17 from March 24-April 14, 2003; 16 from April 4-25, 2001, and April 11-May 4, 2002; 13 from April 8-23, 1998; and 12 from April 29-May 21, 2004 … the Irish have posted a double-digit unbeaten streak in every season under Mainieri except 1997 (including two in ’98, ’01 and ’04).

APRIL AWAKENINGS – Notre Dame closed the book on yet another successful April, as Paul Mainieri’s 11 ND teams now have combined to win 80.3% of their games in the month of April (+158; 209-51-1) compared to winning just 67% of the Feb./March games in the Mainieri era (+75; 167-82-1) … the Irish were only three games over .500 in Feb./March this season (13-10) before rallying for a 14-5-1 mark (+9) in April, sparked by a 3.18 staff ERA during the month’s 20 games … ND hit just .293 during the month of April, averaging 7.0 runs per 9 innings … five ND players hit above .275 in April: freshman 3B Brett Lilley (.361, 7 RBI, 19 R, 3 2B, 12 BB, 6 HBP, 8 Ks, SAC, 5-6 SB, 6 Es), senior 1B Matt Edwards (.350, 19 RBI, 17 R, 3 HR, 3B, 7 2B, 10 BB, HBP, 9 Ks, 3-3 SB, 7 Es), junior DH Matt Bransfield (.348, 9 RBI, 8 R, 4 2B, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 7 Ks, E), junior OF Craig Cooper (.321, 20 RBI, 14 R, 2 HR, 3B, 5 2B, 7 BB, 9 HBP, 7 Ks, SAC, 6-6 SB) and sophomore C Sean Gaston (.321, 11 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 7 Ks, 2 SAC, 3-3 SB, 3 Es) … the Irish pitchers bounced back from a rocky first month to post a 3.81 staff ERA, .281 opp. batting avg. and 2.3 K-to-walk ratio (106/47) in April – compared to a 5.11 ERA, .314 opp. avg. and 1.3 K/BB ratio in Feb./March … junior LHP Tom Thornton led the staff in April with his 2.68 ERA (3-1. 5 GS, 37 IP, 38 H/.268, 15 Ks/3 BB) while freshman LHP Wade Korpi (3.32 April ERA) and sophomore RHP Jeff Samardzija (3.81) also made key improvements from the first month of the season.

QUICK STARTERS – Notre Dame has produced consistent first-inning offense, totaling 45 first-inning runs in 43 games while scoring at least one first-inning run in 21 games (11 with multiple 1st-inning runs) … the Irish struggled with first-inning scoring for much of ’04 before a surge in the final month, en route to totaling 75 first-inning runs in 63 games.

MASTERS OF THEIR DESTINY – On April 9, ND lost its series opener vs. Boston College to fall under .500 in the BIG EAST standings (3-4) – but the Irish have not lost in their past eight conference games, improving to 10-4-1 (.700) … St. John’s (13-4/.765) remains the league frontrunner while Boston College (14-5; .737) currently holds down 2nd place … ND has three games “in hand” vs. BC and has three games upcoming vs. SJU, meaning that the Irish control their own fate in the race for the BIG EAST regular-season title and the corresponding top seed at the BIG EAST Tournament … after facing SJU, the Irish close with a series at Pittsburgh (8-8) and a home series vs. West Virginia (5-11) … SJU will have a bye weekend after the ND games before a final series at Villanova (7-11-1) … BC next will play host to Pittsburgh, followed with a bye week and a series at UConn (8-9) … ND would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with BC if the teams finish with identical records, but they likely will finish with a different number of games played (BC currently has played one more game, due to an ND-RU rainout) … final BIG EAST standings are based on winning pct. and not the traditional “games back” (that terminology is not applicable in this case) – meaning, for example, that a team with a 19-4 record would finish ahead of a 20-5 team … rainouts only can be made up on the weekend/makeup day of each series (ND and RU each lost one game while SJU and UConn did not play two games during the first week of league play).

THE DRIVE FOR 30 … AND 40 – Notre Dame is three wins shy of posting its 18th consecutive season with 30-plus victories but the program’s standard has been higher than that for nearly two decades, as the Irish also are riding a 16-year streak of seasons with 40-plus wins … Florida State and Wichita State are the only Division I teams with longer active streaks of 40-win seasons (each with 27) but the Shockers streak includes several seasons in which they were allowed to play more than 56 games (for exempted games in Hawaii, including the current season) … the Irish would need to win all of their remaining regular-season games to reach 40 victories prior to the postseason … if ND delivers a sweep at St. John’s, the 30th win would come in the 46th game … the previous 10 seasons of the Paul Mainieri era saw the 30th win come, on average, in the 41st game (the 1997 team posted its 30th win in the 45th game of that season).

HBP HIGHWAY ROLLS ON – Notre Dame batters were hit-by-pitch nine times in the season opener vs. Florida A&M and the Irish have remained on a record HBP pace all season, currently with 97 HBPs in 43 games played … the Irish are on the verge of becoming the second team in Division I history to post 100-plus HBPs in back-to-back seasons (also 106 in 2004), with Long Beach State totaling 124 in ’98 and 114 in ’99 … ND’s current HBP total ranks 14th in the NCAA record book, just two shy of 11th place … the Irish are averaging 2.26 HBPs per game and are on pace for 126 in the 56-game regular season, which would best the NCAA record of 125 set by Nevada in 1997 … of the 18 teams that have totaled 86-plus HBPs in a season, ND owns the highest avg. of HBPs per game … no previous ND team had more than three players with 12-plus HBPs but the ’05 team already has five with 12-plus HBPs: freshman 2B Brett Lilley (20), junior RF Cody Rizzo (13), junior OF Craig Cooper (13), junior SS Greg Lopez (13) and junior CF Alex Nettey (12) … Lilley and Rizzo (28 in ’03, 21 in ’04) are the only ND players ever to total more than 15 HBPs in a season … Rizzo has moved into 5th place on the NCAA career HBP list with 62, trailing only Clay Schwartz (68; Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ’94-’97), Jeff Ontiveros (74; Texas, ’99-’02), Gabe Somarriba (81; Florida Atlantic, ’99-’02) and Tony Hurtado (92; San Francisco, ’97-’00) … seven ND players combined for 18 HBPs during the final five games of the homestand – including seven in the Villanova doubleheader and six vs. Manchester – led by six from Cooper (he totaled 6 HBPs in the ’03 and ’04 seasons combined) … the first weekend of the season in Orlando included Steve Andres being HBP three times in the opener vs. FAMU and Lilley’s 4 HBPs (one shy of the NCAA record) in the 4-2 win over Central Florida … one previous ND team had three players with 12-plus HBPs (1993): Eric Danapilis (15, record until Rizzo’s 28 in ’03), Greg Layson (14) and Craig DeSensi (12) … the past three ND teams have combined for 277 HBPs in 169 games (from ’02-’04).

NCAA RECORD BOOK – SEASON HIT-BY-PITCH
Team – Year, G, HBP, HBP/gm
1. Nevada – 1997, 60, 125, 2.08
2. Long Beach State – 1998, 67, 124, 1.85
3. College of Charleston – 2004, 63, 122, 1.94
4. Cal State Fullerton – 2003, 66, 117, 1.77
5. Arizona State – 2000, 59, 115, 1.95
6. Long Beach State – 1999, 60, 114, 1.90
7. Notre Dame – 2004, 63, 106, 1.68
8. San Jose State – 2000, 65, 105, 1.62
9. Cal State Fullerton – 1998, 64, 102, 1.59
10. Washington – 1998, 58, 101, 1.74
11. Nebraska – 2002, 68, 99, 1.46
Oklahoma State – 1999, 67, 99, 1.48
Richmond – 1997, 60, 99, 1.65
14. Notre Dame – 2005, 43, 97, 2.26
15. Texas – 2000, 67, 88, 1.31
16. Southern Mississippi – 1997, 57, 87, 1.53
North Carolina – 2000, 63, 86, 1.37
Loyola Marymount – 1986, 65, 86, 1.32

* The 2005 Notre Dame team owns the best HBP per game among teams on the above list
* The Irish now are on pace for 126 HBPs (which would break the NCAA record) in the 56-game regular season
* ND has totaled 203 HBPs in the past two seasons, in 106 games (1.92 per game)
* Teams on the above list more than once include: Long Beach State (124 in ’98, 114 in ’99),Cal State Fullerton (117 in ’03; 102 in ’98) and Notre Dame (106 in ’04; 86 in ’05

