April 16, 2000
MORGANTOWN, W.V. (4/16/00) — Senior righthander Scott Cavey logged seven strong innings while the sluggish Notre Dame offense awakened for 12 hits and several timely plays, as the Irish held on for a 4-3 victory over West Virginia in the third game of their BIG EAST Conference series Sunday at Hawley Field.
Notre Dame (26-9, 8-4 BIG EAST)–which won the series after earning a split on Saturday–remained tied with Seton Hall for second in the BIG EAST standings, with SHU posting an 8-0 win at Boston College on Sunday. The Irish and Pirates remain three games behind league-leading Rutgers (14-1) in the loss column, with RU completing a three-game home sweep of St. Johns on Sunday (9-7).
The Irish received solid production from the No. 2 and 3 spots in the batting order, as freshman rightfielder Brian Stavisky hit 3-for-5 and scored a run while junior shortstop Alex Porzel collected three hits in three ABs, with an RBI and run scored (he hit 6-for-11 in the series, boosting his season average to .355).
Notre Dame–which entered the week ranked sixth in the nation with a 3.06 team ERA–again lowered that mark (to 2.90), thanks to Sunday’s solid pitching performance.
West Virginia (17-20, 4-7) matched the Irish with seven runners on base while remaining ninth in the BIG EAST standings, with the top six teams advancing to the postseason tournament.
Notre Dame has won all four of its BIG EAST series this season (each 2-1) and the Irish still have lost just five series in five BIG EAST seasons (with 29 series wins and four series ties). The Irish also have won 12 of their last 14 BIG EAST series (with one series tie) and 24 of the last 29 (with three series ties in that stretch).
Sundays game was the latest in a tightly-contested ND-WVU rivalry, with the teams meeting 18 times since both joined the BIG EAST in 1996. During that 18-game stretch, the Irish hold an 11-7 series edge, with the teams playing four one-run games, seven two-run games and four three-run games (just three of the last 18 ND-WVU games have been decided by four-plus runs).
Cavey (4-2)-who had struggled in his previous two starts-allowed three runs, just one of them earned, on four hits and one walk while posting a career-best nine strikeuots and seven groundouts. Cavey retired the first 10 WVU batters of the game and allowed just one hit in nine at-bats with runners on base.
Senior righthander John Corbin pitched the final two innings for his eighth save of the season, extending his Irish record for career saves to 17. Corbin yielded three hits and had one strikeout while recording the final six outs.
Senior righthander Vance McCracken (3-3) was pulled in the third inning, after allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits during the first two and one-third innings. Junior lefthander then went the rest of the way, allowing an unearned run on seven s while posting three Ks.
* ND opened the scoring in the 2nd, with sophomore 3B Andrew Bushey reaching on a fielding error by 1B Kevin Olkowski … sophomore DH Paul OToole then bunted the runner over and lefthanded-hitting sophomore LF Matt Bok plated Bushey with a two-out, 1-0 single through the left side of the infield.
* ND added a pair of unearned runs in the 3rd, sparked by Staviskys one-out single to the 1B Olkowski … Porzel then sent the next pitch down the leftfield line for his third double of the series, 15th of the season and 41st of his career, with Stavisky scoring when the LF Chris Schmidt fumbled with the ball … Maust the took the mound and Porzel stole third before scoring on Busheys groundout to the SS.
* ND stretched to a 4-0 lead in the 5th, with a fielding error by the SS Todd Brock allowing sophomore CF Steve Stanley to reach from the leadoff spot … Stavisky moved Stanley to third with a first-pitch single to right-center (Stavisky took second on the throw) before the speedy Stanley scored on Porzels popup to Olkowski in foul territory down the rightfield line.
* WVU set up an interesting finish by scoring three runs in the 6th, two of them coming unearned … Josh McMillen led off with a 2-2 single through the left side and moved up on Mike Frownfelters bunt and Josh Cisneros single to right … Olkowski then sent a roller up the middle for a potential inning-ending double play, but 2B Jeff Perconte let the ball go through his legs (McMillen scored on the play) … Olkowski then stole second and Tim McCabe lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, with Olkowski moving to 3rd on Stanleys errant throw to the plate … Brock then struck out swinging on a low pitch from Cavey but the ensuing wild pitch kept the inning alive, with Olkowski scoring for a 4-3 game.
* Cisneros led off the 8th with a full-count single up the middle but Corbin served up a flyout, popup and groundout to get out of the inning … WVU tried to rally with two outs in the 9th, as Eric Grimm and pinch hitter Kevin Riley singled on two-strike counts … but Mike Frownfelter flew out to right field on the next pitch, ending the game.
AROUND THE BIG EAST: Connecticut (7-8) posted an 8-2 win at Pittsburgh (8-6) on Sunday while Georgetown (1-13) was scheduled to play Villanova (6-8) in Philadelphia … BC fell to 6-9 with its loss to SHU while St. Johns dropped two games under .500 (5-7) with the sweep by RU.
Notre Dame 0-1-2 0-1-0 0-0-0 -- 4 12 2West Virginia 0-0-0 0-0-3 0-0-0 -- 3 7 3
Cavey, Corbin (8) and Nussbaum. McCracken, Maust (3) and Cisneros.