May 31, 2001
Two Notre Dame baseball players have been recognized with All-America honors for the 2001 season, led by national player of the year candidate Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.). Heilman was named a first team All-American by both Collegiate Baseball (CB) magazine and USA Today Baseball Weekly while junior centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) was named a second team All-American by USA Today.
Notre Dame freshman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) was named the first-team second baseman on USA Today’s annual Freshman All-America team.
Notre Dame was one of two teams to place multiple players on the USA Today All-America squads, with Tulane’s third baseman Jake Gautreau earning first-team honors while shortstop Andy Cannizaro was named to the second team.
Heilman becomes the 17th all-time Notre Dame student-athlete to be a four-year All-American in the same sport and just the fifth to do so in a team-oriented sport (others include women’s soccer’s Holly Manthei, Jen Grubb and Anne Makinen and 1940s men’s basketball star Kevin O’Shea, plus two cross country runners and 10 fencers-see full list at end of release).
Stanley is the seventh Notre Dame player to earn All-America honors since 1957 and the fifth to earn 1st or 2nd-team honors, joining two other outfielders-Dan Peltier (’89) and Eric Danapilis (’93)-in that distinction (plus Heilman and 1956-57 catcher Elmer Kohorst).
Sollmann is the 14th Irish player to earn Freshman All-America recognition (since 1990) and the ninth named to the 1st team. He joins fellow second baseman Greg Layson (’91) and Brant Ust (’97) as the only ND infielders to earn 1st team Freshman All-America honors, with the other 1st teamers including three pitchers (Heilman and the 1990 duo of David Sinnes and Ryan Leahy), catchers Dennis Twombley (’94) and Paul O’Toole (’99) and rightfielder Brian Stavisky (’00).
Several major All-America teams still are to be announced, including those sponsored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Baseball America (BA) magazine. BA and CB also have yet to release their respective Freshman All-America squads.
Heilman-who now has racked up eight career All-America awards (no other ND player has more than three)-remains a top candidate for various national player-of-the-year awards, including the Dick Howser Trophy (chosen by the National College Baseball Writers Association). Heilman finished fourth in the most recent balloting for the Rotary Smith Award, with the three finalists for that player-of-the-year award including USC righthander Mark Prior, Tennessee shortstop Chris Burke and Kent State first baseman/pitcher John Vanbenschoten.
HEILMAN-who joined Prior and Middlle Tennessee’s Dewon Brazelton as USA Today’s first-team pitchers, while CB named six first-teamers-turned in a dominating 2001 season that included ranking as the nation’s only unbeaten pitcher with more than 13 wins (15-0, second overall in wins) while his 1.74 earned-run average ranks sixth nationwide.
He totaled 111 strikeouts in 114 innings-ranking third in the ND recordbook for season Ks, behind his 118 in both 1999 and 2000-while allowing just 31 walks and 70 hits, which factors out to a walks-plus-hits average of 8.0 per nine innings (not far from Prior’s 7.4 WH/IP avg.). Heilman’s 15 starts included 12 complete games and three shutouts while his .173 opponent batting avg. included just three home runs allowed and a .220 opponent slugging pct. He closed his career with wins in 25 of his final 26 decisions and is one of 15 all-time Division I players to reach 40 wins (43-7) and 400 Ks (425).
STANLEY-one of three 2nd-team outfielders named to the USA Today All-America squad-was part of Notre Dame’s sweep of the major BIG EAST Conference awards, named the league’s co-player of the year while Heilman repeated as the top pitcher and Sollmann was named the BIG EAST rookie of the year. His inspired play in the NCAA South Bend Regional included a .609 batting average (14-for-23) that boosted his season average to an even .400-currently ranking 43rd in the nation and best by a Notre Dame player since Sollmann’s brother Scott hit .406 in 1995.
Stanley’s 102 hits led all BIG EAST players and marked just the second time an ND player had cracked 100 (Peltier had 115 in ’89). Stanley also led the BIG EAST in runs (76) and triples (5) while ranking 2nd in stolen bases (31-of-39), 3rd in batting average and on-base percentage (.457) and 6th in total bases (129). He collected 12 more walks (29) than strikeouts (17), hit 14 doubles and his first career home run, and made just two errors (in addition to countless big-league plays) while joining senior shortstop Alec Porzel as the only Irish players to start all 63 games. Stanley-who has patrolled CF for all but 14 career innings while starting all 188 of ND’s games the past three seasons-ranks 3rd at Notre Dame for career stolen bases (84), 6th in hits (266), 7th in batting average (.364) and 8th in runs (179).