NCAA DIVISION I CAREER HIT-BY-PITCH LEADERS
1. 92 – Tony Hurtado (San Francisco, 1997-2000) – 221 GP , 2.40 games played per HBP
2. 81 – Gabe Somarriba (Florida Atlantic, 1999-2002) – 226 GP, 2.79 gms/HBP
3. 74 – Jeff Ontiveros (Texas, 1999-2002) – 258 GP, 3.49 gms/HBP
4. 68 – Clay Schwartz (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1994-1997) – 180 GP, 2.65 gms/HBP
5. 62 – Cody Rizzo (Notre Dame, 2003-active) – 154 GP, 2.48 gms/HBP
62 – J.R. Revere (Georgia Southern, 1999-2002) – 217 GP, 3.50 gms/HBP
7. 61 – Karl Jernigan (Florida State, 1998-2001) – 250 GP, 4.10 gms/HBP
61 – Rusty McNamara (Oklahoma State) – 194 GP, 3.18 gms/HBP
61 – Lou Donati (Santa Clara, 1991-94) – 178 GP, 2.92 gms/HBP

ROAD HAZARDS – After completing its 11-1-1 homestand (boosting the ’05 home record to 18-3-1), Notre Dame now looks to improve its 2005 road performance that includes just a 9-12 record, a .283 team batting avg., a 5.68 staff ERA and .955 fielding pct. … Ross Brezovsky (.323 batting avg. on the road, .222 at ND’s Eck Stadium) and fellow freshman Tony Langford (.382 road; .266 Eck) actually have hit higher away from home this season while their classmate Brett Lilley is a .444 batter at The Eck but just .290 on the road (senior 1B Matt Edwards is hitting at a .423 clip at Eck Stadium this season, with a respectable .337 on the road) … ND is batting .317 at Eck Stadium with a 3.46 staff ERA and .960 fielding pct. (33 Es in 21 games) … junior LHP Tom Thornton (2.40 home ERA, .267 opp. avg.) and Kapala (2.76, .246) both are 3-0 at The Eck in their 2005 decisions.

HOT CORNER SWITCH PROVIDES SPARK – The Irish have lost just once (13-1-1) since shifting freshman Brett Lilley to 3B and inserting his classmate Ross Brezovsky at 2B, with that 15-game stretch including a .970 team fielding pct. (0-1 Es in 12 games; 19 total Es) … Lilley is batting .404 since shifting to the hot corner while his fellow leftside infielder, junior SS Greg Lopez, has made just one error in those 15 games (77 chances, .987 fielding pct.). … Lilley played error-free in his first 9 games at 3B and now has totaled 6 Es in 15 games at the position (four of his teammates combined for 18 Es at 3B during the first 28 games) …

BONUS BASEBALL – ND has extra-innings four times in the past 11 games, going unbeaten in those games with wins over UConn (3-2, in 8), Purdue (9-7, in 12) and Cleveland State (7-6, in 13), plus the 7-7 tie vs. Villanova … the Irish had a rare 0-3 start in extra-innings this season but ND now is 23-8-2 in its past 33 extra-inning games (dating back to 1997).

GOING THE DISTANCE – Last weekend’s 13-inning win over Cleveland State (7-6; 3:52 game time) ranks as the 3rd-longest in the 11-year history of Eck Stadium, both in terms of innings and time … the only games at the Eck to go see more innings both stretched to the 15th frame: a 5-3 win over West Virginia on May 3, 1998, and the 7-6 win over Ball State on March 23, 2004 … the two games that have lasted longer in game time were the 1998 WVU game (4:20) and the crazy 22-18 loss to Pittsburgh on May 7, 2000 (4:06).

CLOSING IN – Junior All-America closer Ryan Doherty’s career stats now include ranking 2nd in the ND record book with 12.28 Ks per 9 innings, 3rd with 18 saves (two shy of the record), 4th in low hits allowed per 9 IP (6.60), 6th in K-to-walk ratio (3.46) and 13th in ERA (2.94), plus a .203 career opponent batting avg. (stat not kept in ND record book).

CLUTCH HITTING KEY COMPONENT – ND’s 2004 team racked up its record-setting 51 wins behind an explosive offense that totaled 69 home runs, 19 triples and 120 doubles for a .479 slugging pct. … the ’05 team has seen that slugging pct. drop 50 points (.429), with just 32 HRs, 10 triples and 72 doubles … the projected ’05 extra-base hit totals over the 56-game regular season are 42 HRs, 13 triples and 94 doubles … three stats that measure clutch offensive production – leadoff on-base pct., batting with runners in scoring position and 2-out batting – show that clutch hitting can overcome such a dropoff in power numbers, with freshman 3B Brett Lilley proving to be a valuable addition to the 2005 team … using a formula that combines those three situational hitting numbers, Lilley is the runaway team leader with a “clutch hitting” score of 1.453 … that number can be skewed a bit by the on-base pct. (which has the benefit of including walks and HBPs and thus is higher than the batting avg. stats) … using an adjustment whereby the leadoff on-base pct. is multiplied by 75% (based on the fact that the ’04 ND team hit .309 but had a .409 on-base; also mirrored by the ’05 team’s .300 batting and .400 OB), Lilley still checks in as ND’s all-around leader in clutch hitting with a 1.325 score (.511 leadoff on-base/.383 adjusted, .442 RISP, .500 with 2-outs) … Lilley leads the team in batting with RISP and with 2 outs while his leadoff OB ranks 3rd … three other ND players are virtually tied for 2nd using the adjusted clutch-hitting formula: senior 1B Matt Edwards (1.157), junior DH Matt Bransfield (1.131) and junior OF Craig Cooper (1.113) … Edwards ranks 2nd in leadoff OB (.704/.528) and 3rd in RISP batting (.353) but is hitting just .276 with 2 outs … Bransfield owns the top leadoff OB (.750/.563) and is 5th in RISP avg. (.318) but also has a subpar 2-out batting avg. (.250) … Cooper checks in among the team leaders in all three stats: 2nd in batting with RISP (.423) and with 2 outs (.357) and 4th in leadoff OB (.444) … as a team, the most consistent part of ND’s clutch offense has been leadoff on-base pct. (.427/.320 adjusted), followed by batting with RISP (.315) while the 2-out batting lags far behind (.284).

CLUTCH-HITTING CHART
Leadoff On-Base Pct. … Batting w/ RISP … 2-Out Batting … Clutch-Hitting Score (Adjusted)
Brett Lilley … .511 (.383) … .442 … .500 … 1,325
Matt Edwards … .704 (.528) … .353 … .276 … 1,157
Matt Bransfield … .750 (.563) … .318 … .250 … 1,131
Craig Cooper … .444 (.333) … .423 … .357 … 1,113
Sean Gaston … .417 (.313) … .292 … .261 … 970
Alex Nettey … .404 (.303) … .310 … .216 … 930
Ross Brezovsky … .313 (.235) … .341 … .250 … 904
Greg Lopez … .351 (.263) … .260 … .279 … 890
Tony Langford … .280 (.210) … .297 … .306 … 883
Danny Dressman … .222 (.167) … .300 … .263 … 785
Cody Rizzo … .444 (.333) … .189 … .222 … 744
Steve Andres … .300 (.225) … .192 … .280 … 697
Mike Dury … .286 (.215) … .190 … .167 … 643
TEAM … .427 (.320) … .315 … .284 … 919

HAND IT TO HIM – The Irish are hoping that the full-time return of junior DH Matt Bransfield will continue to spark the ND offense … Bransfield suffered a broken hand in the season opener and missed the next 18 games but he is batting 10-for-24 (.417) in the past seven games and now ranks 3rd on the team with a .333 season batting avg. … Bransfield also could provide a key boost to ND’s power game and big-inning production, after smacking 12 home runs and leading the Irish with 58 RBI in the 2004 season (when he also paced the BIG EAST with 33 RBI in league play). BIG BOPPER – Senior 1B Matt Edwards has hit 12 of ND’s 32 home runs in the 2005 season (nearly 40%) while his 54 RBI are 15 more than the next-highest run producer on the team (Craig Cooper, who has surged to 39) … Edwards, who has started all 43 games this season batting in the 3-hole, is hitting 11-for-28 (.393) in his current 7-game hitting streak … Edwards, who can apply for a 5th year of eligibility in ’06, has made 84 straight starts with the Irish while missing a total of just three games in the past three seasons … he remains 6th in ND history for career RBI (now 181, in 176 games) and suddenly is only 40 shy of the record held by ’93 grad. Eric Danapilis (221) … others on that list include Alec Porzel (211; ’98-’01), Dan Peltier (202; ’87-’89), Mike Amrhein (202; ’94-’97) and Jeff Wagner (189; ’96-’99) … Edwards also ranks 9th in ND history with 12 career home runs and 17th with a .347 career batting avg.

GOOD FOR ONE – Notre Dame has extended the program’s 2nd-longest scoring streak to 190 games (also 421 of the last 422 and 660 of 666/99.09% in the Mainieri era).

