Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Two Irish Baseball Frosh Honored by Collegiate Baseball Magazine

June 4, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman catcher Paul O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius HS) has been named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine. The magazine also named Irish freshman centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Worthington Christian HS) to its honorable mention Freshman All-America team.

O’Toole was one of three catchers named toCB’s Freshman All-America team, which also included six outfielders. Stanley was one of eight outfielders who received honorable mention.

O’Toole was the emotional leader of the Notre Dame infield during the 1999 season, when he started 52 of 61 games behind the plate while catching nearly 90 percent of the innings. O’Toole’s ability at receiving pitches helped the Irish pitching staff post a team-record 478 strikeouts. The pitchers he worked with during the 1999 season included sophomore All-America righthander Aaron Heilman and junior lefthander Tim Kalita, a seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in this week’s major-league amateur draft).

At the plate, O’Toole held the rare distinction as one of the few catchers in the nation who hit second in the batting order for most of the season. His late-season surge yielded a .318 overall batting average, ranking fifth among the Irish regulars, while his 55 runs scored were tops among all Irish players. O’Toole also ranked fourth on the team with eight home runs, including one in each of the final four games of the 1999 campaign. An excellent baserunner for a catcher, the 6-1, 200-pound O’Toole also totaled 15 doubles, three triples and 12 stolen bases (third-most on the team). His other 1999 totals included 61 hits in 192 at-bats, 39 RBI, 16 walks and 22 strikeouts O’Toole also proved to be an excellent defensive catcher, making several bonecrunching tags at home plate. His 410 putouts in 1999 rank sixth in the Irish record book and are the most ever by an Irish catcher.

O’Toole ended the 1999 season on a high note, as the catcher who was selected to the NCAA Baseball Championship South Bend Regional all-tournament team. He led all players in the four-team regional with a .583 batting average (7-for-12), plus six runs scored, three home runs, one double, five RBI and two walks.

Stanley was the only freshman named to the 1999 All-BIG EAST Conference teams, as one of three outfielders on the second team. The speedy Irish leadoff hitter totaled 24 stolen bases, just two shy of the Notre Dame freshman record, and ranked second among Irish players with a .385 batting average during BIG EAST games. His 40 hits in BIG EAST play ranked seventh among all BIG EAST players while his 12 stolen bases in league play led the BIG EAST.

For the entire 1999 season, Stanley finished fourth among Notre Dame regulars in batting average (.326), despite opening the season 0-for-17. He also tied for the team lead in hits (79) while totaling the third-most at-bats in Irish history (242). Stanley posted more walks (25) than strikeouts (18), with his other 1999 totals including six doubles, one triple, 29 RBI, a team-high seven sacrifice flies and four sacrifice bunts. He made just three errors in 119 fielding chances, for a .975 fielding percentage. Stanley was one of just two Irish players to start all 61 games and the only one to do so at same position (he played all but two innings of the entire 1999 season in center field).

The Notre Dame baseball program has produced 13 Freshman All-Americans during the 1990s, with O’Toole becoming the program’s seventh first team Freshman All-American of the decade. Notre Dame has produced freshman All-Americans in each of the past three seasons, with O’Toole following in the footsteps of infielder Brant Ust and Heilman-the only Notre Dame baseball players who have been named Freshman All-American by both CB and Baseball America (which will release its postseason winners later in the summer).

Former Notre Dame pitcher David Sinnes was a first team selection by BA in 1990 while fellow righthander Pat Leahy earned first-team honors from CB. Second baseman Greg Layson was a BA first teamer in 1992 while CB dubbed catcher Dennis Twombley a first team Freshman All-American in 1994.

O’Toole was one of four BIG EAST Conference players named to the 1999 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America team, joining Providence outfielders Mike Scott and Neal McCarthy and Villanova utility player Rob Cafiero. Three other players from Notre Dame’s 1999 opponents were named to the team: Creighton relief pitcher Scott Yahraus, Northwestern reliever Ryan Bos and Miami (Fla.) outfielder Mike Rodriguez.


PITCHERS (all righthanders)

Blair Varnes, Florida State    (11-1, 3.84, 75 Ks, 16 BB, 103 IP) Charlie Isaacson, Arkansas     (9-0, 3.15, 97 Ks, 53 BB, 99.2 IP)   Daniel Haren, Pepperdine       (10-3, 3.08, 77 Ks, 27 BB) Justin Wechsler, Ball State    (10-3, 3.39, 67 Ks, 30 BB, 87.2 IP)   Shane Komine, Nebraska         (6-2, 3.58, 79 Ks, 37 BB, 78 IP) Josh Karp, UCLA                (8-3, 4.26, 79 Ks, 44 BB, 86.2 IP)   Rich McGuire, Delaware         (8 CGs, 7-4, 3.58, 40 Ks, 14 BB, 73 IP) Ben Keiter, Wichita State      (7-0, 4.12, 53 Ks, 17 BB, 63.1 IP)   Brett Lewis, Georgia Southern  (9-5, 5.28, 122 Ks, 47 BB, 119.1 IP) Brian Sager, Stanford          (6-0, 3.98, 70 Ks, 35 BB, 81.1 IP)   Dave Pahucki, Siena            (9-1, 4.03, 6 CGs, 46 Ks, 25 BB, 76 IP) E.J. Laratta, Ohio State       (10-2, 3.18, 55 Ks, 17 BB, 82 IP, 5 CGs) Jason Bush, Virginia Tech      (11-2, 4.59 ERA, 56 Ks, 25 BB,  84.1 IP) 


