May 16, 2001
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – The Notre Dame baseball team tied a BIG EAST record by placing six individuals on the 13-player first team all-conference team-and 10 overall on the three all-conference teams (no other school had more than five)-while becoming just the fourth team in the 17-year history of the awards to sweep all four major awards, at the annual BIG EAST Tournament banquet Wednesday night in Bridgewater, N.J.
Senior righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) joined former Connecticut hurler Charles Nagy (`87, `88) as the only repeat winners of the BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-year award. Heilman sports a 13-0 overall record for 2001 and ranks sixth nationally with a 1.50 season ERA, plus 91 strikeouts, 26 walks and a .168 opponent batting average.
Irish junior centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) joined UConn junior OF Mike Scott as the 2001 BIG EAST Co Players of the Year. Stanley has been the sparkplug of an Irish offense that has boosted its team batting average from .298 in 2000 to .321 this season, with a team-best .393 season batting average from his leadoff spot, plus 30 stolen bases, a league-bet 67 runs scored and 27 RBI.
Second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year by virtue of his impressive debut season that includes a .374 batting average, 34 RBI, 22 stolen bases and five home runs. He becomes just the 10th freshman ever named first team all-BIG EAST and is ND’s third BIG EAST rookie of the year in the last six seasons.
Seventh-year head coach Paul Mainieri completed Notre Dame’s major award winners by receiving BIG EAST coach-of-the-year honors. Mainieri and his staff have molded the 2001 Irish team into one of the nation’s top teams, highlighted by a 45-9-1 overall record that narrowly trails Tulane (45-9) atop the national winning pct. charts. Mainieri guided Notre Dame to 22 BIG EAST wins, including 18 consecutive (both are league all-time bests), and the Irish have spent most of the season ranked among the national top 10-highlighted by two weeks atop at least one of the three major national polls.
Senior righthander Danny Tamayo (Miami, Fla.)-who is slated to start Thursday’s BIG EAST Tournament game versus Virginia Tech (3:30 EDT)-joined Heilman as the second set of pitchers from the same school (and first since ’85) to each be named one of three BIG EAST first-team pitchers (two other pairs were among four first teamers).
Notre Dame’s other first teamers included senior shortstop Alec Porzel (Lisle, Ill.) and junior third baseman Andrew Bushey (Boardman, Ohio) while junior catcher Paul O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio( and sophomore rightfielder Brian Stavisky (Port Allegany, Pa.) were named to the all-BIG EAST second team. Two other Irish players-sophomore righthander J.P. Gagne (Bloomington, Minn.) and junior DH Matt Bok (Akron, Ohio)-were named to the inaugural third team all-BIG EAST squad (the BIG EAST no longer names an all-rookie team).
Heilman was the only unanimous selection to the 2001 all-BIG EAST first team and becomes the first BIG EAST pitcher ever named all-conference four times (he was named to the second team in `98 and first team in `99 and 2000). He joins two former Irish teammates-DH Jeff Wagner (`96-’99) and IF Brant Ust (`97-’99)-on the elite list of seven players that have been named first team all-BIG EAST three or four times (the others are listed below).
Sollmann followed Wagner and Ust as ND’s third BIG EAST rookie of the year (each was named first team all-BIG EAST).
Stanley was a second-team BIG EAST pick as a freshman in `99 (as was Stavisky in 2000) while Porzel was the 2000 all-BIG EAST second-team shortstop (behind player of the year Darren Fenster of Rutgers) and joined Heilman on the `98 all-rookie team.
ND’s other honorees received the first all-conference honors of their Irish careers (O’Toole joined Stanley on the `99 BIG EAST all-rookie team while Gagne and Stavisky were 2000 all-rookie pick).
Other previous players to earn first team all-BIG EAST honors three times include three Seton Hall players-1B Mo Vaughn and OF Dana Brown (both `87-’89) and C Alex Andreopoulos (`92-’94)-and Rutgers 1B/OF Pete Zoccolillo (`97-’99). Boston College and Virginia Tech followed Notre Dame (10) with five selections each to the three All-BIG EAST teams. All selections are made by the league’s head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.
Heilman and Rutgers RHP Bobby Brownlie were the only repeat selections on the first team.
Heilman’s dominance includes ranking first among all BIG EAST pitchers in each of the following categories (overall and in BIG EAST games where indicated): ERA (1.50, 1.40 in league play), wins (13-0, 8-0 BIG EAST), strikeouts (91), low opponent batting avg. (.168, .152 league), shutouts (3, 2 in BE play) and compete games (10, 8 in league). He also ranks second in innings (97.0), third in league Ks (56) and fourth in BIG EAST innings (58.0).
Stanley leads the BIG EAST in overall (67) and conference (38) runs while also ranking first among the league’s players in hits (86), overall triples (5) and BIG EAST triples (5), and BIG EAST walks (18). He ranks second in overall (30) and conference (12) stolen bases, third in overall batting avg. (.393) and conference on-base pct. (.479), fourth in BIG EAST hits (38), fifth in total bases (112) and on-base pct. (.452) and sixth in league batting average (.384).
Sollmann ranks second in the BIG EAST for conference runs (26), fourth in overall stolen bases (22), fifth in runs (49) and hits (84), eighth in batting avg. (.375) and ninth in on-base pct. (.443).