SOLLMANN turned in an impressive position switch from outfield (where he played as a prep) to the middle infield and capped his rookie season with a gutsy return from a broken hand suffered in the BIG EAST Tournament. He ranked third on the team with a .362 season batting average while starting 61 of 63 games at second base. The former Cincinnati tri-state-area male athlete of the year ranked 4rth among BIG EAST players in stolen bases (23-of-34), 5th in runs (52), 6th in hits (80), 7th in walks (30) and 9th in on-base percentage (.440). Four of the righthanded-hitter’s five home runs in 2001 were opposite-field shots.
Heilman now has received All-America recognition from CB in each of his four seasons (3rd team in 1998 and ’99, 1st team in ’00 and ’01). The ABCA named him a 3rd team All-American in 1999 and a 2nd teamer in 2000 while USA Today named him a second team All-American in 2000.
Notre Dame’s four-year All-American include the following (in addition to Heilman, Shea, Manthei `98, Grubb `00 and Makinen `01): cross country’s Oliver Hunter (’43) and Mike McWilliams (’93), men’s fencers Mike Sullivan (’79), Charles Higgs-Coulthard (’87), Yehuda Kovacs (’89), Leszek Nowosielski (’91), Jeremy Siek (’97) and Luke LaValle (’99), and women’s fencers Molly Sullivan (’88), Myriah Brown (’99), Sarah Walsh (’99) and Magda Krol (’00).
Notre Dame has produced mutliple four-year All-Americans each of the past three years: the 1999 fencing trio of LaValle, Brown and Walsh, Grubb and Krol in 1999-2000, and Makinen and Heilman in 2000-01.
2001 USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
C – Kelly Shoppach (Baylor, Jr.)
1B – Dan Johnson (Nebraska, Sr.)
2B – Daniel Uggla (Memphis, Jr.)
3B – Jake Gautreau (Tulane, Jr.)
SS – Chris Burke (Tennessee, Jr.)
OF – John-Ford Griffin (Florida State, Jr.)
OF – Shelley Duncan (Arizona, Jr.)
OF – Brian Baron (UCLA, Sr.)
P – Dewon Brazelton (Middle Tennessee State, Jr.)
P – Aaron Heilman (Notre Dame, Sr.)
P – Mark Prior (USC, Jr.)
Relief – Lee Gronkiewicz (South Carolina, Sr.)
Utility – John Vanbenschoten (Kent State, Jr.)
C – Casey Myers (Arizona St., Sr.)
1B – Aaron Clark (Alabama, Sr.)
2B – Michael Woods (Southern, Jr.)
3B – Jeff Baker (Clemson, So.)
SS – Andy Cannizaro (Tulane, Sr.)
OF – Ryan Brunenr (Northern Iowa, Sr.)
OF – Steve Stanley (Notre Dame, Jr.)
OF – Burney Hutchinson (Mississippi, Jr.)
P – Todd Pennington (SE Missouri, Jr.)
P – Justin Pope (Central Florida, Jr.)
P – Kirk Saarloos (Cal St. Fullerton, Sr.)
Relief – Casey Shumaker (Jacksonville, So.)
Utility – Cory Sullivan (Wake Forest, Sr.)
USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY FIRST TEAM FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICANS
1B – Jamie D’Antona, Wake Forest
2B – Steve Sollmann, Notre Dame
3B – Myron Leslie, South Florida
C – Javi Herrera, Tennessee
SS – Omar Quintanilla, Texas
OF – Rickie Weeks, Southern
OF – Sam Steidl, Minnesota
OF – Carlos Quentin, Stanford
P – Brad Sullivan, Houston
P – Lane Mestepey, LSU
P – Darric Merrell, Cal State Fullerton
Relief – Chad Cordero, Cal State Fullerton
Utility – Michael Aubrey, LHP/OF, Tulane
2001 COLLEGIATE BASEBALL MAGAZINE ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
FIRST TEAM (regular-season stats, prior to NCAAs)
RHP – Mark Prior, Southern California (13-1, 1.49 ERA, 5 CG, 166 K, 17 BB)
RHP – Justin Pope, Central Florida (14-1, 1.34 ERA, 5 CG,150 K, 21 BB)
RHP – Dewon Brazelton, Middle Tennessee St. (13-1, 1.44 ERA, 10 CG, 148 K, 22 BB)
RHP – Aaron Heilman, Notre Dame (14-0, 1.54 ERA, 11 CG, 103 K, 27 BB)
RHP – Kirk Saarloos, Cal. St. Fullerton (13-2, 2.26 ERA, 7 CG, 137 K, 20 BB)
RHP – Shane Komine, Nebraska (12-1, 3.63 ERA, 5 CG, 127 K, 31 BB)
Relief – Lee Gronkiewicz, South Carolina (16 SV, 1.42 ERA, 62 K, 22 BB)
C – Kelly Shoppach, Baylor (great defense, .399, 20 2B, 11 HR, 66 RBI)
1B – John VanBenschoten, Kent St. (.443, 30 HR, 14 2B, 79 RBI, 22 SB)
2B – Michael Woods, Southern (.469, 27 2B, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 32 SB)
SS – Chris Burke, Tennessee (.452, 18 HR, 21 2B, 42 SB)
3B – Jeff Baker, Clemson (.376, 22 HR, 12 2B, 69 RBI)
OF – John-Ford Griffin, Florida St. (.458, 18 HR, 25 2B, 68 RBI)
OF – Ryan Brunner, Northern Iowa (.377, 24 HR, 18 2B, 81 RBI)
OF – Shelley Duncan, Arizona (.338, 24 HR, 78 RBI)
OF – Jason Law, Monmouth (.436, 16 HR, 20 2B, 67 RBI)
DH – Brian Baron, UCLA (.443, 17 2B, 47 RBI)
UT – Cory Sullivan, Wake Forest (.392, 20 2B, 12 HR, 25 SB, 6-0 as pitcher, 3.69 ERA)
LHP – Noah Lowry, Pepperdine
RHP – Kenny Baugh, Rice
RHP – Nic Ungs, Northern Iowa
RHP – Mike Rogers, Oral Roberts RHP – Todd Pennington, S.E. Missouri St.
