Nov. 17, 1998
The University of Notre Dame baseball team has signed one outfielder and four righthanded pitchers to national letters of intent, fifth-year head coach Paul Mainieri announced today. The signees include lefthanded-hitting outfielder Brian Stavisky (Port Allegany, PA)-the cousin of former Notre Dame pitcher Dan Stavisky-and pitchers Mike Glozniak (Hinsdale, IL), Matt Laird (Bellaire, TX), Pat O’Brien (Bath, OH) and Peter Ogilvie (Buffalo Grove, IL).
“We feel great about our class because we filled our needs,” said Mainieri. “We brought in a big class of current freshmen-10 recruits, with seven non-pitchers-so we will have many returning players for 1999. We accomplished our goals of adding an outstanding power hitter and four pitchers that could contribute immediately.”
The current Notre Dame squad includes just three seniors-catcher and Irish career home run leader Jeff Wagner, righthanded pitcher Alex Shilliday and lefthander Chris McKeown. “We also could lose two juniors-shortstop Brant Ust and lefthanded pitcher Tim Kalita-to the pro draft, but we recruited two catchers last year to replace Wagner and thus Ust could be the only non-pitcher we need to replace,” said Mainieri. “We’re hoping that Stavisky’s hitting will pick up for the potential loss of Ust and finding replacements for the pitchers is critical. A great deal of our success can be attributed to deep pitching and these signees will step in and help continue that tradition.”
Stavisky has earned letters in four sports (baseball, basketball, football and golf), after spending his first two years at Oswayo Valley High School before transferring to Port Allegany. The 6-3, 220-pound lefthanded hitter is known for his quick bat, overall athleticism and impressive power numbers. He has totaled 56 home runs in 104 combined games on the high school and American Legion levels while his three-year high school stats include a .591 batting average, a .731 on-base percentage, 30 home runs, 106 RBI, 102 runs, 19 doubles, 60 walks and only eight strikeouts. In addition to his athletic pursuits, Stavisky is active in several school organizations and ranks first in his class with a 4.0 GPA.
Glosniak, who attracted the Irish coaches due to his competitiveness and tough curveball, helped Hinsdale Central High School post a school-record 28 victories in 1998 while advancing to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. His 1998 season included an 8-2 record, a 1.38 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 66 innings. The 6-1, 180-pounder tossed the DuPage Area’s first seven-inning no-hitter while earning all-conference honors and becoming the only junior named to the All-DuPage Area First Team. During summer American Legion play, he went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 70 K’s in 51 innings while earning recognition as the starting pitcher on the Chicago Sun Times All-Summer League team.
Laird, a highly-recruited prospect who is known for his tough changeup and clever pitching style, will join the Irish after being part of a Bellaire High School baseball program that has been ranked No. 1 nationally while producing several major-league players, among them Jim Gideon, Chuck Knoblauch and Jose Cruz, Jr. The 6-0, 185-pounder was the first freshman ever to pitch for the Bellaire varsity and owns a 15-1 career record through three seasons. As a junior, he went 9-1 with a 1.41 ERA, 68 strikeouts and 18 walks in 50 innings. Laird also owns a 4.2 cumulative GPA while taking honors courses at Bellaire.
O’Brien, who has touched 90 mph with his fastball, is set to become the third four-year starter in the history of Walsh Jesuit High School and already owns school career records for victories (16), winning percentage (16-5/.762) and strikeouts (174 in 138 innings). As the staff’s No. 1 starter, the 6-4, 200-pounder led his team to a record of 45-12 over the past two seasons, including a school-record for wins in a season as a sophomore (9-1). O’Brien also was named MVP of the 1997-98 Walsh Jesuit basketball team after averaging 18.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Ogilvie, who is noted for his arm action and control, posted an 0.89 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 15.2 innings as a junior at Stevenson High School, when his season was cut short due to injury. The 6-3, 200-pounder had an impressive sophomore campaign in which he went 12-2 with a 1.67 ERA, 97 K’s, 37 walks and 68 hits allowed in 83.2 innings before going 9-1 in 1997 summer Legion ball.