LUCKY NUMBERS – The Irish are 21-1 this season when leading at the end of the 6th inning (just 4-13 when trailing at the end of the 6th), 15-1-1 when outhitting the opponent, 17-1 when limiting the opponent to 0-3 runs and 6-0 when playing error-free ball.

CONFERENCE CLOUT – Notre Dame is riding an eight-game unbeaten streak in BIG EAST play (7-0-1) that ranks among the longest in the program’s impressive 10 seasons of BIG EAST play … only two previous Irish teams have logged longer unbeaten streaks in BIG EAST action: the 2001 team’s 18 consecutive BIG EAST wins (a league record, set from March 31-May 5 of that season) and 10 straight BIG EAST wins by the 1998 Irish squad (March 28-April 18).

SAMARDZIJA REGAINS ONE-SPORT FOCUS – Sophomore righthander Jeff Samardzija, who earned Freshman All-America honors in 2004 after an impressive two-sport display that included full participation in spring football, has returned to full duty with the Irish baseball team following the completition of 2005 spring football on April 23 … Samardzija’s first outing that was fully clear of the spring football season came last weekend vs. Cleveland State and the wide receiver turned in a key relief stint vs. Cleveland State, logging 7.0 shutout innings to keep his team in the game before the Irish went on to win in 13 innings (7-6; 4 H, BB, 8 Ks) … Samardzija was limited to Sunday duty during spring football but now is free to be used in any situation … one of his top outings in 2004 came after spring football wrapped up, as he was the starter in a combined 4-0 shutout of a quality Central Florida squad (7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, HB, 4 Ks, 10 groundouts, 25 batters faced).

MOUND MANEUVERING – Notre Dame’s 2005 pitching staff has been slowed by injuries to several key veterans, as senior RHP John Axford and sophomore RHP Jeff Manship both are returning from 2004 reconstructive elbow surgery while sophomore RHP Jess Stewart was sidelined for most of April with a knee injury … Manship and Axford also have suffered midseason setbacks, as Manship injured a finger on his throwing hand in the first inning of the April 17 game vs. UConn while Axford has been sidelined with a recent shoulder injury that could hold him about until mid-May (Manship returned to throw one inning out of the bullpen vs. Cleveland State, on April 30) … Manship (10.0), Axford (1.2) and Stewart (11.2) have combined to throw only 23.1 innings this season, representing just 6% of the staff’s workload in the 2005 season … their absence has been magnified due to the fact that the Irish lost three key pitchers – top starters Grant Johnson and Chris Niesel (respectively 2nd- and 9th-round MLB draft picks) and lefthander setup man Joe Thaman – from the 2004 staff that finished 9th in the nation with a 3.36 season ERA.

LILLEY MAKING STRONG CASE FOR BIG EAST ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR HONORS – Notre Dame freshman Brett Lilley – who opened the season as the starting 2B before shifting to 3B for the past 15 games – is the frontrunner for BIG EAST Conference rookie-of-the-year honors … Lilley currently leads the BIG EAST in on-base pct. (.523) while ranking 3rd in walks (27), 6th in batting avg. (.372), 10th in runs (39) and 13th in hits (53) … he is the ND leader/co-leader in seven categories – batting, on-base, BB, hit-by-pitch (20; good for 3rd in the nation), sac. bunts (5), gmes played and starts while ranking 2nd on the team in runs and hits (54), 3rd in stolen bases (9), 4th in total bases (58) and 5th in RBI (19) … Lilley has turned in back-to-back hitless games just once all season (March 9-10), became the first ND freshman ever to post a 5-hit game in the home opener (vs. Cincinnati) and owns an on-base pct. that ranks 3rd all-time in the ND record book … he has totaled 34 error-free games, including a 21-game span without an error (96 fielding chances) from March 24-April 21 … four of his teammates combined for 18 errors at 3B in first 28 games of the season (ND was 14-14 at that point) but he then turned in 9 error-free games to open his stint at the hot corner (40 chances) … Lilley has totaled 11 error-free games in 15 GP at 3B (6 Es) while sparking the Irish to their current 13-1-1 run … he also ranks as the team’s top situational hitters, leading the Irish in batting with runners on base (.446), in scoring position (.442) and with 2-outs (.500; 8 RBI) while ranking 3rd in leadoff on-base pct. (.511).

SPREADING IT AROUND – The previous six BIG EAST rookies of the year have come from six different schools – Providence, Rutgers, ND, Boston College, West Virginia and Pittsburgh … since the 1996 season, when ND, Rutgers and WVU made their debut in the league, Notre Dame has produced the most BIG EAST rookies of the year (3): Jeff Wagner (’96), Brant Ust (’97) and Steve Sollmann (’01).

DRIVING ‘EM IN – Senior 1B Matt Edwards is on pace for 70 RBI in the regular season and could become the first ND player since Mike Amrhein in 1997 (71) to post 70-plus RBI in a season … Edwards entered the week ranked 19th in the nation for total RBI (23rd in RBI per game, at 1.26):

NCAA RBI LEADERS FOR 2005 (stats as of May 1)

1. Mark Aranda (New Mexico State) – 74
2. Adam Carr (Oklahoma State) – 73
3. Brandon Taylor (BYU) – 68
4. Ryan Braun (Miami, Fla.) – 64
Luke Hopkins (New Mexico State) – 64
6. James Boone (Missouri) – 63
7. Jordan Brown (Arizona) – 62
8. Chris Campbell (College of Charleston) – 60
Chris Carlson (New Mexico) – 60
Brad Willcutt (Southern Mississippi) – 60
11. Bryan Cipolla (Old Dominion) – 59
12. Chris Looze (George Mason) – 57
Geoff Desmond (Arkansas State) – 57
14. Caleb Moore (East Tennessee State) – 56
D.J. Wabick (College of Charleston) – 56
Eli Iorg (Tennessee) – 56
17. Jay Heafner (Davidson) – 55
JB Tucker (Wake Forest) – 55
19. Matt Edwards (Notre Dame) – 54

FIT TO BE TIED – Last week’s 7-7 game vs. Villanova is just the second tie in Paul Mainieri’s 11 seasons at Notre Dame and his third in 23 seasons as a college head coach … ND’s 2001 team played to a tie with Navy at the Fresno State Classic, with time limits set on those games to keep that eight-team tournament schedule on pace.

ND-VU SERIES WRAPUP – Top ND hitters in the Villanova series included Greg Lopez (5-for-11, 3 RBI, 4 R, HR, 2 HBP, K), Sean Gaston ( 5-for-11, 5 RBI, 3 R, HR, BB, SAC) and Alex Nettey (5-for-12, 2 R, BB, 2 HBP) … the Irish hit .343 in the series with 21 runs (2 HR, 4 2B, 8 BB, 9 HBP, 9 Ks, 1-2 SB, 5 Es/.949 fielding) while the ND staff posted a 4.15 staff ERA in the three games (26 IP, 33 H, 12 BB, 16 Ks, .337 opp. avg. … the series included just two 1-2-3 innings (one by each team) and both came in the game-1 win by the Irish (5-2): in the bottom of the 5th by ND’s Tom Thornton (KL, P-2, 1-3) and in the top of the 6th by VU’s Nick Allen (1-3, 5-3, 4-3).

RECAPPING LAST WEEK’S ACTION

ND 9, Villanova 4 (4/25) – Dan Kapala notched another complete game (7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 BB, HB, 69 of 11 pitches for strikes) while Sean Gaston’s three-run shot (his first career HR at ND) provided an early 8-3 lead … Kapala’s 21 outs included 13 via groundballs, three strikeouts, an infield lineout and just four outfield flyouts … he allowed four leadoff batters to reach but then held the Wildcats to 3-for-13 batting (.231) with runners in scoring position … Kevin Mulvey took the loss (6 IP, 8 H, 9 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 4 HB, 3 Ks) … the teams began playing at 9:30 a.m. and Villanova claimed early leads (1-0 and 3-2) before three runs in the bottom of the 2nd put ND in front to stay.

ND 7, Villanova 7 (10 inn.; 4/25) – Greg Lopez was the hero in the nightcap, going the other way and riding the wind to clear the rightfield fence and forge the 7-7 tie in the bottom of the 9th … per BIG EAST policy, the game was halted after the 10th inning and is recorded as a tie due to Villanova’s flight schedule out of Chicago (the game had exceeded the predetermined time that the final inning could start) … Lopez hit 4-for-7 and Sean Gaston 4-for-8 to lead a .406 batting day (13-for-32) from ND’s #6 through #9 hitters in the doubleheader, with the 1-5 hitters batting just .275 (11-for-40) … Lopez batted 8th and the lefthanded-hitting Gaston was 9th in the opener but each was shifted up for the series finale, with Gaston slotted 6th and Lopez 7th (VU started a righthander in each game) … 3-hole hitter Matt Edwards hit 4-for-9 in the doubleheader … ND held early leads (3-1 and 4-3) but VU scored the next four runs and was three outs away from earning a split of the day’s action, with Mike Grodecki and his BIG EAST-leading six saves on the mound … Steve Andres reached to lead off the bottom of the 9th when his windblown popup to shallow left-center landed in no-man’s-land … Gaston then pulled a 1-0 pitch into right field and Lopez went to his opposite field on the next pitch, riding the gusts to clear the rightfield fence for his 2nd home run of the season and 4th of his career … ND loaded the bases in the 10th but could not plate the winning run … Wade Korpi had a short stint as the ND starter, relieved by Jeff Samardzija, while VU’s Mike Loree logged 6 IP (10 H, 4 R, BB, K) … ND closer Ryan Doherty logged the final 4.0 innings (3 H, R, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 41 of 69 pitches for strikes … the Irish left 16 runners on base while the Wildcats stranded 15.