Chris Quiroz, UC Santa Barbara       (10 SV, 5.01, 2-3, 27 Ks, 12 BB) Lance Cormier, Alabama               (11 SV, 62 Ks, 5-3)  Scott Yahraus, Creighton             (11 SV, 3.42, 42 Ks, 19 walks) Davy Martin, Virginia Commonwealth   (4 SV, 6-0, 3.58, 35 Ks, 23 BB)Ryan Bos, Northwestern               (8 SV, 3.81, 20 Ks, 19 BB) 


Doc Brooks, Georgia       (.286, 12 HR, 10 2B, 31 RBI, ..614 slugging)  C/OFAlex Dvorsky, Iowa        (.331,  9 HR, 12 2B, 37 RBI)  Paul O'Toole, Notre Dame  (52 starts at catcher, .318, 61 hits, 15 2B, 8 HR, 12 SB) 


Brad Carlson, Iowa            (.367, 21 HR, 17 2B, 71 R)David Jensen, BYU             (.368,  6 HR, 23 2B, 35 R) Jeremy Brown, Alabama         (.349, 13 HR, 19 2B, 61 RBI)Ryan Howard, S.W. Missouri    (.355, 19 HR, 14 2B, 66 RBI) 


James Jurries, Tulane            (.374, 20 HR, 22 2B, 79 RBI, 18 SB, 104 H, 90 R)Mike Woods, Southern             (.386, 5 HR, 20 2B, 42 RBI, 14 SB)  Chris Burke, Tennessee           (.372, 2 HR, 25 2B, 41 RBI, 19 SB, 87 H) Brendon Harris, William & Mary   (.362, 9 HR, 20 2B, 49 RBI, 9 SB) 


Jeff Keppinger, Georgia          (.383, 11 HR, 14 2B, 48 RBI) S Stevie Daniel,Tennessee                        (.346, 9 HR, 19 2B, 52 RBI, 30 SB, 80 H) 


Mark Teixeira, Ga. Tech          (.387, 13 HR, 18 2B, 65 RBI, 87 H, 11 SB)Jake Gautreau, Tulane            (.292, 21 HR, 69 RBI, 11 2B, .580 slug.)   3B/C Greg Sain, San Diego        (.339, 12 HR, 21 2B, 66 RBI, .592 slugging) 


Mike Ross, Maine                 (.361, 20 2B, 63 RBI, 5 SB)Gabe Gross, Auburn               (.361,  7 HR, 23 2B, 64 RBI)   Mike Rodriguez, Miami, Fla.      (.392, 11 2B, 29 RBI, 16 SB)Mike Scott, Providence           (.420, 21 2B, 5 HR, 64 RBI, 120 H, 13 3B, 7 SB)  OF/DH Neal McCarthy, Providence  (.376, 17 HR, 22 2B, 69 RBI) Shelley Duncan, Arizona          (.294, 20 HR, 13 2B, 68 RBI)  


Rob Cafiero, Villanova           (.361, 10 HR, 15 2B, 72 RBI, 5-4, 5.77, 43 Ks, 28 BB) 


Luke Simmons, Illinois           (.386,  7 HR, 8 2B, 38 RBI)Brian Wright, North Carolina St. (.353, 14 2B, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 12 SB) 


PITCHERS: LHP Dan D’Amato (North Carolina State), LHP Jon Switzer (Arizona State), LHP Lenny DiNardo (Stetson), LHP Wes Hepler (Campbell), RHP Preston Larrison (Evansville)

INFIELDERS: C Ryan Budde (Oklahoma State), 1B Chad Tracy (East Carolina), 1B Jeff Ontiveros (Texas), 2B Junior Ruiz (San Jose State), 2B Tom Creighton (Fresno St.), 3B Jack Hannahan (Minnesota), 3B/C Beau Craig (Southern California), SS Tony Garcia (Pepperdine), SS Ryan Stegall (Missouri)

OUTFIELDERS: OF Aaron Fausett (Vanderbilt), OF Karl Nonemaker (Vanderbilt), Tim Merritt (South Alabama), OF Bryan Gant (Cal Poly), OF Chris Wright (Long Beach State), OF Len Elias (Bowling Green), OF Steve Stanley (Notre Dame), OF Stephen Cotton (Texas Southern), OF/DH Zach Donelson (Oral Roberts)

OTHER POSITIONS: UT Ben Diggins (Arizona), DH Vinnie Rinaldi (Stetson), DH Darren Welch (Southern Mississippi)