May 9, 1999
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Junior righthander Scott Cavey turned in another strong outing on the mound while his classmate Jeff Felker concluded a banner weekend of his own, as visiting Notre Dame completed a three-game sweep of Georgetown, 11-5, in BIG EAST Conference baseball action Sunday at Georgetown Diamond.
Notre Dame (39-11, 19-3 BIG EAST) moved within one win of the program’s 11th straight 40-win season while cutting its magic number to one for clinching the BIG EAST regular-season title. The Irish would clinch the title with one win in next week’s three-game series at St. John’s or with a Rutgers loss in its series versus Pittsburgh.
The Irish scored what proved to be six valuable runs in the seventh inning, with four of those runs coming on two-out home runs by Felker and freshman Andrew Bushey.
Georgetown (18-34. 2-24) – which made things interesting with four runs in the eighth and two other runners on base – ended its season with more lost opportunities, as the Hoyas scored just five runs on 10 hits while stranding 10 runners (GU left 25 men on base in the series). Sophomore lefty Randy Erwin (3-10) took the loss, allowing six runs on 10 hits and one walk over six-plus innings, with one strikeout.
Cavey (6-1) allowed just one run on five hits and one walk over six innings, with three strikeouts and six groundouts, while lowering his season ERA to 3.36. Senior lefty Chris McKeown then pitched a scoreless seventh and freshman Drew Duff had trouble in the eighth before junior John Corbin came on to record the final five outs for the Irish (dropping his team-best ERA to 3.20).
Felker enjoyed a 3-for-5 day, with three RBI and two runs scored, plus his career-best seventh home run and team-leading 16th double of the season. He went 8-for-12 in the weekend series (raising his season average to .365), with 10 RBI, 16 total bases, two home runs, two doubles, a walk, a hit-by-pitch and six runs scored.
Prior to the St. John’s series, Notre Dame will play host to one of the nation’s perennial powers, when the Miami Hurricanes come calling to Eck Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday night, May 11-12 (start times of 7:05 p.m.). Both nights will included special promotions, with Tuesday serving as “bat night” while Wednesday will be the annual “turn-back-the-clock” night.
Junior leftfielder Matt Nussbaum pulled off a fourth-inning bunt single, extending his hitting streak to 14 games (third-longest by an Irish player in 1998, behind Felker’s 18-game tear and Brant Ust’s 15-game streak).
Steve Stanley smacked his fourth double of the season to open the six-run sixth inning. After a wild pitch and a strikeout by pinch hitter Ed Golom, the speedy Stanley broke for home on Alec Porzel’s groundball to the shortstop. The throw to home plate arrived in plenty of time but Stanley juked catcher Matt Bok and dived to his left for the sixth Irish run of the game.
Brant Ust then sent a hit-and-run single up the middle, moving Porzel to third, and Nussbaum followed with an RBI groundout to the shortstop (with a close play at first base). Felker then parked his two-run shot over the right-center fence and Paul O’Toole reached on a groundball that sent the second baseman far to his left (the ensuing throwing error moved O’Toole to second). Bushey capped the inning with his second home run of the season, for an 11-1 lead (the final five runs never would have scored without Stanley’s trickery at the plate).
Both teams used sacrifice flies to score single runs in the first inning, with Porzel plating Stanley for the first Irish run. Notre Dame tacked on a run in the fourth, after Nussbaum converted the first bunt single of his Irish career (down the third-base line), moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Felker’s single to center field.
Notre Dame plated two more runs in the fifth, sparked by Bushey’s single to left-center and a fielding error by the leftfielder. Stanley advanced the runner with a groundout before Ken Meyer delivered a 3-1 single past the diving shortstop. Porzel then drilled an 0-2 pitch that nearly cleared the fence in right-center field.
Consecutive doubles by Felker and Paul O’Toole gave the Irish a 5-1 cushion in the fifth inning. After the big Irish output in the sixth, the Hoyas pushed across four runs in the eighth-highlighted by Kirwan Elliot’s three-run double.
NOTES: Notre Dame is the first BIG EAST team ever to win 19 games in a season … the Irish are 61-19 (.763) in four seasons of BIG EAST regular-season play, winning 23 series and losing just three (with five even series) … the Irish have been swept just twice in 49 BIG EAST doubleheaders … Notre Dame’s current .780 season winning pct. ranks third-best by a Notre Dame team in the last 63 seasons (since 1936), trailing the 1990 (.793, 46-12) and the 1980 (.784, 29-8) teams … Felker has just four hitless games this season (in 46 games played) … Stanley (CF), Ust (SS) and Porzel (2B) each have started all 50 games this season at the same position … in other BIG EAST action Sunday, 10th-place Boston College (8-14-1) kept alive its hopes for a spot in the six-team BIG EAST tournament by earning an 8-7, 6-11 split with visiting St. John’s (11-10-1), which gained some ground on idle Seton Hall (12-10) while maintaining fifth place in a wild scramble for the postseason spots … West Virginia (11-11) held onto sixth place after gaining a split in Philadelphia vs. seventh-place Villanova (11-12) … heading into the final weekend, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Providence (15-8) have clinched playoff berths while seven other teams still are in the running for the final three spots … the other final-week action includes Villanova at PC, ninth-place Connecticut (9-14) at Seton Hall and WVU at BC … Ust’s hit was the 233rd of his career, moving him into a tie for eighth in Irish history with former teammate Randall Brooks (1994-97) and current injured senior Jeff Wagner.
NOTRE DAME 1-0-0 1-2-1 6-0-0 11 16 2GEORGETOWN 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-4-0 5 10 2
Cavey, McKeown (7), Duff (8), Corbin (8) and Drevline, O'Toole (3).Irwin, Pina (7), Azkowski (8), Arizin (9) and Bok, Wade (9).