ND 5, Manchester 0 (4/27) – Matt Bransfield continued to swing a hot bat (2 RBI, 2 2B), seven Irish pitchers combined on the shutout and the ND batters were hit-by-pitch six times … Mike Dury picked up the win as part of a planned rotation, after retiring every batter he faced in the 4th-6th innings … David Gruener drew his first start of the season and worked out of a 1st-inning jam, ultimately allowing two hits and two walks while adding a pair of strikeouts in 3.0 innings … Jess Stewart, who has been slowed during the past month due to a minor knee injury, retired two of the three batters he faced in the 7th before four other relievers followed him to the mound.

ND 7, Cleveland State 6 (13 inn.; 4/29) – Alex Nettey’s leadoff single sparked the winning rally in the bottom of the 13th, as the Irish won on “Turn Back The Clock Night” … starter Tom Thornton was not his sharpest while looking for a fourth straight complete game (5 IP, 9 H, 6 R/3 ER, 3 Ks, 87 pitches) but Jeff Samardzija then threw 7.0 shutout innings (4 H, BB, 8 Ks, 104 pitches) … Tony Langford retired three of the four batters he faced in the top of the 13th to pick up the win … Craig Cooper paced ND’s 10-hit attack by batting 3-for-4 (3 RBI, 2 R, 3B) … the 2-3-4 hitters combined for all but two of the Irish hits, as Brett Lilley (3-for-6, R) and Matt Edwards (2-for-4, R, 3B) joined Cooper with multiple hits … Samardzija allowed a pair of two-out singles in the 8th but then retired nine of the next 10 batters, seven via strikeouts.

ND 13, Cleveland State 3 (4/30) – Dan Kapala logged another solid start (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R/1 ER, 2 Ks, 42 of 61 pitches for strikes) and Ross Brezovsky’s big day from the 9-hole (4-for-4, BB, 5 RBI, 2 R, HR, 2 2B) paced a 14-hit attack, as ND closed an 11-1-1 homestand … Alex Nettey (RBI), Matt Edwards (R, BB, 2B) and Matt Bransfield (R, 2 BB, 2B) each hit 2-for-3, with Edwards collecting his team-leading 19th multiple-hit game of the season and 15th double (pushing his career total to 45) … Steve Andres had a hand in five of the Irish runs (1-for-2, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2B) … Jeff Manship, Wade Korpi, Jess Stewart and Tony Langford each tossed an inning, with Korpi (H, BB), Stewart (K) and Langford (K) combining to face just 10 batters in the final three innings … the efficient Irish offense racked up 13 runs while leaving just nine runners on, overcoming another off-day from the 6-7-8 hitters (combined 1-for-11) after those spots went 0-for-15 (including Brezovsky’s 0-for-5 in the 8-hole) the previous day, in the 13-inning win over CSU.

Steve Andres (LF/DH/C, Jr., Bats: Left, 5-10/200 … Napa, CA … 2004 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team) … see PDF for career stats

• Ranks 3rd on team in home runs (4) and slugging pct. (.472), plus 5th in walks (16) … 4th on team with 6 multi-RBI games (has just 2 multi-hit games)

A Little Extra – has totaled two more extra-base hits (9; 4 HR, 3B, 4 2B) than singles (7) in the 2005 season … his career totals includes 56 singles and 42 extra-base hits (16 HR, 7 3B, 19 2B)

Milestone Watch – needs two more hits for the 100th hit of his ND career

Situationally Speaking – ranks 4th on team with .280 two-out batting avg., including 10 two-out RBI (3rd on team) …batting .231 vs. RHPs (1-for-7/.143 vs. LHPs) … owns a .300 leadoff on-base pct. … hitting .267 with runners on base, .192 with runners in scoring position … 1-for-3 with bases loaded … 2-for-5 as a pinch-hitter

BIG EAST Stats – batting just .188 in 2005 BIG EAST games (3-for-16, 8 GP/4 GS, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 4 BB, 3 Ks) … a .305 career batter in regular-season BIG EAST games (36-for-118, 44 GP, 26 RBI, 23 R, 5 HR, 2 3B, 8 2B, 4 SB, 28 BB)

vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 5-for-10 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (5 GP/3 GS, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3B, 2 2B, 4 BB, K)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit .286 (2-for-7) in 2 GP/1 GS (2 RBI, 4 R, 2B, BB)

13-Game Homestand – hit .308 (4-for-13) in 6 GP/3 GS (5 RBI, 5 R, 3B, 2 2B, 5 BB)

Monthly Checkup – compiled .269 batting avg. in month of April (7-for-26, 8 RBI, 8 R, HR, 3B, 3 2B, 7 BB, 4 Ks)

Home and Away – batting 56 points higher in games at Eck Stadium this season (.250, 6-for-24, 7 RBI, 7 R, HR, 3B, 2 2B, 6 BB, 3 Ks) than in all road games (.196, 9-for-46, 9 RBI, 15 R, 3 HR, 2B, 8 BB, 5 HBP, 12 Ks)

Lineup Notes – 18 starts include 11 in LF, 6 as DH, 1 at C … 13 in cleanup spot (2 in 5-hole, 2 in 7-hole, 1 in 8-hole)

Spring Break Stats – hit .333 with 5 RBI and 2 HR (6-for-18, 6 R, 5 BB, 3 Ks)

Top ’05 Games – his leadoff single preceded Greg Lopez HR as ND scored three times in 9th to tie series finale vs. Villanova (ended in 7-7 tie) … repeated as all-tournament selection at Alamo City Irish Baseball Classic (.500, 5-for-10, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 Ks) … homered at 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 … had RBI double and scored in 5-run, 9th-inning comeback that tied game-2 at Rutgers … hit HR to dead-center field vs. Toledo …

ANDRES 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

Matt Bransfield (DH/1B/C, Jr., Bats: Right, 6-1/205 … Englewood, CO … 2004 BIG EAST RBI Champion) … see PDF for career stats

• Has surged to 3rd on team with .333 batting avg. and 4th in on-base pct. (.437) … has compiled five multi-hit games and three with multiple RBI … suffered broken hand when hit by a 2-1 pitch in his first plate appearance of season (vs. Florida A&M) before undergoing surgery on the hand and missing 18 games … returned to action on March 26 vs. Seton Hall

On a Roll – enters SJU series with .407 batting av., 8 RBI and 4 doubles in his previous 9 games (11-for-27, 3 R, 3 BB, HBP, 5 Ks, .556 slugging) … has hits in 8 of the past 9 games

Milestone Watch – recently picked up the 100th hit of his ND career, in April 22 game vs. Villanova

Situationally Speaking – owns team-best .750 leadoff on-base pct. (12-of-16) while ranking 3rd on team in batting with runners in scoring position (.318) … team’s top hitter vs. LHPs (.400, 6-for-15), ranking 5th vs. RHPs (.311) … hitting .286 with runners on base and .250 with 2 outs (3 RBI) … 2-for-6 with bases loaded … 1-for-2 as a pinch-hitter

BIG EAST Stats – 4th on team with .308 batting in ’05 BIG EAST games (8-for-26, 9 GP/7 GS, RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 Ks) … a .311 career batter in regular-season BIG EAST games (46-for-148, 47 GP, 37 RBI, 31 R, 6 HR, 8 2B, 20 BB) … led all BIG EAST players with 33 RBI in league play during 2004 season (yet failed to earn even 3rd team all-BIG EAST honors)

vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 4-for-10 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (4 GP/3 GS, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3B, 3 BB, K)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – ranked 3rd on team with .375 batting (6-for-16) in 5 GP/4 GS (4 RBI, R, 3 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 2 Ks)

13-Game Homestand – ranked 2nd on team (.448 batting avg., just behind Brett Lilley’s .449) after hitting 13-for-29 in 10 GP/8 GS (8 RBI, 3 R, 4 2B, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 6 Ks, E)

