March 13, 2001

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Tuesday, March 13, 2001 … vs. Navy
Pepsi Johnny-Quik Classic

Beiden Field, Fresno, Calif.

Notre Dame leads the Navy series (6-2), including wins in Millington, Tenn., at the Service Academies Classic in 1992 (7-6) and 1996 (1-0) … the series dates back to a pair of games at Navy in 1913 (7-1 Navy win) and 1914 (4-2 ND win), followed by a 1915 win for the Mids at ND (5-2) … the Irish then won home games vs. the Mids in 1929 (6-4) and `31 (5-2), followed by a 5-4 win at Navy in 1940 and a 5-4 home loss to the Mids in `41 … each team has scored a total of 35 runs in the previous nine games of the series, with four 1-run games, two 2-run games and two 3-run games … ND and Navy did not meet during the 1997 or 2000 Service Academies Classic (the Irish played Army in `97 and Air Force in 2000).

First-year Navy head coach Steve Whitmyer played for the Notre Dame baseball team in the early 1980s, earning varsity letters with the 1981 and `82 squads while posting a 5.24 ERA, 9-13 record, one save and 109 strikeouts in 135.2 innings pitched … Whitmyer helped the Irish post a 23-16-1 record in 1981 and a 28-15 mark in `82, during the first two seasons of the seven-year tenure of head coach Larry Gallo (who now is an assistant athletic director at the University of North Carolina).

Despite the fact that the Irish baseball team is wrapping up a first month of the season that will have spanned more than 10,000 miles, the team’s path to Fresno was much easier than the program’s previous trip to Fresno … at the end of the 1989 season, the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament at South Bend’s Coveleski Stadium was pushed back to torrential rains and the Irish were forced to win four games in a 23-hour span in order to claim the MCC’s automatic berth in the NCAAs … that marked ND’s first trip to the NCAAs since 1970, with the Irish dropping a pair to host Fresno State (9-8, 11-4) while beating Portland (8-6) at that NCAA West II Regional.

In addition to the above two games in the 1989 NCAAs, Notre Dame lost its first two games versus Fresno State-in midseason of 1961 … the Bulldogs won both of those games (19-13, 8-2) and hold a 4-0 series edge versus the Irish (with a 47-27 scoring edge).

Two members on the Irish baseball team-junior CF Steve Stanley and junior C Paul O’Toole-were starters in the 2000 Cape Cod League all-star game (as members of the Brewster Whitecaps) while ND sophomore RF Brian Stavisky also was a starter in the Cape All-Star game and played for the Hyannis Mets … Fresno State junior 2B Tom Creighton played alongside Stanley and O’Toole on the Brewster squad that beat Hyannis for the Cape title … Bulldogs junior LHP Beau Hintz also played in the Cape during the summer of 2000, as a member of the Wareham Gatemen … Stanley led the Cape in batting (.329) while ranking second in runs (31), third in on-base pct. (.429) and fourth in stolen bases (20-of-27, in 43 GP) … O’Toole hit .273 while impressing observers with his wooden-bat power, tying for fifth in the Cape with four home runs, plus three triples, three doubles, 24 RBI, 26 runs, 18 walks, 27 Ks and 13-of-18 SBs (41 GP) … Stavisky (.324) finished second in the Cape batting race while seeing his Mets lost to Brewster in the Cape title game (6-2) … Stavisky hit three HRs in the Cape, including one as MVP of the all-star game (his West squad lost to Stanley and O’Toole’s East team, 7-6), while also ranking 5th in the Cape for slugging pct. (.453), 4th in RBI (26), 2nd in doubles (14) and 5th in hits (55), plus 19 walks, 30 Ks and four SBs (44 GP) … Hintz was a teammate of ND junior OF Matt Strickroth during the summer of 2000 with the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska League … Strickroth then was joined on the Miners in the summer of 2001 by Irish senior RHP Danny Tamayo and Fresno State junior C Brad Harper.

By scoring in today’s game, Notre Dame will set the team record for consecutive games with at least one run scored (134), dating back to a 12-0 loss at Florida International on Feb. 21, 1999 … ND also scored in the first 133 games of the Paul Mainieri era (Feb. 24, 1995-March 9, 1997) and has scored in of 372 of 377 total games during the Mainieri era (98.7 percent) …

ND’s last 13 games have including three shutout performances by Irish pitchers … Danny Tamayo tossed a three-hit shutout at Mississippi State in the 2000 NCAA Regional (3-0) before duplicating that feat in Monday’s 3-0 win over New Mexico … fellow senior RHP Aaron Heilman blanked Florida Atlantic on five hits to lead ND’s 3-0 win over the Blue Wave on March 2, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Notre Dame has edged up a spot in both the Baseball America (9th) and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls (10th) while jumping 11th to 8th in the Collegiate Baseball poll … BA dropped Auburn from 7th to 13th, with the top eight teams in that poll including Rice (18-4), South Carolina (16-2), Georgia Tech (13-5), Nebraska (12-3), Arizona State (17-4), Miami (17-5), LSU (13-6), Pepperdine (15-4) and USC (12-8) … CB’s top seven teams include Rice, South Carolina, Stanford, ASU, Nebraska, Pepperdine and Georgia Tech, with LSU dropping from 2nd to 11th, USC falling from 4th to 13th and Auburn slipping from 8th to 15th … the top 10 teams in the coaches poll include Rice (997 voting points), South Carolina (965), Stanford (927), ASU (875), Georgia Tech (772), LSU (698), Miami (678), Nebraska (634, making the jump from 12th), Pepperdine (613) and ND (582), with Auburn dropping from 7th to 12th and USC from 4th to 13th … ND’s BIG EAST rival Rutgers checks in at 23rd in the BA poll, 24th in the coaches poll and 25th in the CB poll while Mississippi State (another ND 2001 opponent) is 21st in the CB poll and received the 26th-most votes in the coaches poll.