Feb. 15, 2001

All 56 regular-season Notre Dame baseball games-plus all postseason action-will be carried live during the 2001 season by South Bend-based WJVA 1580 AM, with real-audio links again to be made available via the official Notre Dame website (www.und.com).

Notre Dame’s season gets underway this weekend in Starkville, Mississippi, at the National Bank of Commerce Classic, with the Irish taking on defending Sun Belt Conference champion New Orleans (Saturday, 10:00 a.m.) followed by a 1:00 p.m. matchup with 21st-ranked Mississippi State. The Irish and Bulldogs then will meet again on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The weekend serves as a rare return trip for Notre Dame, which ended the 2000 season with a title-game loss to MSU in the NCAA Starkville Regional.

Notre Dame’s 2001 schedule includes 55 official games and a March 1 exhibition versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, to be played at Florida Power Park in St. Petersburg, Fla. (WJVA will carry that game live).

Notre Dame also has announced a minor schedule change, as the start time for the March 4 game versus Western Michigan at the Devil Rays College Invitational has been pushed up an hour to 11:00 a.m.

The primary voice of Irish baseball for the upcoming campaign is Sean Stires, a 1995 graduate of the University of Kansas who is in his first year broadcasting for several Notre Dame teams as sports director of South Bend-based U93, a sister station of WJVA and WHLY 1620 AM.

Stires has received broadcast awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Colorado Associated Press Broadcasters Association. In addition to Irish baseball, Stires’ other broadcasting responsibilities include play-by-play duties for the Notre Dame women’s basketball broadcasts while serving as co-host of U93’s Notre Dame Football “Countdown to Kickoff” and “The Mike Brey Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Show” on WHLY. Stires also can be heard reporting sports on U93’s morning program.

Color commentary duties during the Irish baseball season will be shared by former Irish infielder Jeff Perconte-who currently is attending Notre Dame’s Law School-and fifth-year Notre Dame baseball sports information director Pete LaFleur, in addition to an assortment of special guests throughout the 56-game season.