Home and Away – most of his action this season has come at home, due to early-season injury … has played just 4 games on the road, prior to SJU series (2-for-10, 5 R, 2 BB, HBP, K)

Lineup Notes – his 18 starts include 10 at DH, 6 at C, 2 at 1B – with 7 starts batting cleanup, 6 in the 7-hole, 5 in 5-hole

Summer Ball – slated to join teammate Cody Rizzo as member of the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska League during the summer of 2005 (ND’s Matt Edwards played for Mat-Su in the summer of ’04) … previously has played summer ball with the Colorado Sox of the Rocky Mountain League (’03) and the Waynesboro (Va.) Generals of the Valley League (’04)

Top ’05 Games – had leadoff pinch-hit single and scored as ND rallied to force extra-innings in 3-2 win over UConn … scored 3 times in series finale at Rutgers (H, BB) … had RBI groundout and run-scoring single to help beat Cleveland State in 7-6 game … plated 3 runs in 9-8 win over Valparaiso

BRANSFIELD’S 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

Ross Brezovsky (3B, Fr., Bats: Left, 5-10/170 … Naples, FL) … see PDF for season stats

• Shares team lead with 2 triples, 3rd in sac. bunts (4) and 6th in multi-hit games (9), also totaling three games with multiple RBI

Slump Buster? – broke out in 4-for-4 game vs. Cleveland State (5 RBI, 2 R, 3-run HR, 2B, BB) to cap 13-game homestand, after hitting just 5-for-35 (.143) in previous 10 games

Situationally Speaking – 2nd on team with .385 batting vs. LHPs (.247 vs. RHPs) … also ranks 4th on team in batting with runners in scoring position (.319; 43 points above his overall avg.) … owns a .313 leadoff on-base pct. … hitting .319 with runners on base, .250 with 2 outs (7 RBI) … 0-for-4 with bases loaded … 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.

BIG EAST Stats – hitting just .188 in BIG EAST games (6-for-32, 8 GP/4 GS, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 4 BB, 3 Ks)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – 3rd on team after batting .375 (6-for-16) in 4 GS (5 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, K, 2 SB)

13-Game Homestand – hit .256 (11-for-43) in 12 GS (7 RBI, 11 R, HR, 3 2B, 7 BB, 7 Ks, 3 SAC, 2 SB, E)

Monthly Checkup – compiled .232 batting avg. in April (13-for-56, 9 RBI, 12 R, HR, 4 2B, 8 BB, 10 Ks, 3 SAC, 2 SB, 2 Es)

Home and Away – batting 101 points higher in all road games (.323, 21-for-65, 9 RBI, 9 R, 2 3B, 4 2B, BB, 3 HBP, 14 Ks, SB, 8 E) than at Eck Stadium (.222, 12-for-54, 6 RBI, 12 R, HR, 2 2B, 10 BB, 9 Ks, 4 SAC, 2 SB, 2 Es)

Lineup Notes – his 33 starts include 15 at 3B, 14 at 2B (all in last 15 games) and 3 at SS (plus a single start at LF) … has hit mostly in 7-hole (12 games) and 8-hole (11), plus 4 as leadoff hitter and 6 in 9-hole

Spring Break Stats – hit .273 in 5 games (6-for-22, 3 R, 3B, 3 Ks, 2 Es)

Summer Ball – slated to join classmate David Gruener as member of Hays (Kan.) Larks in Jayhawk League, during summer of ’05 … several Mainieri-era players have been on previous Larks teams, including current players Craig Cooper (’03), Cody Rizzo (’03, injured) and Tyler Jones (’02) … other recent ND players who have been on Hays teams include Javi Sanchez (’02), Ryan Kalita (’02) , J.P. Gagne (’01), Joe Thaman (’01), Andrew Bushey (’00), Matt Buchmeier (’00), Drew Duff (’99-’00), Paul O’Toole (’99), Mike Carlin (’98), Ben Cooke (’98-’99), Jeff Felker (’98-’99) and Pat Davis (also later was Hays assistant coach)

Top ’05 Games – drove in 5 runs vs. Cleveland State on April 30 (13-3; 4-for-4, HR, 2B, BB) for his first multi-RBI game since opening week … scored 3 times in 5-2 win over Villanova (2-for-3, SB) … plated Alex Nettey with groundrule double to end 4-3 win over Florida A&M … closed Dayton series with 3-for-4 game (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)

See PSD for game-by-game stats

Craig Cooper (OF, Jr., Bats: Right, 6-2/220 … Plainview, NY … 2nd Team All-BIG EAST in 2004) … see PDF for career stats

• Leads team in stolen bases (12), 2nd in RBI (39), HRs (5), slugging (.489), walks (23), doubles (8), HBP (13), total bases (67) and multi-RBI games (12) – plus 3rd in runs (31) and on-base (.451), 4th in batting (.307), hits (42), GP (40) and multi-hit games (10), and 5th in starts (38)

Milestone Watch – collected 100th career RBI vs. Cleveland State (4/30) … enters SJU series with 95 career runs

Situationally Speaking – 2nd on team in batting with runners in scoring position (.423) and 2 outs (.357) … 3rd on team in batting with runners on (.363) and 2-out RBI (10), 4th in leadoff on-base pct. (.444) … 4th in batting vs. RHPs (.327; just .250 vs. LHPs) … 2-for-6 with the bases loaded … 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter … has struck out “looking” just twice in ’05 (173 plate appearances)

Among BIG EAST Stat Leaders – 5th on BIG EAST overall RBI charts (39), 14th in walks (23) … 3rd among BIG EAST players with .395 batting (11-for-38) in conference games, plus league-best .549 on-base pct. in conference action (also 8th with 5 doubles) … his .526 league slugging pct. is just shy of that top-10 list (.529 is 10th) … his 1.075 OPS (combined on-base and slugging) in league play ranks 5th, just ahead of SJU’s Greg Thomson (1.049) and behind Pitt’s Jim Negrych (1.197), UConn’s Jeff Hourigan (1.103), Pitt’s Ben Copeland (1.091) and WVU’s Stan Posluszny (1.080) … his other ’05 stats in BIG EAST games include 9 RBI, 6 R, 7 BB, 6 HBP, 5 Ks and 3 SB in 14 GP/12 GS

BIG EAST Career Stats – his .414 career batting avg. (55-for-133) in BIG EAST regular-season games ranks 6th in league record book behind Joe Cirone (.443; Rutgers, ’97, ’99-’00), Martese Robinson (.432; Seton Hall, ’85-’87), Dennis McCaffery (.432; Villanova, ’90-’91), Randall Brooks (.420; ND, ’96-’97) and Jason Frushour (.418; West Virginia, ’96-’97) … Cirone and Robinson are only 3- or 4-year players with a higher career avg. … his other career stats in BIG EAST regular-season games include 29 RBI, 32 R, 3 HR, 12 2B, 23 BB and 11 SB in 49 GP

vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 4-for-12 in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (4 GS, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, SB)

Last Week (vs. VU, Man., CSU) – ranked 5th on team after batting .353 (6-for-17) with team-best 7 RBI (5 R, 3B, 2B, BB, 6 HBP, 3 SB)

Homestand – hit .250 (11-44) with team-best 18 RBI in 13 GS (12 R, 2 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 6 BB, 8 HBP, 3 Ks, 5 SB; just one multiple-hit game)

Monthly Checkup – ranked 4th on team with .321 batting avg. and team-best 20 RBI while helping team go 14-5-1 in April (17 GS, 14 R, 2 HR, 3B, 5 2B, 7 BB, 9 HBP, 7 Ks,SAC, 6-6 SB)

Home and Away – batting 31 points higher in all road games this season (.324/3rd on team, 24-for-24, 15 RBI, 14 R, 2 HR, 6 2B, 10 BB, 4 HBP, 9 Ks, 5-7 SB, E) than at Eck Stadium (.293, 17-for-58, 22 RBI, 15 R, 2 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 12 BB, 9 HBP, 3 Ks, SAC, 7-7 SB, E)

Lineup Notes – 38 starts include 14 in LF, 1B (9), CF (4), RF (9) and DH (2); 19 cleanup, plus 5th (8), 6th (7), 7th (3) and leadoff (1)

Top ’05 Games – hit ND’s first game-ending HR (9-7 vs. Purdue; April 20) since ’02 CWS (Brian Stavisky; 5-3 vs. Rice) and then hit grand slam in next AB, vs. Valparaiso (9-8; 5 RBI) …hit 2-for-4 in loss at Central Florida (1-2) before helping beat Knights in 4-2 game (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB) … 3-for-4 in first win over Southwest Missouri (2 RBI, 2 R, HR) … HR vs. South Dakota State (2 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB) and Cincinnati (1-for-3, 2 R, BB, SB) … helped avert loss to Cleveland State (7-6; 3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, 3B, BB, 2 SB) before adding 3 RBI next day in 13-3 win over Vikings (H, R, SB) … hit .333 with 5 RBI and 2 HR on spring break trip (6-for-18, 6 R, 5 BB, 3 Ks)

