Freshman RHP Nick McCarty will make his first career start on Tuesday against UCSB.

No. 17 Irish Continue West Coast Trip With UCSB Tuesday

March 11, 2013

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#17 Notre Dame
Fighting Irish (10-3)


UC Santa Barbara
Gauchos (8-6)

Santa Barbara, Calif.
Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)

probable pitchers
Tuesday (3 p.m. PT)
RHP Nick McCarty (2-2, 0.55 ERA) vs. LHP Greg Mahle (2-1, 2.84 ERA)

live game coverage
Live Video: None
Live Audio: WHME 103.1 FM (Chuck Freeby, pbp);
Live Stats:

IN THE BATTERS BOX — Notre Dame travels to Santa Barbara, Calif., to face UCSB at 3 p.m. PT Tuesday afternoon. The Irish (10-3) enter their first midweek tilt of the season ranked among the top-25 in all five major polls. Notre Dame is ranked No. 17 by both Perfect Game and Baseball America, No. 21 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 23 by NCBWA and No. 22 by the USA Today Coaches.

LOOKING BACK — Notre Dame played a trio of one-run contests with No. 7 UCLA, USC and No. 10 Oklahoma last weekend at the Dodgertown Classic. The Irish took two of three over the weekend. Notre Dame dropped its opening game of the tournament 2-1 in 10 innings to the host Bruins. The Irish rebounded with back-to-back victories over the Trojans (2-1) and Sooners (6-5, 11 innings). Notre Dame came from behind to win both contests.

FAST OUT OF THE GATE — Notre Dame (10-3) has not posted a better record after its first 13 games since 2004 when the Irish opened 12-1. The ’04 campaign is the only in the last 20 years (dating back to the 1993 season) in which Notre Dame has reached the 10-win mark in fewer than 13 games. In fact, only four Irish squads (’04, ’92, 1960 and 1959) over the last 76 years have reached the 10-win plateau faster than the ’13 team.

IRISH TRAVEL TO THE GOLDEN STATE ­– Notre Dame is in the midst of its first trip to the state of California since 2004. The Irish have travelled to a total of 10 different California sites in program history. Notre Dame has played at the University of California, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, USC, UC Riverside, the University of the Pacific and Santa Clara.

  • The Irish make their first ever appearance at UC Santa Barbara and will do the same this weekend at Cal Poly.

HEADING FOR THE LEFT COAST — The Notre Dame baseball team has made a handful of trips to California, posting a 19-22-1 record in those games, including a 14-8-1 mark over the last 23 games in the Golden State.

  • The Irish are now 5-1 in their last six games played in California. Notre Dame went 2-0 in its last visit to California. The Irish defeated San Diego State (7-1) and USC (3-1) at the 2004 USC Classic.
  • The 2001 spring break trip produced a 7-0-1 record for the Irish, including a 5-0-1 record in wining the prestigious Fresno State Classic (with highlight wins over Fresno State and Illinois).
  • Other recent trips to California include: the first games of the Paul Mainieri era, at the 1995 Anaheim Classic (win over Pepperdine, losses to Texas and host Cal State Fullerton); the 1997 Long Beach State Classic (0-3 vs. LBSU, USC and Mississippi); and the 2003 NCAA Fullerton Regional (wins over Arizona and San Diego, two losses to Cal State Fullerton).
  • Previous Notre Dame visits to the Golden State include the 1961 squad going 4-5 against an assortment of teams throughout California, a rough week at the 1986 UC-Riverside Invitational (0-7) and the 1989 NCAA West II Regional (win over Portland, two losses to host Fresno State).

CALIFORNIA NATIVES ­– Notre Dame’s list of all-time baseball monogram winners includes 901 players who hail from 47 states, Washington, D.C., Panama and Ontario.

