March 27, 2001
Notre Dame senior righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) has received his 10th career BIG EAST Conference baseball pitcher-of-the-week award, after tossing his second nine-inning shutout of the season in a 3-0 win at Pittsburgh on March 23.
Since the BIG EAST awards began in 1985, Heilman is the only individual to amass more than four player or pitcher-of-the-week awards in his career (including one in 1998, three in 1999 and four in 2000). He also was honored by the BIG EAST three weeks ago, after tossing a similar nine-inning shutout versus Florida Atlantic (3-0).
Heilman registered his 16th career complete game and fifth solo shutout (fifth-most in Notre Dame history and second-most since 1914) versus the Panthers, after allowing just a handful of balls to leave the infield (two on flyouts, plus a bloop single and a single through the infield). He faced just five batters over the minimum (32) in the 108-pitch outing while scattering two hits, four walks and two hit batters over the full nine innings, with eight strikeouts and 16 groundball outs (including three double-play balls).
Tony Railing collected both Pittsburgh hits, the first coming when he led off the bottom of the first inning and the second not coming until the eighth inning. Heilman stranded baserunners in three of the first four innings (plus a double play in the 3rd) before striking out the side in the 5th (on 14 pitches). He faced just 16 batters over the final five innings (one over the minimum, with double plays in the 8th and 9th).
* Heilman has won 16 of his last 17 decisions, with his 34-7 career record placing him in a tie with Chris Michalak (34-13, ’90-’93) for second on the Irish career victories list-six shy of Tom Price’s record (40-10, ’91-’94). Michalak also is the only Notre Dame pitcher in the last 86 seasons to have posted more career shutouts than Heilman’s five, with Michalak (7) owning a three-way share of the ND record.
* With wins in each of his first six starts, Heilman’s season numbers now include a 1.34 ERA (which would rank sixth in ND history and second-best since 1962), plus 43 strikeouts, 11 walks, 60 groundball outs, 29 hits allowed and a .174 opponent batting average in 47 innings pitched. His nine-inning averages include nearly 20 outs via the strikeout (8.2) or groundout (11.5) while owning a .149 opponent batting average with runners on base and a .111 opponent batting average with two outs.
* Heilman’s career ERA now stands at 2.59, fourth-best in Notre Dame history, while he also owns the best career winning percentage (.829, 34-7) of any Irish pitcher during the last 77 seasons (min. 16 decisions). He continues to add to his ND record strikeout total (357) and still ranks first in Irish history for Ks per nine innings (9.84), also ranking second in career appearances (74), fourth in innings pitched (326.2), second in saves (12) and 11th in complete games (16).