Additional Stavisky Notes: Team MVP as a freshman at Oswayo Valley, after leading team with .617 batting average … went on to lead the team with a .609 average as a sophomore … a two-time conference MVP at Oswayo Valley while setting school career records for runs, hits, home runs, RBI and doubles in just two seasons … hit .524 with 11 home runs in 18 games as a junior at Port Allegany … named an East-West Pennsylvania American Legion All-Star in 1997 and ’98 … also played in 1998 Team One Showcase at Clemson, SC … a three-time league all star in basketball, eclipsing 1,000 points and totaling nearly 1,000 rebounds during his junior season … earned two football letters and all-league honors at Oswayo Valley, in addition to Big 30 All-Star recognition in 1996 … has helped lead his football, basketball and baseball teams to the district championship game … a two-time national finalist in the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition, held at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, HI (1993, ’94) … plays trumpet in the Port Allegany concert band while also serving as a member of the concert chorus and show choir … has served as president of his class … member of the National Honor Society … son of Dan and Mary Stavisky … born July 6, 1980 … plans to major in business at Notre Dame.
Mainieri on Stavisky: “Brian was the best power hitter I saw all summer. He’s a big, strong kid and a very good athlete. He has a very quick bat and hits the ball with a lot of authority. He’s a power hitter along the lines of Jeff Wagner, but from the left side. Like Jeff, Brian is a good all-around hitter who happens to also hit a lot of home runs-he’s not just a big guy who hits home runs but strikes out a lot. He’ll stand a good chance of coming in as freshmen and batting in the middle of the order. When you visualize an outfield with Stavisky, Steve Stanley and Matt Strickroth for the next few years, you get pretty excited about the kind of offensive club we could have.”
Stavisky on his Decision: “I always liked Notre Dame when I was a little kid, even though I didn’t know much about the place. I became a big Notre Dame football fan and started to follow the baseball program as well when my cousin began playing there. I don’t think there’s a more beautiful campus anywhere. The place is just right for me-the people and atmosphere were what I was looking for. My cousin Dan explained a lot of things about the baseball program and they were all positive. One thing I really learned from him is the importance of getting the best of everything while you are in college. He started out with two really good years in terms of baseball and then never recovered from an injury that he had. But he stuck it out and the coaches were always very understanding. He kept focused on his academics and has a lot to be proud of. I’ve learned a lot from him and am really looking forward to next year.”
Additional Glosniak Notes: Received honorable mention to Chicago Sun Times All Summer League Team … selected as recipient of J. Kyle Braid Leadership Award and Scholarship as a sophomore … as a junior, he was chosen to represent Hinsdale Central at Illinois Sportsmanship Summit, after which he helped draft his school’s sportsmanship policy … member of Student Council … son of Ronald and Barbara Glosniak … born Dec. 26, 1980.
Mainieri on Glosniak: “As so often happens in scouting for prospects, we went to see a player this summer and while we were watching the game, another player stood out to us. That player was Mike Glosniak. and the reason he caught our eye was because he was such a tenacious competitor. I was really captivated by the way Mike battled hard for his team. He has a good arm and a very good curveball to go along with a tough-guy attitude on the mound. I expect him to come in and contribute immediately, because he can throw that curveball for strikes.”
Glosniak on His Decision: “When I came on my recruiting trip, the campus experience and the team were just incredible. It couldn’t be beat. I also like that I’ll be staying close to home. The program has great coaches and (pitching) coach (Brian) O’Connor has a lot to offer and teach me. From the start, I wanted to go to the best school that I could and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to attend a school like Notre Dame.
Additional Laird Notes: Named all-district following 1998 season … an invited participant to Texas Pro Scouts Association high school all-star game in August of 1998 … named one of Collegiate Baseball magazine’s top high school prospects for the state of Texas … an invited participant at Team One Showcases in Kentucky (1997) and Arizona (’98) and the 1998 Area Code tryouts (when he survived cut from 42 to 15 pitchers)… owns a 4.2 GPA as an honors-class student … a National Merit Commendable Scholar … elected by student body as “Birdkeeper”, a prestigious group of young men who guard the school’s mascot … son of Ann and Marc Laird … born Nov. 23, 1980.
Mainieri on Laird: “Matt was a highly recruited pitcher out of one of the top high school programs in the country and getting him to sign with Notre Dame was a real coup. Matt reminds us a lot of Alex Shilliday, who has had a great career at Notre Dame. He has a super changeup and really knows how to pitch. He’s played against top level competition his whole life and is basically a winner. There’s no doubt he can come in and make a definite contribution right away.”
