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Gaston receives honors after 10-for-12 day

Chris Federico | Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Sean Gaston isn’t off to a bad start with the Irish.The freshman catcher was named the National Co-Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association for his 10-of-12 hitting performance in Boca Raton, Fla., last weekend. “It’s unbelievable. I never would have thought that this would have happened this fast in my career,” Gaston said of receiving the honor.Gaston also collected six RBIs, scored seven runs and stole two bases in two games just in his first weekend of collegiate baseball action.”It was a pretty awesome start to a college career,” Irish coach Paul Mainieri said of Gaston’s performance. “If he gets 10 hits out of every 12 at bats, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s going to be a pretty good career.”Gaston, currently the Irish backup at catcher behind senior tri-captain Javi Sanchez, was 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored Saturday against Florida Memorial in just his first game seeing playing time with the Irish. In Notre Dame’s come-from-behind 19-7 victory over Minnesota Sunday, Gaston led the way for the Irish by hitting 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and three RBI. In that game, Gaston became the first Irish freshman to get five hits in a game since Scott Sollmann accomplished the same feat against Purdue in 1994.”I’m not surprised at all that he got off to a good start,” Mainieri said, “but I’m surprised that anybody would go 10-for-12. That’s ridiculous.”Gaston also received Big East Player of the Week honors for his weekend performance, becoming only the second Irish freshman – former outfielder Brian Stavisky is the other – to receive the award.Even with all of the early accolades, Mainieri is not worried that the young Gaston will get caught up in the hype so soon into his first season.”I don’t worry at all about that type of thing,” he said. “He’s a kid that works as hard as anybody on our team. He’s not going to get a big head, and he’s just going to keep working hard at it.”Several other Irish players received recognition for their parts in helping Notre Dame go 4-0 over the weekend and capture the Florida Atlantic Classic.Junior first baseman Matt Edwards, who was 5-for-12 in the three games with four RBIs and five runs scored, was named MVP of the tournament. Edwards also had the tying and go-ahead home runs in Notre Dame’s 3-2 win over host Florida Atlantic.Sanchez, third baseman Matt Macri, shortstop Greg Lopez and pitchers Chris Niesel and Tom Thornton were also named to the Florida Atlantic Classic All-Tournament Team for the Irish.