April 16, 1998
IRISH HEAD TO PITTSBURGH
* Three-game BIG EAST series to be held at Three Rivers Stadium
* Game versus Michigan in Grand Rapids next on tap * Wagner sets Irish career home run record (38) * Ust, Heilman honored in weekly BIG EAST awards
Notre Dame’s Probable Starting Lineup *-lefthanded hitter; #-switch hitter
Pos. Player Yr. Ht./Wt. Hometown 1998 Stats & Notes CF #Allen Greene Jr. 6-1/195 Seattle, WA .340, 32 RBI, 38 R, 6 HR, 2 3B, 10 2B, 19 BB/24 K, 3-9 SB, 3 E Reached on 41.5% of leadoff ABs SS J.J. Brock Sr. 6-0/175 Colo. Springs, CO .354, 39 RBI, 37 R, 9 HR, 2 3B, 11 2B, 16 BB/22 K, 4-6 SB, 14 E .411 career avg. in BIG EAST gamesRF *Jeff Felker So. 6-5/185 Ellicott City, MD .310, 26 RBI, 23 R, 3 HR, 3 3B, 8 2B, 10 BB/23 K, 2 E Hitting .433 (26-60) in last 20 games C Jeff Wagner Jr. 6-3/220 Louisville, KY .360, 36 RBI, 30 R, 11 HR, 9 2B, 17 BB/14 K, 7 E Irish career HR leader (38)3B Brant Ust So. 6-1/190 Redmond, WA .412, 39 RBI, 36 R, 12 HR, 15 2B, 12 BB/20 K, 6-10 SB, 12 E 9 HRs in last 19 games; .801 slug %DH #Jeff Perconte So. 5-10/180 Arlington Hts, IL .271, 16 RBI, 12 R, 3 3B, 7 2B, 18 BB/13 K, 6-7 SB, 2 E One of 3 ND players with BBs > Ksor Larry Zimont So. 6-3/220 Oak Forest, IL .304, 13 RBI, 10 R, 2 HR, 2 2B, 2 BB/21 K, 4-4 SB 2 HRs in 1st game vs. ManchesterLF Alec Porzel Fr. 6-0/180 Lisle, IL .257, 17 RBI, 20 R, 3 HR, 2 3B, 6 2B, 6 BB/20 K, 4-6 SB, 1 E 3-for-9, 5 RBI vs. Villanova 2B #Todd Frye Sr. 5-11/170 Aledo, IL .258, 9 RBI, 20 R, 6 SAC, 1 3B, 3 2B, 9 BB/15 K, 4-6 SB, 7 E 5-game hitting streak (7-for-17) 1B *Dan Leatherman Sr. 5-11/170 Orland Park, IL .357, 16 RBI, 27 R, 6 HR, 1 3B, 6 2B, 14 BB/12 K, 4-5 SB, 7 E Hitting .538 in BIG EAST games
OFF THE BENCH
C Mike Knecht Jr. 5-6/155 Newport Beach, CA .294, 4 RBI, 10 R, 2 2B, 5 BB/7 K, 0 E 5-for-10 in BIG EAST gamesOF/IF Ben Cooke Fr. 5-9/165 Bay Village, OH .229, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB/14 K, 3-4 SB, 0 E
Probable StartersRHP Alex Shilliday Jr. 6-1/205 Dunwoody, GA 3.16, 7-2, 11 GS, 57.0 IP, 62 K/14 BB, .265 opp. avg. 9.8 K's/9 IP, 4.4 K's per BBRHP Brad Lidge Jr. 6-3/200 Englewood, CO 4.86, 5-2, 10 GP/9 GS, 46.1 IP, 60 K/21 BB, .236 opp. avg. 11.7 K's/9 IP, #31 preseason prospectLHP Chris McKeown Jr. 6-3/205 Arlington Hts, IL 4.23, 3-1, 12 GP/2 GS, 27.2 IP, 18 K/15 BB, .260 opp. avg. CG vs. UWM (7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