See PDF for game-by-game stats

Matt Edwards (1B, Sr., Bats: Right … Mechanicsville, VA … First Team All-BIG EAST in 2003) … see PDF for career stats

• Leads team in eight categories – slugging pct. (.680), OPS (1.133), home runs (12), RBI (54), doubles (15), total bases (115), runs (44) and hits (62) – while joining Brett Lilley as only players to start all 43 games (Greg Lopez is the only other to play in all43) … also 2nd on team in batting avg. (.367), on-base pct. (.453) and walks (23), and 5th in stolen bases (4) … leads team with 19 multi-hit games (4-for-4 vs. Toledo; five 3-hit games) and 13 multi-RBI games

Recent Trends – enters SJU series on 7-game hit streak (.393, 11-for-28, 6 RBI, 8 R, 4 2B, 3B, 6 BB) but has no HRs and just one multi-RBI game in last 8 GP… has not gone hitless in back-to-back games since opening week … had hits in 18 of 19 games in early-season stretch, with 8-game hit streak (Feb. 20-March 10) and 10-game streak (March 18-26)

Milestone Watch – needs 5 doubles to become 10th player in ND history with 50 2Bs in his career

Stat Leader – entered week ranked 19h among the nation’s RBI leaders (54, just four shy of Matt Bransfield’s ND-leading total in ’04) … ranks among the league leaders in 11 categories, including 1st in RBI (54), home runs (12), slugging pct. (.680) and total bases (115), also 3rd in runs (44) and hits (62), 4th in OPS (1.133), 5th in doubles (15), 8th in batting avg. (.367) and on-base pct. (.453), and 14th in walks (23) … in league games only, he ranks 2nd in RBI (15), 4th in doubles (6) 6th in HRs (2), slugging (.542) and runs (13), 9th in total bases (32), 13th in hits (20) and 15th in batting (.339)

Oh Boy, OPS! – His 1.133 OPS (.453 on-base plus .680 slugging) ranks 4th among all BIG EAST players, behind Pitt’s Jim Negrych (1.172; .500+.672), SJU’s Greg Thomson (1.144; .470+.674) and Pitt’s Ben Copeland (1.142; .480+.662)

Situationally Speaking – batting just .276 with two outs but owns team-best 13 two-out RBI … ranks 2nd on team with .368 batting vs. RHPs and 3rd with .361 vs. LHPs) … also 2nd on team in leadoff on-base pct. (.704) and batting with runners on base (.368), plus 3rd in batting with runners in scoring position (.353) … hitting 2-for-7 with the bases loaded

BIG EAST Stats – 2nd on team with .339 batting in ’05 BIG EAST games (20-for-59, 15 GS, 15 RBI, 13 R, 2 HR, 6 2B, 4 BB, HBP, 5 Ks, 2 SB, 4 Es) … a .314 career batter in regular-season BIG EAST games (72-for-229, 63 GP, 58 RBI, 45 R, 8 HR, 3B, 16 2B, 25 BB, 8 SB)

vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 8-for-19 (.421) in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (5 GS, 7 RBI, 8 R, 3 HR, 3B, BB, 2 Ks, SB) … his 19 total bases and 1.000 career slugging vs. SJU includes a pair of booming HRs over the center-field fence at the SJU Ballpark in the April 7, 2003, doubleheader … prior to those blasts, the facility (which opened in ’01) had seen only two other players – a Princeton batter and a minor leaguer – drive the ball over the CF fence in game action

In The Record Books – enters SJU series 6th in ND history with 181 career RBI, also 9th with 32 HRs and 17th with .347 career batting avg. (he can apply for a 5th year in ’06) … also ranks 10th in career slugging pct. (.578) and hit-by-pitch (20), needing 22 hits and 5 doubles to crack those ND top-10 lists … his career OPS stands at 1.009 (Dan Peltier holds ND record, 1.202 from ’87-’89) … his career batting avg. ranks 13th among ND players who have played 3-plus seasons (8th among 4-year players) … since ’99, he owns 4th-best career batting avg. among ND players (behind Steve Stanley, Steve Sollmann, Brian Stavisky) … his .680 slugging is 12 points shy of that ND top-10 (no ND player since ’99 has posted a season slugging pct. of .700-plus) … carries 1.133 season OPS (Peltier posted record 1.295 in ’89) … on pace for 70 RBI in regular season (Mike Amrhein is most recent ND player with 70-plus RBI in season, totaling 71 in ’97)

see PDF for Edwards in the ND record books

Hitting at All Fields – one of nine players ranked among the BIG EAST top-15 in both ove4all (8th) and conference (15th) batting avg. … others include BC’s Jared McGuire (1st/1st), Pitt’s Ben Copeland (2nd/6th) and Jim Negrych (3rd/1st), SJU’s Greg Thomson (7th/10th) and Joe Burke (12th/12th), RU’s Cory Rodriguez (9th/7th), UConn’s Jeff Hourigan (10th/11th) and WVU’s Doug Nelms (14th/4th)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit team-best .450 (9-for-20) in 5 GS (4 RBI, 4 R, 3B, 4 2B, 5 BB, 2 Ks)

13-Game Homestand – hit .353 (18-for-51) in 13 GS (10 RBI, 11 R, HR, 3B, 5 2B, 9 BB, HBP, 5 Ks, SB, 2 Es)

Monthly Checkup – 2nd on team with .350 batting in month of April (28-for-30, 19 RBI, 17 R, 3 HR, 3B, 7 2B, 10 BB, HBP, 9 Ks, 3 SB, 7 Es)

Home and Away – ranks 2nd on team with .423 batting in 2005 games at Eck Stadium (33-for-78, 30 RBI, 23 R, 7 HR, 3B, 8 2B, 15 BB, 2 HBP, 5 Ks, 3 SB, 4 Es) while also ranking 2nd on team with .337 batting in all ’05 road games (29-for-86, 24 RBI, 21 R, 5 HR, 7 2B, 7 BB, 4 HBP, 9 Ks, SB, 6 Es)

Old Reliable – has logged 84 consecutive starts with the Irish and has played in 166 of 169 games during the past three seasons (starting 164), since returning from broken leg that halted his freshman season early in ’02

Lineup Notes – his 43 starts include 32 at 1B, 10 at 3B (DH in gm-3 vs. UConn) … has made all starts batting in 3-hole

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) … his 5-for-11 series vs. UConn included HR to dead-center field in series finale … helped secure 7-7 tie in season finale vs. Villanova (3-for-5, 3 RBI, R, 2 2B, BB)

See PDF for game-by-game stats

Sean Gaston (C, So., Bats: Left, 6-0/185 … Brownsburg, IN) … see PDF for career stats

• Leads team in sac. bunts (6), also 4th in RBI (23) and 5th in hits (39) and stolen bases (4) … 4th on team with 10 multi-hit games (also has 4 multi-RBI games)

Situationally Speaking – his 11 two-out RBI rank 2nd on team … owns .417 leadoff on-base pct., batting .269 with runners on (.292 in scoring position), .261 with 2 outs … hitting .265 vs. LHPs, .297 vs. RHPs … 2-for-6 with bases loaded

BIG EAST Stats – batting .298 in ’05 BIG EAST games (14-for-47, 14 GS, 11 RBI, 5 R, HR, 3 BB, HBP, 5 Ks, 4 SB) … a .250 career BIG EAST batter (15-for-60, 21 GP, 12 RBI, 6 R, HR, 5 BB, 7 Ks, 5 SB), missing much of ’04 due to illness

vs. St. John’s – hit 0-for-5 in 2005 doubleheader vs. the Red Storm (BB, K), drawing starts in both games as Javi Sanchez was tried at 2B as injury replacement for Steve Sollmann

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit .267 (4-for-15) in 4 GS (5 RBI, 2 R, HR, BB, 3 Ks, E)

13-Game Homestand – 4th on team with .350 batting (14-40, 12 GP/10 GS, 9 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 5 Ks, SAC, 2 SB)

Monthly Checkup – 5th on team with .321 batting in April (17-53, 11 RBI, 6 R, HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 7 Ks, 2 SAC, 3 SB, 3 Es)

Home and Away – has experienced similar success in ’05 batting at Eck Stadium (.305, 18-for-59, 11 RBI, 8 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 3 SB, E) and in all road games (.282, 20-for-71, 12 RBI, 16 R, 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 HBP, 7 Ks, 3 SAC, SB, 3 Es)

Lineup Notes – has made all 36 of his starts at catcher while batting all over the lineup, with 8 starts each in the 6-, 8- and 9-holes, plus starts in the 2nd (2), 4th (2), 5th (4) and 7th (4) spots