RHP – Nate Fernley, Brigham Young
Relief – Randy Corn, The Citadel
C – Casey Myers, Arizona St.
C – Chris Shelton, Utah
1B – Dan Johnson, Nebraska
2B – Daniel Uggla, Memphis
SS – Javy Rodriguez, Miami (Fla.)
SS – Andy Cannizaro, Tulane
3B – Jake Gautreau, Tulane
OF – Matt Davis, Virginia Commonwealth
OF – OF Billy McCarthy, Rutgers
OF – Jason Knoedler, Miami (Ohio)
OF – Greg Dobbs, Oklahoma
DH – Jason Brooks, Marshall
UT – Mark Pedersen, Valparaiso
LHP – Willie Collazo, Florida International
RHP – Jason Arnold, Central Florida
RHP – James Garcia, U.C. Santa Barbara
LHP – Scott Nicholson, Oregon St.
RHP – Rik Currier, Southern California
RHP – Jeremy Herauf, Winthrop
RHP – Steve Reba, Clemson
LHP – Lenny DiNardo, Stetson
LHP – Andy Dickinson, Illinois
LHP – Lane Mestepey, Louisiana St.
Relief – Jeff Carswell, Georgia
Relief – Dave Bush, Wake Forest
Relief – Casey Shumaker, Jacksonville
C – Jeremy Brown, Alabama
C – Alex Trezza, SUNY-Stony Brook
1B – Phillip Hartig, The Citadel
1B – Kevin Mitchell, McNeese St.
1B – Aaron Clark, Alabama
1B – Ernie Durazo, Arizona
2B – Ryan Kyes, Ohio
2B – Clemente Bonilla, S.E. Missouri St.
2B – Josh Renick, Middle Tennessee St.
SS – Jeremy Kurella, Central Florida
SS – Bobby Crosby, Long Beach St.
SS – Josh Labandeira, Fresno St.
3B – Jack Hannahan, Minnesota
3B – Kevin Youkilis, Cincinnati
3B – Willie Core, Louisiana-Monroe
OF – John Cole, Nebraska
OF – Gregg Davies, Towson
OF – Chris May, Pennsylvania
UT – Dan Harren, Pepperdine
Collegiate Baseball Magazine National Players Of The Year
2001: RHP Mark Prior, Univ. of Southern California
2000: RHP Kip Bouknight, Univ. of South Carolina
1999: UT Jason Jennings, Baylor University
1998: OF Kevin Mench, Univ. of Delaware
1997: J.D. Drew, Florida State University
1996: RHP Kris Benson, Clemson University
1995: 1B/P Todd Tennessee & OF/P Mark Kotsay, Cal. St. Fullerton
1994: P/1B Ryan Jackson, Duke University
1993: P/OF Brooks Kieschnick, Univ. of Texas
1992:P Lloyd Peever, Louisiana State Univ.
1991:P Bobby Jones, Fresno State Univ.
1990: OF Mike Kelly, Arizona State Univ.
1989: P Ben McDonald, Louisiana State & UT Scott Bryant, Univ. of Texas
1988: P Andy Benes, Evansville University
1987: 3B Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State & 1B Marteese Robinson, Seton Hall University
1986: P Greg Swindell, Univ. of Texas
1985: OF Pete Incaviglia, Oklahoma State Univ.
1984:OF Oddibe McDowell, State Univ.