WEEKEND BULLPENRHP Aaron Heilman Fr. 6-4/200 Logansport, IN 1.32, 3-0, 5 SV, 19 GP/1 GS, 34.0 IP, 43 K/8 BB, .183 opp. avg. 21 straight shut. inn.; 11.4 K's/9 IP LHP Tim Kalita So. 6-1/220 Oak Park, IL 3.58, 2-0, 10 GP/6 GS, 37.2 IP, 38 K/25 BB, .266 opp. avg. No decision vs. GU and BC (4.2 IP)RHP Scott Cavey So. 6-5/200 Omaha, NE 5.94, 1-0, 9 GP/2 GS, 16.2 IP, 14 K/4 BB, .319 opp. avg. vs. Manchester: 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K RHP Steve SzczepanskiSo. 6-2/180 Lombard, IL 5.47, 2-3, 12 GP/1 GS, 26.1 IP, 14 K/8 BB, .282 opp. avg. Tied for 2nd on team in appearancesLHP Mike Naumann Fr. 5-11/175 Tucson, AZ 2.03, 1-0, 6 GP/1 GS, 13.1 IP, 5 K/3 BB, .352 opp. avg. Two shutout innings vs. PurdueRHP Tom O'Hagan So. 6-2/180 Crystal Lake, IL 4.00, 1-0, 6 GP, 9.0 IP, 7 K/4 BB, .207 opp. avg. 1 earned run in last 5.1 IP RHP Mike Carlin Fr. 6-4/200 Manhattan, KS 4.05, 0-0, 4 GP, 6.2 IP, 6 K/3 BB, .267 opp. avg. Threw shutout inning vs. Chicago St.LHP Mark Lapinskas So. 6-2/200 Naperville, IL 0.00, 0-0, 2 GP, 2.0 IP, 4 BB, .000 opp. avg. 1st appearance was 3/26 vs. NEIURHP John Corbin So. 6-2/190 Hollywood, FL 5.52, 1-0, 5 GP/3 GS, 14.2 IP, 9 K/4 BB, .317 opp. avg. Pitched 3/25, 1st app. since 3/20/97RHP Dan Stavisky Sr. 6-2/200 Mt. Pleasant, PA 20.86, 0-1, 5 GP/1 GS, 7.1 IP, 3 K/7 BB, .462 opp. avg. 12-4 career record LHP Pat Davis Sr. 6-4/225 San Antonio, TX 27.00, 0-0, 1 GP, 1.0 IP, 2 BB, .400 opp. avg. Pitched vs. BYU (3/9)
NOTRE DAME 1998 BASEBALL SCHEDULE (27-10)
Sat. 4/18 at Pittsburgh (DH) BIG EAST Conference Three Rivers Stadium 6:30Sun. 4/19 at Pittsburgh BIG EAST Conference Three Rivers Stadium 5:00Tue. 4/21 vs. Michigan Old Kent Park (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 7:00 Wed. 4/22 Valparaiso Frank Eck Stadium 6:05Thur. 4/23 Toledo (DH) Frank Eck Stadium 6:05Sat. 4/25 at Seton Hall (DH) BIG EAST Conference Carroll Field NoonSun. 4/26 at Seton Hall BIG EAST Conference Carroll Field Noon
* On WHME radio 103.1 FM, available via realaudio through the Notre Dame website, at www.und.com.
Notre Dame (27-10, 8-0 BIG EAST)-picked first in the BIG EAST coaches poll-embarks on a four-game road streak before playing 12 of its final 15 at home … the Irish will face Pittsburgh this week at Three Rivers Stadium (6:30 DH on Sat., April 18 and 5:00 PM single game on the 19th) before taking on Michigan on April 21 at Old Kent Park in Grand Rapids, Mich. (home of the West Michigan Whitecaps A squad) … Notre Dame then will return to the road for a BIG EAST series at Seton Hall (April 25-26) … the Irish are 47-5 in their last 52 home games at Frank Eck Stadium and 88-14 (.863) in the four-year tenure of Paul Mainieri but will be hoping to improve on their 64-54 (.542) record away from home during the Mainieri era.
SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS: Notre Dame has added two more games to bring the schedule back to 56 games, to compensate for the recent rained-out doubleheader vs. Rutgers (April 9) … the Irish have changed two home dates to doubleheaders: Thur., April 23 vs. Toledo and April 30 vs. the University of Chicago (the Toledo game originally was another makeup game) … WHME radio (103.1 FM) will carry the remainder of the Notre Dame baseball schedule this season but, due to scheduling conflicts, will not broadcast the following games that originally were scheduled for WHME-46 TV: Michigan (4/21) and West Virginia (5/2) … WHME TV added last week’s TV simulcast for the April 15 “turn-back-the-clock” game vs. Purdue … all WHME radio broadcasts are available on realaudio via the Notre Dame website (www.und.com), as are real-time stats and boxscores for all home games.
AROUND THE HORN: The Irish are 23-1 when scoring 5-plus runs
* Notre Dame has home runs in 17 of the last 19 games (34 in that stretch) and 52 for the season (on pace for a record 93)
* junior C Jeff Wagner’s HR last week vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee was the 38th of his career, breaking the Irish record
* Wagner is averaging 9.7 ABs per K and has just three K’s in his last 18 games (70 ABs)
* Notre Dame has gone 25-4, with wins in 17 of its last 18, since dropping three games at the University of Miami
* Ball State’s 4-3 win over Notre Dame on April 7 ended the 10-game Irish win streak
* Notre Dame’s offensive highlights have included 23 hits vs. Georgetown–equaling the most by a Notre Dame team in the ’90s–and a record seven-home-run game at Boston College on April 5 (Dan Leatherman had two, five others had one)
* Notre Dame is 28-6 in its last 34 BIG EAST regular-season games, with 11 straight wins and 17 wins in the last 19
* sophomore 3B Brant Ust’s 12 HRs have included six on the road while his .801 slugging would best Dan Peltier’s ND record (.783, ’89)
* freshman RHP Aaron Heilman-who has won BIG EAST pitcher of the week and rookie of the week in succession-owns a 21-inning shutout streak over his last 14 appearances
* Heilman’s 1.32 ERA would rank 5th in the nation (he is 3 innings shy of the minimum) and represents the 2nd-best ERA at Notre Dame in the last 26 seasons.
BIG EAST CONFERENCE STANDINGS4/18-19: 1. Notre Dame 8-0 27-10 2. Rutgers 8-1 16-11 3. St. John's 7-3 16-10-1 4. Seton Hall 7-4 17-13 5. West Virginia 6-3 26-8-1 6. Providence 8-4-1 23-12-1 7. Connecticut 6-6 14-12 8. Villanova 4-7 18-12-1 9. Georgetown 3-11 18-2410. Pittsburgh 2-12 8-19-111. Boston College 0-8-1 10-15-1
Notre Dame @PittsburghBoston College @West Virginia Rutgers @Connecticut Georgetown @Providence
Batting With Runners in Scoring Position1. Allen Greene .4532. Mike Amrhein .4503. Jeff Wagner .4164. Randall Brooks .4155. Brant Ust .3506. J.J. Brock .347 7. Todd Frye .3138. Jeff Perconte .261 9. Jeff Felker .243 TEAM .342
Batting With Two-Outs (Two-Out RBI) 1. Allen Greene .458 (30/57%)2. Jeff Wagner .413 (27/43%)3. Mike Amrhein .406 (25/37%)4. Brant Ust .349 (18/38%) J.J. Brock .349 (17/37%)6. Randall Brooks .333 (12/33%)7. Todd Frye .326 (8/50%)8. Jeff Felker .262 (10/37%)9. Jeff Perconte .176 (2/22%)TEAM .333 (160/40%)
TEAM STAT LEADERS OVERALL BIG EAST GAMES ONLYBatting Average 1. WVU .338 1. WVU .355 2. ND .333 2. ND .354 8. PITT.303 7. PITT .298