  • California is the ninth-most common home state among the all-time letterwinners, with 39 (behind Illinois, New York, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania).
  • Twenty six of those players hail from southern/central California (the 13 from Northern California include five from San Francisco, two from Oakland, two from San Jose and one each from Berkley, Napa, Stockton and Scotts Valley)
  • The southern/central California natives include current sophomores RHP Matt Kerrigan (Saugus/Saugus HS) and RHP Cristian Torres (Rancho Palos Verdes/Palos Verdes Peninsula), as well as OF Cody Rizzo (Temecula/Chaparral HS, 2003-06), All-America C Walt Osgood (Compton/St. Anthony’s HS, 1960-62), 2B Greg Layson (La Mesa/Grossmont HS, 1991-94, his .321 with 5 HR, 101 RBI in 700 AB) and C Ed Lund (Pasadena/St. Francis HS, 1988-90, St. Francis HS, .308, 10 HR, 116 RBI, 507 AB).
  • Others of note include two Mission Viejo natives – SS/CF Steve Skupien (Capistrano Valley HS, 1986-88, .272, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 378 AB) and OF/1B Matt Strickroth (Santa Margarita HS, ’99-’02, 9 HR, 45 RBI), LHP Ed Lupton (Ventura, 1963-65; 3.06 ERA, 15-7, 161.2, 135 Ks) and 1B/OF Jim Gillis (Huntington Beach/Union HS, 1949-51), who is actively involved in the area Notre Dame Alumni Club events.
  • Others include: RHP Mike Balicki (Santa Margarita HS, 1995-97), C Michael Dorning, (Claremont/LaVerne Damien HS, 1983-85), C/OF Terry Harsha (Van Nuys, 1965), INF Ryne Intlekofer (Moorpark/Moorpark HS), LHP Dustin Ispas (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS), C Mike Knecht (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS, 1998), IF Harold “Hi” Lavelle (Compton, 1955-56), IF Thomas MacDonald (Downey/Pius X. HS, 1963), IF Robin Reschan (San Clemente, 1970-72, .336, 7 HR, 32 RBI), RHP Mike Riddell (San Bernadino/Aquinas HS, 1970-73, 3.58, 9-14, 161 IP, 100 K), C Matt Scioscia (Westlake Village/Encino Crespi Carmelite HS), C Dennis Twombley (San Diego/ Patrick Henry HS, 1994, .348, 5 HR, 24 RBI) and OF Howard Wood ( Redondo Beach /Montgomery HS, 1972-73).

AROUND THE BASES — Notre Dame’s bullpen has been nearly flawless in 2013. Irish relievers have collected a 1.15 ERA in 47.0 innings of work. Junior RHP Dan Slania, freshman RHP Nick McCarty, sophomore RHP Cristian Torres, sophomore RHP Matt Ternowchek, junior RHP Donnie Hissa and freshman LHP Zak Kutsulis have limited foes to a .184 batting average. They have struck out 38, walked 10 and allowed just 29 hits (only three extra base hits). They’ve also posted a 5-2 record with three saves and have allowed just five runs after the sixth inning this season.

  • Notre Dame led the BIG EAST in both fewest walks per nine innings (2.81) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.61) in 2012. Both totals ranked fourth in single-season school history. The Irish also led the league in fewest walks per nine innings in 2011.
  • Notre Dame is off to a similar start in both categories in 2013. The Irish not only lead the BIG EAST in fewest walks per nine innings (1.96), but also rank fourth in the NCAA. Notre Dame also ranks second in the league in WHIP (1.05), which ranks 14th in the country. The Irish (3.48), who rank 11th in the nation, trail only Louisville (4.11) in the BIG EAST for the top strikeout-to-walk ratio.
  • Junior All-American candidates Eric Jagielo and Trey Mancini continue to carry the load offensively for the Irish. Jagielo is batting .362 with two doubles, five home runs and 17 RBI, while Mancini is hitting .354 with two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI.
  • Notre Dame was the only team in the BIG EAST with a pair of players with 10 or more home runs in 2012. Jagielo (13) and Mancini (12) combined for 25 round trippers. Jagielo was second in the BIG EAST, while Mancini ranked tied for third in the league.
  • Jagielo and Mancini form one of the nation’s top power-hitting duos. They are the only returning tandem in the country with 12 or more home runs last year.
  • Sophomore Ryan Bull leads Notre Dame with a .385 batting average and a trio of three-hit games. Bull also added a career-best four hits in the victory over Tulane (added a home run on Feb. 23).

NOTRE DAME-UCSB SERIES HISTORY — The Irish and Gauchos have met just once in program history and it came during the 2001 NCAA regional in South Bend. Notre Dame knocked off UCSB, 11-10, in 10 innings.

  • Steve Stanley wasn’t ready for the record-setting Notre Dame baseball season to come to an end. Even with his team down to its last out in an NCAA tournament elimination game versus UC Santa Barbara – several hours after losing in heartbreaking fashion to Florida International – the sparkplug of the Irish squad still had plenty of fight left in him.
  • So the junior centerfielder worked ahead in the count versus All-American James Garcia – UCSB’s starter in Friday’s game who pitched the final 1.1 innings on Sunday – before driving a 2-1 pitch into center field, with classmate Paul O’Toole motoring home from second base as the Notre Dame bench erupted with the game-tying score (10-10).
  • Rightfielder Brian Stavisky then launched a towering home run over the rightfield fence in the top of the 10th and his own classmate Matt Laird (5-1) finished off his solid 2.2-inning relief stint-sending the Irish into the championship round of the South Bend Regional.
  • The Notre Dame-UCSB game featured six lead changes and five ties, with the Irish holding leads of 2-0, 7-4 and 9-8 before claiming the final 11-10 margin.

— ND —