Feb. 23, 2017
By Michael Scholl
The University of Notre Dame baseball team travels west for a trio of games at the Tony Gwynn Classic. After alterations to the original schedule, the Irish will face UC Irvine on Thursday, Feb. 23, San Diego on Friday, Feb. 24, and San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Five Things To Know
The Notre Dame baseball looks to rebound from a 1-3 record at the Alamo Irish Classic to open the season as they compete in the Tony Gwynn Classic. The Irish were dealt a curveball before boarding the plane, as the tournament schedule was rearranged as the club was en route to Chicago’s Midway Airport due to potential rain on Sunday, Feb. 27. Instead of an off day in San Diego on Thursday, the Irish now face UC Irvine in the tournament’s opening game on Thursday (9 p.m. ET), before taking on San Diego at USD’s Fowler Park on Friday (9 p.m. ET), and San Diego State at SDSU’s Tony Gwynn Stadium on Saturday (9 p.m. ET. In addition to the rearranged schedule, the tournament no longer features a bracket format, with all games predetermined.
Righthander Brad Bass will make his first start of the season Thursday night after the schedule alterations. RHP Brandon Bielak will follow on Friday at San Diego, while RHP Peter Solomon will get the ball on Saturday at San Diego State. Solomon had Notre Dame’s most successful outing of the opening weekend, striking out nine Incarnate Word hitters over six innings while earning the victory. Bass threw four innings of relief in an 8-6 loss to Saint Louis, allowing a pair of runs. Bielak started the season-opener, allowing three earned runs in three innings of work in a 10-2 loss to Lafayette
While they are not common opponents, Notre Dame has faced all three teams it is slated to take on at the Tony Gwynn Classic.
- UC Irvine All-time series: 1-0 Notre Dame Last: 6/4/2004, 6-5 ND at NCAA South Bend Regional
- San Diego All-time series: 2-0 Notre Dame Last: 5/31/2003, 2-0 ND at NCAA Fullerton Regional
- San Diego State All-time series: 1-0 Notre Dame Last: 2/20/2004, 7-1 ND in Los Angeles
One Irish player is returning to his native San Diego this weekend. Sophomore infielder Jake Singer is a product of Torrey Pines High School and has yet to see action this year after appearing in a pair of games as a rookie. Singer is joined by one other Californian on the roster, as junior righthander Charlie Vorsheck hails from Laguna Hills, California. Vorsheck appeared twice at the Alamo Irish Classic last weekend.
Notre Dame continued to have an impact on Major League Baseball in 2016, right down through the World Series. Trey Mancini became a viral star immediately upon becoming Notre Dame’s 87th Major Leaguer. Mancini’s first hit with the Baltimore Orioles in his big league debut went for a home run with his mom in the same Baltimore stands where his grandfather was a season ticket holder. Mancini followed that up with homers in his next two starts, joining the Rockies’ Trevor Story and Arizona’s Carlos Quentin as the only players in baseball history to go yard in each of their first three starts. Mancini was one of three Irish players to qualify for the posteseason, making the roster for the Orioles’ Wild Card game. Righty Jeff Samardzija helped the Giants to the NLDS, while his former rotation-mate Jeff Manship and the Cleveland Indians pushed the World Champion Chicago Cubs to the brink. A.J. Pollock battled injuries while hitting .315 for Arizona and David Phelps became the set-up man in the bullpen for the Marilns, posting a 2.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
– ND –
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.