Spring Break Stats – hit .280 with 4 RBI in Round Rock and San Antonio games (7-for-25, 5 R, 2B, HBP, K)

Summer Ball – set to join classmates Jeff Manship and Derik Olvey as members of the Cape Cod League’s Cotuit Kettleers during summer of ’05 (at least two other ND players also are set to play in the ’05 Cape) … played with the Waterloo (Iowa) Bucs of the Northwoods League during the summer of ’04

Top ’05 Games – went 4-for-8 in doubleheader vs. Villanova (5 RBI, 2 R, BB, 3-run HR) … hit 9th-inning single prior to Greg Lopez’s 3-run HR as ND tied series finale vs. VU (ended 7-7) … singled for key hit in comeback win over UConn (3-for-4, SB) … 4-for-6 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, R) … 3-for-4 in second win over Southwest Missouri (RBI, 3 R, HBP) and 3-for-5 in comeback vs. Northern Illinois (RBI, 3 R, 2B) … lead role in win over Bowling Green (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B)

See PDF for game-by-game stats

Tony Langford (OF/DH, Fr., Bats: Right, 5-11/175 … Fort Worth, TX) … see PDF for season stats

• Ranks 4th on team in slugging pct. (.422) and 5th in batting avg. (.304) … hit his only home runs of the season (2) in furious comeback at Rutgers (only three ND players have more than 2 HRs all season) … ranks 6th on team with 9 multiple-hit games (also has 4 multi-RBI efforts)

Recent Trends – has delivered some clutch late-game pitching performances in past few weeks while slumping at the plate, going 0-for-9 in his past 4 games (2 Ks) and 1-for-16 over course of previous 6 games (HBP, 2 Ks)

Situationally Speaking – ranks 3rd on team in 2-out batting (.306) and 2-out RBI (10), also 4thr on team with .323 batting vs. LHPs (.296 vs. RHPs) … owns a .280 leadoff on-base pct., .305 batting with runners on and .297 wih runners in scoring position … 0-for-3 with the bases loaded, 1-for-3 as a pinch-hitter

BIG EAST Stats – batting .283 in ’05 BIG EAST games (15-for-53, 15 GP/14 GS, 10 RBI, 6 R, 2 HR, 4 2B, HBP, 4 K, SB)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – went 0-for-9 in 3 GP/2 GS (2 Ks)

13-Game Homestand – hit .231 (9-for-39) in 11 GP/10 GS (5 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HBP, 6 Ks, SAC)

Monthly Checkup – compiled .266 batting avg. in April (17-for-64, 11 RBI, 6 R, 2 HR, 3 2B, BB, 2 HBP, 8 Ks, SAC, E)

Home and Away – owns team-best .382 batting avg. in all road games (13-for-34, 10 RBI, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 2B, BB, 3 Ks) but is hitting 116 points lower at Eck Stadium (.266, 17-for-64, 6 RBI, 6 R, 4 2B, BB, HBP, 8 Ks, SAC, SB, E)

Lineup Notes – his 26 starts include 13 starts in LF, 11 at DH and 2 in RF while batting mostly in 5-hole (11) and 7-hole (9), plus start in the 6th (4), 8th (1) and cleanup (1) spots

Summer Ball – slated to play in the Texas Collegiate League (team TBA) during the summer of ’05

Top ’05 Games – 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) … homered twice to fuel late comeback in extra-inning loss at Rutgers … hit 3-for-4 in win over Bowling Green (RBI, 2 R, 2B, SAC

LANGFORD’S 2005 GAME-BY-GAME (see PDF)

Brett Lilley (2B, Fr., Bats: Left, 5-7/165 … North Canton, OH … Freshman All-America Candidate) … see PDF for season stats

• Leads team in batting avg. (.372), on-base pct. (.523), walks (27), hit-by-pitch (20) and sac. bunts (5) … joins Matt Edwards as only players to start all 43 games (Greg Lopez is the only other to play in all 43) … 2nd in runs (39) and hits (54), 3rd in stolen bases (9), 4th in total bases (58), 5th in RBI (19) … has hits in 31 of 43 games, with back-to-back hitless games just once all season (March 9-10)

Stat Leader – 4th in nation with 20 HBP, behind Elon’s Gary Morris (23), Wake Forest’s Ryder Mathias (22), Missouri’s John McKee (21) … leads BIG EAST in on-base pct. (.523), also 3rd in walks (27), 6th in batting avg. (.372), 10th in runs (39) and 13th in hits (53)

Situationally Speaking – effectice all-around hitter who leads team in batting with runners on base (.446) and in scoring position (.442), 2-out batting (.500; 8 RBI) and pct. of baserunners advanced (70%) … also leads team with .393 batting vs. RHPs (5th with .316 vs. LHPs), plus 3rd in leadoff on-base pct. (.511) … batting 2-for-6 with the bases loaded.

Great Glove Man – has totaled 34 error-free games, including 21-game span without an error (96 fielding chances) from March 24-April 21 (spanning time at 2B and 3B) … four of his teammates combined for 18 errors at 3B in first 28 games of the season but he then turned in 9 error-free games to open his stint at the hot corner (40 chances) … has totaled 11 error-free games in 15 GP at 3B (6 Es)

In the Record Books – his 20 HBP rank 3rd in ND history (behind Cody Rizzo’s 28 in ’03, 21 in ’04), as does his .523 on-base pct. (behind the .531 by Eric Danapilis in ’91 and Edwin Hartwell’s .529 in ’93) … on base to break the ND record for OB pct. by a freshman (.509, by Danapilis in ’90) qhile his .372 batting is 3rd-best ever by ND freshman (Danapilis hit .429 in ’90, Scott Sollmann .402 in ’94)

BE Stats – 3rd on team with .321 batting in BIG EAST games (17-53, 15 GS, 4 RBI, 11 R, 2 2B, 8 BB, 2 HBP, 6 Ks. 2 SAC, 2 SB, E)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit .333 (6-for-18) in 5 GS (RBI, 7 R, 2B, 4 BB, 3 HBP, 2 Ks, SAC, SB, 5 Es)

13-Game Homestand – hit team-best .449 (22-for-49) in 13 GS (7 RBI, 15 R, 2B, 11 BB, 4 HBP, 6 Ks, SAC, 4 SB, 6 Es)

Monthly Checkup – team-best .361 batter in April (26-for-72, 7 RBI, 19 R, 3 2B, 12 BB, 6 HBP, 8 Ks, 5 SB, 6 Es)

Home & Away – batting 154 points higher in games at Eck Stadium (.444, 32-for-72, 13 RBI, 22 R, 2B, 13 BB, 6 HBP, 7 Ks, 4 SAC, 6 SB, 7 E) than in all road games (.290, 20-for-69, 6 RBI, 15 R, 3 2B, 12 BB, 14 HBP, 8 Ks, 2 SAC, 2 SB, 4 E)

Lineup Notes – made first 28 starts at 2B before starting past 15 games at 3B, with the Irish going 13-1-1 in that stretch … has hit mostly in the 2-hole (36, plus 7 early-season starts at leadoff)

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) … had 9-for-11 stretch vs. Central Michigan (2-for-3, R, BB) and then in doubleheader vs. UConn: 2-for-3 in opener (R, BB) and 4-for-4 in nightcap (R) … hit 3-for-5 with 2 RBI in series finale vs. Villanova (7-7) … hit .368 on spring-break trip (7-for-19, 2 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 5 HBP, 4 Ks)

See PDF for game-by-game stats

Greg Lopez (SS, Jr., Bats: R, 6-0/190; Upper Arlington, OH … 3rd Team All-BIG EAST in ’04; Academic All-America Candidate in ’05) … see PDF for season stats

• One of three ND players to appear in all 43 games, also ranking 2nd on team in hit-by-pitch (13), 3rd in RBI (29), sac. bunts (4), starts (42) and multi-RBI games (7), 4th in home runs (2), 5th in hits (39), runs (29) and toal bases (52), and 6th in multi-hit games (9)

For the Glove of the Game – his 34 error-free games in ’05 include 15 to open season and current streak of 1 E in 14 games, with active 6-game errorless streak … had four straight games with Es (March 19-24) but has not made errors in back-to-back games at any other time this season … has only 4 multi-E games in ’05 (none with 3-plus Es) … had 42 E-free games in ’04 (76 total in ’04 and ’05)

Hitting the Ball & the Books – candidate for Academic All-America honors (3.36 GPA; anthropology/pre-professional science major)

Situationally Speaking – 5th on team in 2-out batting (.279; 3 RBI) … hitting .297 vs. LHPs, .267 vs. RHPs … owns .351 leadoff on-base pct., batting .304 with runners on and .260 with runners in scoring position … 3-for-4 with bases loaded.

