CLEARWATER, Fla. University of Notre Dame junior 3B Eric Jagielo was selected as the BIG EAST Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches. In addition to Jagielo, senior RHP Adam Norton and junior 1B Trey Mancini was each named first team all-BIG EAST. Junior RHP Dan Slania earned second team and sophomore OF Ryan Bull received third team.
Notre Dame collected three first-team all-conference selections for the first time since 2006. The Irish set a school record with four first-team picks in 1998 and 2001.
Jagielo, who was second team all-league in 2012, is the fourth player in school history to earn the conference’s top honor and first since Craig Cooper in 2006. Notre Dame’s two other BIG EAST player of the year winners include Brant Ust (1998) and Steve Stanley (2001 and 2002).
Jagielo not only leads the league in slugging percentage (.643) and on-base percentage (.500), but also ranks second in batting (.390), tied for second in home runs (nine), fifth in total bases (117), tied for fifth in doubles (17), tied for seventh in runs scored, tied for seventh in RBI (49), tied for eighth in walks (31) and tied for ninth in hits (71).
Only four players in the entire country have both a higher batting average (.390) and more home runs (nine) than Jagielo. He still has a chance to be the first Notre Dame player since Cooper in 2006 (.425) to bat .400 over the course of an entire season. He would be the 10th player in the 120-year history of Irish baseball to accomplish the feat.
Jagielo ranks second on the team in multi-hit games (21) and leads the club in multi-RBI outings (14). He has been held hitless in just seven of his 52 games played this year. Jagielo has failed to reach base in a game just twice all year.
Mancini not only leads the league in batting (.396) and total bases (130), but he also ranks tied for first in hits (84), tied for first in triples (seven), second in slugging percentage (.613), tied for second in sacrifice flies (eight), tied for third in RBI (52), tied for sixth in home runs (six) and seventh in on-base percentage (.438).
Mancini has been out of this world of late. He carries a school-record equaling 22-game hitting streak into this week's BIG EAST tournament. Mancini was named all-BIG EAST third team in both 2010 and 2011. He is the first Irish player to receive conference mention in three straight years since A.J. Pollock in 2007-09.
Mancini, who was named the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week on April 30, is batting .452 (57-for-126) since April 1, including .534 over his last 20 games and .516 over his hitting streak. He also has a chance to be the first Notre Dame player since Cooper in 2006 (.425) to bat .400 over the course of an entire season.
Norton enters the BIG EAST tournament with a 9-4 record and 2.31 ERA. He ranks second in the BIG EAST in innings (105.0), tied for second in victories and fifth in ERA. Norton ranks seventh in the NCAA in innings pitched and tied for 25th in the NCAA in victories. His nine victories this season are the most by a Notre Dame hurler since Jeff Manship had nine (9-2) in 2006. Norton has collected 11 quality starts this season and has gone at least 7.0 innings in 11 of his 14 outings this year.
Slania, who has already been named to the midseason watch lists for both the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, is 3-1 on the season with 12 saves (in 14 chances) and a sparkling 1.04 earned-run average. He has allowed just 38 hits in 52.0 innings of work over 22 relief appearances. Slania’s foes have registered a .203 batting average. He has fanned 41 and walked 11. Slania has only allowed six earned runs all season. He was also named to the all-BIG EAST second team in 2012.
Bull is hitting .335 this season with two home runs and 37 RBI. His 67 hits rank third best on the team behind both Jagielo and Mancini. Bull moved back into the No. 5 spot in the lineup of March 22 and has collected 31 RBI over the last 37 games, which is the second most of any Irish player over that span. He has raised his batting average 81 points from his rookie campaign in 2012 (.254).