NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame baseball program and USA Baseball announced today that the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., will play host to the 2013 USA Baseball-Irish Classic presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. The tournament will kick off Friday, March 1, and run through Sunday, March 3, 2013.
"Our program is thrilled with the prospect of teaming up with USA Baseball to host this tournament," said third-year head coach Mik Aoki. "The staff at USA Baseball is the best of the best, and the facility speaks for itself. It will be a tremendous event, and we look forward to continuing the relationship long into the future."
The six-team tournament will be presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and played at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. In addition to Notre Dame, the field of teams for 2013 includes Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Massachusetts, Ohio and Rhode Island.
"The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is delighted to be presenting sponsor of the USA Baseball-Irish Classic, as part of our larger partnership with USA Baseball," said Scott Dupree, executive director of the GRSA. "The Irish Classic is a superb concept and one of the most intriguing new events in all of college baseball. We are thrilled that the University of Notre Dame has committed to serving as the official host here in Cary. This is yet another example of USA Baseball's commitment to create and host a variety of excellent events at their National Training Complex."
Tickets for the USA Baseball-Irish Classic are on sale at www.und.com/tickets
or by calling (574) 631-7356 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Weekend passes cost $25 per adult. Day passes are also available for $10 per adult. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free of charge. Limited and service charges may apply.
Notre Dame has a long and storied history with USA Baseball. Eight Irish alumni have been members of the USA Baseball Collegiate, 18U or 16U National Teams.
Shaun Fitzmaurice was a member of the 1964 United States Olympic baseball team that competed in Tokyo. Brant Ust, who now serves USA Baseball as Director, 18U National Team & Alumni Relations, was a member of the 22-man squad that competed in the IBAF World Championship in Italy in 1998. Aaron Heilman played on the 1999 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team that toured Japan and 10 U.S. states. Heilman and Ust were the only players on their respective USA Baseball National Teams who hailed from a school in the Midwest or Northeast. Grant Johnson toured with Team USA in the summer of 2002, helping post a team record for staff ERA (1.48) with a solid showing in five outings (3 GS, 2-1, 1.80 ERA, 25 Ks, 13 BB, 11 H in 20 IP).
Matt Macri was one of two members of the 2000 USA Baseball 18U National Team who was named all-tournament at the COPABE 18U/AAA Pan Am Championships. Jeff Manship was a staff ace for the 2003 USA Baseball 18U National Team. Two years earlier he was a middle reliever with the 2001 USA Baseball 16U National Team that won the IBAF 16U World Championships in Veracruz, Mexico. Cody Rizzo played for the 2000 USA Baseball 16U National Team, winning the COPABE 16U/AA Pan Am Championships. Joey Williamson, was a top pitcher for the 2002 USA Baseball 16U National Team.
Three former Notre Dame players also competed on USA Baseball Professional National Teams. Ust and Chris Michalak were members of the United States team that competed in the Netherlands at the 2005 Baseball World Cup, and their fellow Notre Dame baseball alum Brad Lidge was a member of the pitching staff for Team USA at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.
"I have been fortunate enough to experience playing for both the University of Notre Dame and USA Baseball, and it makes me thrilled to see them coming together for the USA Baseball-Irish Classic," said Lidge. "Some of the most memorable and thrilling moments of my baseball career took place while I was playing for the Irish and representing the USA. It is a proud feeling to represent both your university and the USA, and now this tournament will bring together these two outstanding programs. This event will prove to be both exciting and important for the participating teams competing at the highest level in college sports."
"The USA Baseball-Irish Classic will no doubt be a great tournament for both the players and fans," said Manship. "It's a combination of two great and highly respected programs. I had the privilege of playing for Team USA and Notre Dame. My life has, undoubtedly, been shaped for the better. My experiences with Team USA were unforgettable. I was fortunate enough to play and help win a gold medal for the 16U National Team, which competed in Veracruz, Mexico, along with the 18U National Team in Curaçao, where we won a silver medal. Having the honor of playing with USA across my chest and representing our country was an unmatched experience."
USA Baseball-Irish Classic presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance schedule
Friday, March 1
12 p.m.: Field 2 (Virginia Tech vs. Rhode Island)
3 p.m.: Field 3 (Notre Dame vs. UMass)
3:30 p.m.: Field 2 (Virginia Tech vs. Ohio)
6:30 p.m.: Coleman Field (Notre Dame vs. Tennessee)
Saturday, March 2
12 p.m.: Coleman Field (Rhode Island vs. Ohio)
3 p.m.: Field 2 (Tennessee vs. UMass)
6 p.m.: Coleman Field (Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech)
Sunday, March 3
11 a.m.: Field 2 (Notre Dame vs. Rhode Island)
12 p.m.: Coleman Field (Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech)
1 p.m.: Field 3 (Ohio vs. UMass)
USA Baseball National Training Complex information
- The USA Baseball National Training Complex opened in 2007.
- The USA Baseball National Training Complex is located within the 221-acre Thomas Brooks Park and includes four baseball fields -- a stadium field and three training fields -- all with dimensions of 330 feet down the lines and 400 feet in center field. All fields are maintained at Major League Baseball (MLB) standards.
- Coleman Field has a press box that includes two suites, an official scorer's room, a sound room and a press row.
- Spectator seating is for 1,754 people, including handicapped-accessible seating, and additional grass berm seating for approximately 250 people.
- All fields have access to restroom facilities and a concession building.