Greg Lopez is a senior shortstop for Notre Dame who will contribute a weekly journal to in 2006. A native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Lopez has been a mainstay on the Irish infield since he arrived in South Bend, starting 159 games and playing in 172 his first three years. Lopez, a two-time captain for Notre Dame, holds a 3.37 GPA as a double major in pre-professional studies and anthropology.




April 7, 2006

Greetings from Florida


Hello College Baseball Fans,

I am here in Tampa, Fla., preparing to play the University of South Florida Bulls this weekend in a three-game series. This year is special because over the last couple of years, the Big East has contracted the number of teams, but this year, we gained the University of Cincinnati, South Florida and Louisville. Also, we have switched from a two-day, three-game series to the series being played over three days.

Not only do the players on the team love this format but the fans in South Bend also have taken to it. We played our first Friday night conference game of the season last weekend against Pittsburgh and had one of the largest crowds ever at our stadium, with more than 3,000 tickets sold. Being able to play at home is an advantage in itself because we get to sleep in our own beds and play on our field, but it is amazing how different the atmosphere is when we play in front of our fans at home. They bring a whole different dynamic to the game, especially when the students sit right behind the visitor dugout. Some of the quotes they come up with amaze me because I definitely never could have thought of them myself. They have a very quick wit, and I am glad they are on our side.

Something unique to our team this year is that after games, we sometimes have more footballs and football jerseys being autographed than baseballs. This is because one of our ace pitchers is Jeff Samardzija, who is a wide receiver of the football team and a Biletnikoff Award Finalist (this award is given to the country's best wide receiver).

Last year, Jeff had an incredible football season and because of it, we have hordes of new fans who love Notre Dame and come to watch our games now. Our entire baseball team has become better Notre Dame football fans this fall because we were able to watch Jeff play every Saturday. It is definitely more fun to watch the games when we know someone on the team we're rooting for, even if we are only rooting for Jeff. I must say that even after all the fame that Jeff has received in the last year, he is still the same old Jeff that I've known since his freshman year two years ago.

Now back to baseball. We are almost at the halfway point in the season and playing very well. I can tell we are coming together as a team because we are winning games where we are coming from behind and ones which come down to the final out. These close games have made the season very exciting, and with each close win, we gain confidence and know that we are always in the game.

We are not a team that is going to break the fences down, so offensively, we know doing the little things like bunting and executing hit-and-runs are crucial to our success. Also, it seems like every game someone new on the team is coming up with a clutch hit. For example, just two nights ago, our second baseman Ross Brezovsky (who was dubbed Mighty Mouse by our announcers), hit the go-ahead, two-run home run against our in-state rival Ball State in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was one of many exciting finishes we have had this year.

We are going to keep this confidence rolling into this weekend against USF and take care of business. From Tampa, Fla., talk to you guys soon and Go Irish!

Greg Lopez


Previous Entries

Playing in Front of the Family (3/23/06)

Opening Weekend and a Quick Day Trip (3/6/06)

Patiently Waiting (2/24/06)


(photo courtesy of Notre Dame Media Relations Office)