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Baseball: Schrage, Irish ink ‘top-flight’ recruit class for 2007-08

Chris Khorey | Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dave Schrage hasn’t coached a baseball game yet at Notre Dame.

But he’s already won a major victory.

Last week, Schrage announced the signing of 10 freshmen for next year, a class rated as one of the top in the nation by Perfect Game Crosschecker.

“We signed some top-flight players and filled some voids in areas where we need to improve,” Schrage said in a press release about the signing class. “We now have two strong classes to build on for the future, with some great potential leaders among those groups.”

The Irish signed three pitchers and six position players, with David Casey of Whitefish Bay, Wis., a possibility to contribute at first base or as a left-handed pitcher.

Casey batted .533 in his junior season last spring and has a 2.81 ERA in his varsity high school career as a pitcher.

The other three pitchers, righthanders Evan Danieli of East Hanover, N.J., Brian Dupra of Rochester, N.Y., and Ryan Sharpley of Marshall, Mich., are all listed in Perfect Game’s top 40 high school pitchers.

Sharpley is the brother of sophomore first baseman Evan Sharpley, who also plays quarterback on the Notre Dame football team. The younger Sharpley had a 6-1 record with a 1.81 ERA last year for the Mid-Michigan Tigers summer travel team.

Dupra was named all-state in New York last year as a junior for Greece Athena High School and is rated the 136th best Major League prospect of next year’s draft. Dupra, however, has decided to take the college route and get a degree before heading on to the majors.

Danieli towers over opposing batters with his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame. The imposing force has dominated his opposition throughout high school to the tune of a 1.10 ERA last season.

Among the position players, Schrage signed two catchers – Matt Katich of New Castle, Penn. and Cameron McConnell of Bannockburn, Ill.

Katich hit .444 last season for Mohawk High School in New Castle, while McConnell hit .326 at Deerfield in Bannockburn.

Matt Scioscia, from Westlake Village, Calif., could also catch for the Irish, but he has experience at first base as well and can be used as a designated hitter. Scioscia is the son of Anaheim Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

Schrage also picked up two infielders in Mike Doyle of LaGrange Park, Ill. and Greg Sherry of Mendham, N.J. Both played shortstop in high school but could move to second or third base for the Irish if necessary.

Ty Adams, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound slugger from Indianapolis, Ind., is the only outfielder in this class. Adams hit .515 last season and hit nine home runs in just 72 at-bats.

The 10 players will play their senior high school seasons next spring and enroll at Notre Dame for the fall of 2007, playing their first seasons for the Irish in the spring of 2008.