Runs Per Game 1. ND 7.64 2. ND 8.79 3. WVU 7.43 3. VVU 7.00 8. PITT 6.32 6. WVU 5.80
Slugging Pct. 1. ND .522 1. ND .571 3. WVU .513 2. WVU .569 8. PITT .463 6. PITT .469
Home Runs 1. WVU 55 1. WVU 29 3. ND 47 2. ND 23 4. PITT 39 5. PITT 22
Triples 1. ND 26 2. ND 4 5. PITT 9 2. PITT 4 9. WVU 6 9. WVU 2
Doubles 4. ND 92 3. PITT 36 5. WVU 73 4. WVU 36 10. PITT 59 8. ND 26
On-Base Pct. 2. WVU .406 2. ND .419 4. ND .401 4. WVU .406 7. PITT .394 6. PITT .368
Walks Drawn 7. ND 161 3. PITT 66 8. PITT 147 9. ND 48 9. WVU 144 10. WVU 44
Sacrifice Bunts 1. WVU 50 1. WVU 26 3. ND 22 7. ND 7 9. PITT 13 9. PITT 5 Stolen Bases 1. PITT 88 1. PITT 34
RECAPPING LAST YEAR’S ND-WVU GAMES
4/27 - WVU 6 ND 4 (in Morgantown)Abe Barker's two-run double off Christian Parker provided the winning runs ... WVU led 3-0 after three extra-base hits in the first before the Irish scored twice in the bottom of the inning, behind George Restovich's RBI double and Bob Lisanti's run-scoring single ... Lisanti's two-run single toed the game (4-4) in the 5th ... Chris Enochs picked up the win after pitching the final three innings.
4/27 - WVU 8 ND 5 (in Morgantown)Five Irish pitchers gave up 14 hits while the Notre Dame defense made five costly errors ... Notre Dame's #4-#6 hitters went just 0-for-14 ... Justin School had a home run and three RBI while Randall Brooks added three singles and Mike Amrhein collected two doubles.
5/14 - WVU 10 ND 8 (BIG EAST Tournament)WVU scored five time in the 8th en route to an opening-day win in Norwich ... the Irish scored three times in the first, behind George Restovich's two-out, two-run double ... Rowan Richards returned to the lineup for the first time in five weeks, collecting a pair of hits (including his 6th home run of the season) ... five walks and a pair of errors led to WVU's big inning ... reliever Rich Sauget took the loss while Jeremy Cummings pitched the 8th to pick up the win.
5/18 - ND 4 WVU 2 (BIG EAST Tournament)The Irish fought off elimination for the fourth straight game ... Gregg Henebry, working on three days rest, went five and a third innings while allowing just a pair of runs on four hits ... Craig Allen closed out the win, allowing just two hits over the final three and two-thirds ... Notre Dame's 11 hits included three each from Mike Amrhein and Randall Brooks ... starter Greg Stouffer took the loss after working into the 7th.
5/18 - WVU 5 ND 2 (BIG EAST Tournament)WVU scored five times in the 3rd and held off the Irish to claim the title ... Alex Shilliday took the loss, allowing four runs over the first three innings ... railing 7- in the 9th, Notre Dame loaded the bases with no outs vs. Mike Riley but tournament MVP Chris Enochs forced Mike Amrhein to ground into a double play before striking out Jeff Wagner, ending the game.
The Notre Dame baseball team (26-13, 7-4 BIG EAST) heads into its final 16 games of the regular season in the midst of a five-game homestand. The Irish have won 17 of their last 19 games (losing twice by one run, to Wisconsin-Milwaukee abd Rutgers) and sit atop the National Division standings in the BIG EAST Conference, after taking two of three in a tight series at Rutgers last weekend (3-2, 14-15, 6-5). Notre Dame’s last five wins have provided four exciting finishes (3-2 and 6-5 over Rutgers, 6-4 at Purdue and 8-7 in 10 innings over Indiana Tech).
