March 29, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team continued on the program’s quickest march to 20 wins in more than nine decades, with a 9-2 win Thursday over visiting Hillsdale College, in makeup-game action at Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (18-4-1) did most of its damage in a four-run third inning, with the big hit coming on sophomore rightfielder Brian Stavisky’s second home run of the season. His classmate Ryan Kalita picked up the win in a planned rotation, after facing 13 batters over the first three shutout innings (with three hits and two walks allowed, plus a pair of strikeouts).
The win capped the 1,000th career game of Paul Mainieri’s college head coaching career, with his 19 seasons including a 273-115-1 record in six-plus years at Notre Dame (605-394-1 overall).
If Notre Dame manages to sweep its home doubleheader versus Seton Hall on Saturday, the Irish will reach 20 wins faster than all but two of the previous 108 Notre Dame teams and will do so in the fewest games since the 1908 squad started 20-1 (after the 1907 team had opened 20-2). Three other Notre Dame teams have started 20-5, including the 1906, ’28 and ’59 squads.
Hillsdale (2-12) used a unique rotation in which eight pitchers each tossed one inning. Sophomore lefthander Matt Dudek (0-1) was tagged with the loss after yielding a run in the second inning while starting centerfielder Marcus Harris closed the game by allowing two runs in the eighth.
Kalita was one of three Notre Dame players to see his first action of the season, with freshman Zach Sisko entering the game as a reserve second baseman while freshman righthander Brian Kaplan tossed the final two innings.
Twelve different batters contributed to Notre Dame’s 15-hit attack, led by two hits each from Stavisky, junior centerfielder Steve Stanley and junior DH Ken Meyer.
Notre Dame’s four-run third inning included Stanley’s leadoff single and stolen base, followed by senior shortstop Alec Porzel’s RBI double to right-center. Stavisky then launched the next pitch from junior lefty Brad Penex over the leftfield fence for a 4-0 Irish lead and his first home run in 10 games (he hit 14 during his Freshman All-America season).
Porzel’s double was his team-leading ninth of the season and the 59th of his career, tying former teammate Jeff Felker (1997-2000) for third in Notre Dame history, just one behind Dan Peltier’s three-year total from `87-’89 and two back of the record held by ’93 graduate Eric Danapilis.
Hillsdale (2-12) 0-0-0 0-0-0 0-1-1 – 2 8 4
#13 Notre Dame (18-4-1) 0-1-4 0-0-2 0-2-X – 9 15 1
Drew Cochran, Matt Dudek (2, L, 0-1), Brad Penez (3), Jeremy Goetz (4), Matt Kehoe (5), John Louden (6), Brandon Stacey (7), Marcus Harris (8) and John Sims, Dan Baker (6).
Ryan Kalita (W, 1-0), Aaron Edwards (4), Drew Duff (6), Brian Kaplan (8) and Soran Leahy.
Home Runs: Brian Stavisky, ND (one on in 3rd, 2nd of season).
Doubles: Marcus Harris (HC), Alec Porzel (ND), Matt Bok (ND).