Tamayo tied Heilman atop the BIG EAST charts for strikeouts (91), shutouts (3) and league shutouts (2) while leading the way in league Ks (59). He also ranks second in wins (8-1), BIG EAST wins (6-0) and league innings (60.2), third in opponent batting avg. (.209) and innings (95.1), fourth in ERA (2.36) and league ERA (2.52), sixth in batting by league opponents (.255) and eighth in complete games (4).
Porzel leads all BIG EAST players in overall (25) and conference (13) doubles, league RBI (35) and BIG EAST total bases (63) while ranking second in league slugging pct. (.636) and conference runs (26), third in league home runs (5), fourth in RBI (50), seventh in total bases (109) and ninth in runs (47). His major defensive strides include just 11 errors-compared to 25 as ND’s starting SS in 2000. He rebounded from a slow start by raising his overall season batting average to .291.
Bushey finished the BIG EAST regular season ranked second among the league’s players in conference batting avg. (.425), doubles (10) and RBI (27) while ranking fourth in conference slugging pct. (.600). He owns a .350 overall season batting average and has totaled just 11 errors at the hot corner.
Stavisky (batting .384 overall) ranks second among BIG EAST players in overall triples (4), league RBI (27) and overall on-base pct. (.469), third in RBI (54), fourth in slugging pct. (.599) and league on-base pct. (.462), fifth in league batting (.384) and slugging (.598), seventh in league doubles (8) and ninth in total bases (106).
O’Toole ranked eighth in the BIG EAST with eight stolen bases in conference plays while his overall regular-season totals included a .310 batting average, 31 RBI, two home runs, 10 doubles and 13 stolen bases.
Bok is tied for second among BIG EAST players with four triples and is batting.299 overall (.333 in league play).
Gagne owns a 3.78 ERA as a starter in 2001 (4.45 overall), with a 5-3 record, 41 strikeouts, 21 walks and a .257 opponent batting avg. He ranked fourth during the BIG EAST regular season for league wins (5-2) and seventh in batting avg. by opposing BIG EAST batters (.241).
St. John’s produced six first team all-BIG EAST players in 1991 (prior to the arrival of ND, Rutgers and West Virginia in 1996) while Rutgers matched that with six first teamers last season. The 1999 Providence team remains the only BIG EAST team ever to sweep the four major awards outright while Villanova’s ’93 team and PC’s ’95 squad won three outright and shared the player-of-the-year award (matching ND’s 2001 showing).
2001 BIG EAST Baseball Postseason Award Winners
BIG EAST CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Steve Stanley, Notre Dame, CF, Junior, 5-7, 150, Upper Arlington, Ohio/Worthington Christian
Mike Scott, Connecticut, CF, Junior, 5-10, 175, Darien, Conn./Darien
BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Heilman, Notre Dame, RHP, Senior, 6-5, 225, Logansport, Ind./Logansport
BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Steve Sollmann, Notre Dame, 2B, Freshman, 5-10, 180, Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier
BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
Paul Mainieri, Notre Dame (632-399-1, 19th season – – At ND: 300-119-1, 7th season)
All-BIG EAST First Team
RHP – Aaron Heilman, Notre Dame, Sr.**, RHP – Danny Tamayo, Notre Dame, Sr., RHP – Bobby Brownlie, Rutgers, So., C – Jeff Mackor, Boston College, Jr., 1B – Val Majewski, Rutgers, So., 2B – Steve Sollmann, Notre Dame, Fr., SS – Alec Porzel, Notre Dame, Sr., 3B – Andy Bushey, Notre Dame, Jr., OF – Mike Scott, Connecticut, Jr., OF – Steve Stanley, Notre Dame, Jr., OF – Billy McCarthy, Rutgers, Jr., UT – Shawn Tarkington, Seton Hall, Sr., DH – Nick Piantek, Villanova, Sr.
All-BIG EAST Second Team
RHP – Marc Goldberg, St. John’s, Jr., LHP – Joe Saunders, Virginia Tech, So., LHP – Shane Rhodes, West Virginia, Jr., C – Paul O’Toole, Notre Dame, Jr., 1B – John West, Virginia Tech, Jr., 2B – Matt Wolski, Rutgers, Jr., SS – Mike Hubbard, Boston College, Sr., 3B – Addison Bowman, Virginia Tech, Sr., OF – Brian Stavisky, Notre Dame, So., OF – Joe Cuervo, Seton Hall, Sr., OF – Brad Bauder, Virginia Tech, So., UT – Brian Macchi, Boston College, Jr., DH – Chris Rosado, Boston College, Sr.
All-BIG EAST Third Team
Brian Durkin, Boston College, 1B, Jr., Jon Gorrie, Connecticut, 1B, Jr., Peter Soteropoulos, Connecticut, UT, So., Marc Carlini, Georgetown, OF, Jr., Matt Bok, Notre Dame, DH, Jr., J.P. Gagne, Notre Dame, RHP, So., Joe Engel, Pittsburgh, P, Jr., Casey Grimm, Seton Hall, OF, So., Chris Graziano, Villanova, OF, So., Spencer Harris, Virginia Tech, SS, So., Billy Biggs, West Virginia, P, Jr., Josh Cisneros, West Virginia, C, Sr., Tim McCabe, West Virginia, 3B, So.
** – unanimous selection
The first and second teams are chosen by position, with the third team named regardless of position.