The Irish next return to BIG EAST play with a doubleheader and single game vs. Villanova, on April 19-20. The first two games with the Wildcats will give the Irish six doubleheaders in their last 15 games. Scheduling Note: The Irish have had seven games cancelled this season due to weather (five on the road), with four of those games already having been made up. Remaining makeup games/additions to the 1997 schedule are as follows: May 1 vs. Chicago State, at 6:00 p.m. (straight makeup) and May 11 vs. Indiana Tech, at noon (new game). The Irish were scheduled to play a doubleheader with Indiana Tech on April 17 but played just one game (and thus have one game left to possibly make up).
Senior catcher/DH Mike Amrhein (Oak Park, Ill.) continues to piece together an impressive 1997 season, entering the week ranked 14th in the nation for batting average (now at .444). Amrhein has collected hits in 34 of 37 games, going hitles in three seven-inning games (0-for-3 vs. Army, 0-for-2 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee and 0-for-3 at Rutgers), with the UWM game halting his 21-game hitting streak. Amrhein leads the Irish in batting, RBI (49), runs (47), walks (23) and on-base pct. (.533) while ranking second in home runs (9) and slugging pct. (.711). Amrhein has rotated starts between primarily catcher and DH while batting in the third spot for most of the season. He has multiple hits in 20 games and has scored or driven in at least one run in 32 of 37 games this season (he has had a hand in two or more runs 23 times).
The 6-2, 200-pound righthander also has just 10 strikeouts in 135 at-bats, an average of nearly 14 at-bats per K that is considerably better than his average over his first three seasons (7.3 AB/K) and last year’s strikeout numbers (28 K’s in 220 ABs, or 7.9 AB/K). His recent 4-for-17 “slump” has included four K’s, after Amrhein had gone an amazing 65 trips to the plate without striking out. Amrhein could go down as the toughest Irish player to strike out in the last 16 seasons, since Jack Moran averaged 18.8 at-bats per K (94/5) in 1982.
AMRHEIN KEEPS MOVING UP LISTS: Senior Mike Amrhein’s run vs. IUPUI on March 20 moved him into 10th on the Irish career runs scored list, making him one of three players in the Notre Dame career top 10 for batting average, hits, RBI, runs, home runs and doubles, joining former Irish greats Dan Peltier (1987-89) and Erik Danapilis (1990-93) in that distinction. Amrhein’s 32 career home runs leave him tied for 5th on the Irish all-time list, just one back of Danapilis. His 222 career hits are two behind Joe Binkiewicz (1989-92) for 7th all-time at Notre Dame while Amrhein is just one RBI shy of moving into a tie for 7th on that all-time Irish with current assistant Cory Mee (1989-92). Since moving into the career runs scored list, Amrhein has moved into a share got 7th, now with 154 career runs scored. Amrhein also ranks 6th in career batting avg. (.364) and 5th with 41 career doubles.
GREENE LIGHT–SOPHOMORE TIES IRISH RECORD FOR HITS IN A GAME: Sophomore leftfielder Allen Greene (Seattle, Wash.) became the third Notre Dame player in the 1990s and the eighth in recorded team history to record five hits in a game, when he went 5-for-6 in the March 20 game vs. IUPUI. The switch-hitting Greene struck out in his first at-bat but led off the 5th with a single to left-center field. He then came to bat again in the 6th–this time from the left side–and smacked a two-out, two-run double to the warning track in left-center. After returning to the right side, Greene added a double to right-center in the 8th and then led off the 10th with a single to right. He opened the bottom of the 12th by doubling to left-center before scoring the game-winning run on J.J. Brock’s single to right. Greene–who opened the season by going 0-for-11 at the Long Beach State Classic–has slipped to sixth on the team with a .302 batting average while his team-best 14 walks and seven times hit-by-pitch have produced a .435 on-base pct. (second-best on the squad). Current senior Mike Amrhein was the previous Irish player to collect five hits in a game, doing so on a 5-for-5 day vs. Pepperdine on Feb. 26, 1995. Scott Sollmann collected five hits vs. Purdue in 1994 while the first known Irish player to collect five hits was Tim Prister, who had his big day vs. Oklahoma City on March 16, 1982. Prister currently is in his 14th year as editor of Blue and Gold magazine, which covers Notre Dame athletics.