Laird on His Decision: “The coaching staff, friendly environment of the players and the Notre Dame tradition were real important for me. The coaches were very honest and inviting, which was important for me if I was going to go to school so far away. I’m real excited to be working with coach O’Connor. It seems like he knows a lot about pitching. I’m really excited to get away and see something different. My coach calls my high school team ‘the Notre Dame of high school baseball’ and I’m excited to be going there to help make the baseball program an even bigger tradition.”
Additional O’Brien Notes: His ’97 season included 9-1 record, 1.98 ERA, .185 opponent batting avg. and 84 K’s in 67 innings … his ’98 stats included a 5-3 record, 3.10 ERA and 62 K’s in 49 innings … also on pace to break several school offensive records (already holds single season home run record, with nine in 1997) … team MVP as a sophomore and junior … named first team All-Medina/Summit in 1997 and 1998 … conference players of the year as a junior … named a preseason elite Ohio high school prospect for 1998 by Collegiate Baseball magazine … pitched in victory over Team Florida on team Ohio team … played with current Notre Dame freshmen Paul O’Toole and Steve Stanley on Team Ohio … team captain and MVP on 1997-98 Walsh Jesuit basketball team, when he set the school record for most points by a junior … also earned basketball underclassman of the year award and honorable mention All-Ohio recognition … an honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society … son of Pat and Marci O’Brien … born November 20, 1980.
Mainieri on O’Brien: “Pat is a perfect guy for what we look for in many pitchers. He’s a big guy with a good arm who needs to become a little more consistent with his mechanics. Once he matures a little more as a pitcher, we think he’s going to be outstanding. He reminds us a lot of (1998 first-round draft pick) Brad Lidge, when we recruited Brad back in 1995. Brad had all the tools and, once he put it together, he became dominating. Pat can be the same way because he has the size and arm strength, comes from a very good high school program and is a winner. The state of Ohio has been good to us for last couple of years and Pat should keep that streak going strong.”
O’Brien on his Decision: “The biggest factors in my decision were the coaches, the campus and the players. I’m looking forward to having coach O’Connor work with me. He has done a lot for the pitchers that have gone through the program. Notre Dame was the best fit for me because it had a great blend of academics and athletics. Steve Stanley and Paul O’Toole have said that they like it a lot and are fitting in real well. They said that the coaches have been fair and carried out what they said during the recruiting process. The facilities at Notre Dame are awesome and it will be great to play on such a new field. Plus my family will get to see me play quite a bit, which will be a bonus.”
Additional Ogilvie Notes: Had 16 strikeouts as winning pitcher in 1997 summer-league elimination game vs. Lake Zurich .. .also winning pitcher in district legion championship game vs. Barrington … named state coaches association All-Area Pitcher of the year … also named to Chicago Sun Times All-Summer team … started on varsity basketball team as a junior, averaging 11.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game … an honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society … son of Peter and Adonna Ogilvie … born January 7, 1981.
Mainieri on Ogilvie: “Peter is a guy we’re really excited about and we’re ecstatic he chose Notre Dame. When (pitching coach) Brian O’Connor saw him pitch two years ago, he thought Peter was the best pitcher in the state of Illinois – as a sophomore! Unfortunately, he suffered through an injury that caused him to miss his entire junior year and he didn’t start pitching again until this past summer. When I saw him, I really liked what I saw. He has great arm action with very good control. When he gets his arm back in top-notch shape, I believe he’ll throw even harder. Look for Peter to become a top pitcher in our program.”
Ogilvie on his Decision: “I was heavily recruited by several schools but Notre Dame was the best choice. The school has a great academic reputation and I loved the atmosphere during football weekends and around the campus. The school has such a great tradition and so many people have good things to say about it. You meet a lot of good people there. I also heard nothing but good things about the coaching staff and it will be just a couple hours away so that my family and friends can see me play. Overall, everybody was really nice when I visited and I think it’s a good opportunity and good for my future.”
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Bats Hometown Previous School Mike Glozniak RHP 6-1 180 Hinsdale, IL Hinsdale Central HSMatt Laird RHP 6-0 185 Bellaire, TX Bellaire HSPat O'Brien RHP 6-4 200 Bath, OH Walsh Jesuit HSPeter Ogilvie RHP 6-3 200 Buffalo Grove, IL Stevenson HS Brian Stavisky OF 6-3 220 L Port Allegany, PA Port Allegany HS