Milestone Watch – needs 11 more RBI for the 100th of his ND career

BIG EAST Stats – batting .271 in 2005 BIG EAST games (13-for-48, 15 GS, 10 RBI/3rd on team, 11 R, 3B, 3 2B, 4 BB, 5 HBP, 10 Ks, 6 Es) … a .309 career batter in regular-season BIG EAST games (56-for-181, 49 GP, 30 RBI, 35 R, 12 2B, 3 SB, 13 BB) vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 8-for-11 (.727) in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (4 GP/3 GS, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2B, 2 Ks)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit .263 (5-for-19) in 5 GS (4 RBI, 4 R, HR, 3 HBP, K, SAC, 0 Es)

13-Game Homestand – hit .311 (14-for-45) in 13 GS (10 RBI and 13 R/both 2nd on team, HR, 3B, 2 2B, 8 HBP, 8 Ks, E)

Monthly Checkup – hit .254 in month of April (17-for-67, 10 RBI, 15 R, HR, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, 11 HBP, 15 Ks, 5 Es)

Home and Away – batting 88 points higher at Eck Stadium this season (.319/4th on team, 23-for-72, 15 RBI, 20 R, HR, 3B, 5 2B, 2 BB, 10 HBP, 13 Ks, 9 Es) than in all road games (.231, 15-for-65, 14 RBI, 9 R, HR, 5 BB, 3 HBP, 16 Ks, 4 Es)

Lineup Notes – had made 39 starts at SS (plus 3 at 3B, in midseason) while batting in the 9th (22), 8th (18) and 7th (2) spots

Summer Ball – one of several ND players slated to play in Cape Cod League (Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox) during summer of ’05 … played for Delaware (Ohio) Cows of Great Lakes League in summer of `04

Top ’05 Games – tied series finale vs. Villanova with 3-run HR in 9th (ended 7-7; 3-for-5, HBP) … 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) … hit 3 doubles in game-2 vs. Georgetown (2 RBI, R, BB) … led 7-1 win over UConn (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B) … hit .200 on spring break trip (4-for-20, 3 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, HBP, 6 Ks)

See PDF for game-by-game

Alex Nettey (OF, Jr., Bats: Right, 6-1/200 … Dolton, IL) … see PDF for season stats

• Shares team lead with 2 triples, also 3rd in runs (31), hits (47), total bases (63) and multi-hit games (12; just 3 multi-RBI gms), 4th in doubles (6), home runs (2), games played (40) and starts (39), and 5th in slugging pct. (.404), HBP (12) and sac. bunts (4)

Recent Trends – has hits in 7 of past 8 games (15-for-35/.429, 9 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B, BB, 4 HBP, SB) after 1-for-18 slump

Situationally Speaking – ranks 5th on team in batting with runners on base (.329) … batting .333 vs. RHPs (3rd-best on team) but just .205 vs. LHPs … owns a .404 leadoff on-base pct. … hitting .310 with runners in scoring position, .216 with 2 outs (3 RBI) … batting 1-for-3 with the bases loaded … has struck out “looking” just three times in ’05 (177 plate app.)

BIG EAST Stats – batting just .210 in 2005 BIG EAST games (13-for-62, 15 GS, 4 RBI, 7 R, HR, 3B, 3 2B, 3 BB, 3 HBP, 9 Ks, SAC, SB, 2 Es) … played mostly as reserve in 2004 BIG EAST games (1-for-6, 9 GP/2 GS, 3 R, BB, HBP, SB)

vs. St. John’s – has played sparingly in previous games vs. the Red Storm (R, 2 GP/0 GS)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit .333 (7-for-21) in 5 GS (RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 2 Ks, SB, 0 E)

13-Game Homestand – 5th on team with .333 batting (19-57) in 13 GS (5 RBI, 12 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 4 HBP, 7 Ks, 2 SB, 2 Es)

Monthly Checkup – hit .274 in month of April (23-for-84, 6 RBI, 14 R, HR, 3B, 3 2B, 3 BB, 5 HBP, 11 Ks, 2 SB, 3 Es)

Home and Away – has similar batting numbers in ’05 games at Eck Stadium (.291, 25-for-86, 10 RBI, 20 R, HR, 3 2B, 5 BB, 7 HBP, 12 Ks, 3 SB, 3 Es) as in all road games (.281, 18-for-64, 6 RBI, 9 R, 2 3B, 3 2B, 4 BB, 5 HBP, 8 Ks, 2 SB, E)

Lineup Notes – has made all 39 starts in CF, batting mostly leadoff (29), plus starts in 9th (6), 2nd (2), 5th (1) and 8th (1) spots

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)

Summer Ball – slated to return to Fayetteville (N.C.) Swamp Dogs of Coastal Plains League during summer of ’05

Top ’05 Games – snapped 1-for-18 slump vs. Purdue at Coveleskt Stadium (4-for-6, HR, SB) … hit 3-for-6 in series finale vs. Villanova (7-7) .. 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) …hit 3-for-4 vs. Bowling Green

See PDF for game-by-game stats

Cody Rizzo (OF, Jr., Bats: Right, 6-1/200 … Temecula, CA) … see PDF for season stats

• Ranks 2nd on team with 13 times hit-by-pitch and 11 stolen bases, also 4th in walks (20) and games played (40) and 5th in on-base pct. (.421) and runs (29) … has just 4 multi-hit games, 2 with multi-RBI … his 5 SBs in BIG EAST play rank 7th among the league’s players

Recent Trends – looking to snap 0-14 slunp in his past 7 GP (4 R, RBI, 3 BB, 2 HBP)

Situationally Speaking – 4th on team with .444 leadoff on-base pct. … .143 batter vs. LHPs (.271 vs. RHPs) … batting .262 with runners on (.189 in scoring position) and .222 with 2 outs (8 RBI) … hitting 0-for-2 with bases loaded, 1-for-2 as a pinch-hitter

Walking Tall – has overcome subpar batting season by getting on base via walks (20; 4th on team) and HBP (13; 2nd) – for 5th-best on-base pct. on team (.421, despite just .235), also swiping 11 bases (2nd on team) … first two seasons featured total of just 15 walks (4 in ’04) and 6 stolen bases but he already has passed that 2-year BB total and nearly has doubled his 2-year SB total from ’03 and ’04

Plunksville – already ranks 5th in the NCAA record book with 62 career times hit-by-pitch (record is 92)

BIG EAST Stats – 5th on team with .308 batting in 2005 BIG EAST games (8-for-26, 13 GGP/9 GS, 4 RBI, 11 R, HR, 2 2B, 4 BB, 7 HBP, 6 Ks, 5 SB, E) … a .277 career batter in regular-season BIG EAST games (51-for-184, 61 GP, 35 RBI, 45 R, 4 HR, 2 3B, 5 2B, 8 SB, 10 BB) vs. St. John’s – hit a combined 6-for-15 (.400) in ’03 and ’04 games vs. SJU (45 GS, 4 RBI, 8 R, HR, 3B, 2B, BB, 3 Ks)

Last Week (vs. Vill., Man., Clev. St.) – hit 0-for-9 in 5 GP/3 GS (RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 HBP, K)

13-Game Homestand – hit .192 (5-for-26) in 12 GP/7 GS (3 RBI, 8 R, HR, 2B, 4 BB, 3 HBP, 6 Ks, 3-5 SB)

Monthly Checkup – hit .205 in month of April (8-for-39, 5 RBI, 11 R, HR, 2 2B, 5 BB, 4 HBP, 10 Ks, 3-5 SB, E)

Home and Away – has similar 2005 batting numbers at Eck Stadium (.231, 9-for-39, 5 RBI, 16 R, HR, 2B, 9 BB, 9 HBP, 7 Ks, 9-11 SB) than in all road games (.241, 14-for-58, 9 RBI, 12 R, HR, 3B, 4 2B, 11 BB, 4 HBP, 17 Ks, 2-3 SB, 2 Es)

Lineup Notes – has made all 31 starts in RF while batting mostly in the 5th (10), 6th (11) and 7th (8) spots, plus 2 in 8th

Summer Ball – slated to join teammate Matt Bransfield on Mat-Su Miners of Alaska League in summer of ’05 (ND’s Matt Edwards played for Mat-Su in ’04) … saw his ’03 summer with Hays Larks (Jayhawk League) cut short due to injury … dnp in summer of ’04 due to wrist injury

Top ’05 Games – smacked 2-run HR and hit 3-for-3 to help complete sweep of UConn (3 R, HBP, 2 SB) … hit 3-for-5 in 13-9 loss to Dayton (RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B, SB) … helped rally past NIU (2-for-2, RBI, 2 R, 3B, BB, HBP) …hit .111 on spring break (2-for-18, 2 R, 3 BB, HBP, 6 Ks, SB)

See PDF for game-by-game stats