BROOKS BAT WAKES UP FOR FIVE HITS AS WELL, PUSHES AVERAGE NEAR .300: Just eight days after Allen Greene’s five-hit day vs. IUPUI, senior centerfielder Randall Brooks (Hazelcrest, Ill.) came through with five hits in the 14-9 win over Central Michigan. It marked just the second time in recorded team history that two Irish players have turned the feat in the same season. Dan Peltier had five hits vs. Detroit on May 18, 1989 and his teammate Joe Binkiewicz followed suit two days later vs. Dayton. Brooks–who ranked third in the BIG EAST last year with a .396 batting avg.–was hitting just .200 on March 10 but has since raised his batting avg. to .292, highlighted by a 12-game hitting streak and hits in 14 of his last 15 games. Brooks–who has made the switch this season from second base to center field–enters this weekend’s action with hits in five of his last 11 at-bats. He is Notre Dame’s primary stolen base threat, swiping 10 bases in 13 attempts (the rest of the team is 12-for-19).
UST CONTINUES BANNER FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN: Freshmen Brant Ust (Redmond, Wash.) continues to make an impact for the Irish, while in a roundabout way filling the spot vacated by centerfielder Scott Sollmann (drafted as a junior last spring by the Detroit Tigers). Due to the position shifts for the ’97 Irish, current senior Randall Brooks moved from second base to the vacant center field spot and his classmate J.J. Brock slid over from third base to second, leaving the hot corner open for the highly-prized Ust (an 11th-round draft pick of the NY Yankees who opted to attend Notre Dame). As things have turned out, Brock and Ust have flipped positions (since the March 20 game vs. IUPUI), due to troubles Ust was having with making the throw from third base. Ust lead the team with 30 runs scored and currently ranks second on the squad with a .351 batting avg. and he has scored or driven in 44 of Notre Dame’s 186 runs (24%) this season. Ust saw his nine-game hitting streak end vs. Penn State on March 12 but has collected hits in 18 of 26 games this season. His most recent highlights include nearly hitting for the cycle in the March 25th win over Western Michigan, when Ust went 3-for-4 and scored four times while collecting a home run, triple and double.
SCHMALZ ADDS TO STELLAR FOUR-YEAR CAREER: Senior righthander Darin Schmalz (Barrington, Ill.) is winding down a noteworthy four-year career in which he has won 24 games (one shy of fifth on the Irish all-time list) while making 45 career starts, third all-time at Notre Dame behind Tom Price (56 from 1991-94) and Brian Piotrowicz (52 from 1987-90). Schmalz also ranks eighth in career innings (253.3) and seventh all-time with 170 career strikeouts. He is 3-2 as the teams #1 starter this season, with a 3.79 ERA, .243 opponent batting an impressive 4.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio (26/9).
VILLANOVA SWEEP SHOWCASES IRISH STARS: While Notre Dame’s recent midweek games featured unusual heroes, the weekend sweep of Villanova served as a showcase for Notre Dame’s top players … freshman 2B Brant Ust–the preseason pick for BIG EAST rookie of the year–won the opener (4-3) with a solo home run while senior RHP Darin Schmalz moved to 6-2 for
QUICK NOTES: Notre Dame went 3-1 during the Spring Break stay in San Antonio, Texas but saw its final three games called off due to the rain … the Irish turned in a championship performance at the Diamond Classic in Evansville, Ind., which featured the state’s eight Division I teams (wins over Evansville, Purdue and Indiana) … fourth-year Irish head coach Paul Mainieri this season had homecoming weekends at Miami (where he grew up) and at the University of New Orleans (where he played) … Mainieri fittingly coached his 800th career game on Feb. 20 at Miami (his 800th game ironically was rained out at UNO) … the Irish won the earliest season-opener in the program’s 106-year history, beating then-#23 Florida State 10-1 on Jan. 30 at the ACC/Disney Baseball Blast in Orlando, Fla. … the Irish then lost a pair of tough two-run games to North Carolina State (10-8) and Duke (3-