Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Heilman Named All-America For Third Straight Season

May 26, 2000


NCAA Starkville Regional

HEILMAN TO START GAME ONE: Notre Dame has announced that junior RHP and three-year All-American Aaron Heilman (10-3, 3.04 ERA, 113 Ks) will start game one of the Starkville Regional vs. Tulane … senior RHP Scott Cavey (6-2, 4.15, 57) then is slated to start ND’s second game while the probable starter for a potential third game is freshman RHP J.P. Gagne (7-1, 3.76, 43) … other starting candidates for potential later games in the regional include junior RHP Danny Tamayo (2-1, 5.01, 23), sophomore RHP Drew Duff (4-2, 5.40, 40) and freshman RHP Matt Laird (5-2, 4.0, 34).

HEILMAN EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON: Notre Dame junior RHP Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) has received second team All-America honors from USA Today Baseball Weekly, becoming the first ND player to earn All-America honors from that publication … just three pitchers were named to the first team: South Carolina’s Kip Bouknight, Nebraska’s Shane Komine and Stanford’s Justin Wayne … Heilman-one of six all-time ND players to earn All-America honors-is the first Irish player ever to be named All-America in three different seasons … as a freshman (’98), he was named a third tem All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine while CB and the American Baseball Coaches Association tabbed Heilman as a third team All-American in 1999 … Heilman is the fourth ND player ever named a first or second team All-American, joining catcher Elmer Kohorst (1st team ABCA, ’56 and ’57) and outfielders Dan Peltier (1st team ABCA and Baseball America, ’89) and Eric Danapilis (1st team ABCA, BA and CB, ’93) … Heilman now has been named to four different major All-America teams during his career, more than any previous ND player … the other 2000 All-America teams have yet to be released.

A FACTOR AT THE PLATE AND ON THE MOUND: The Notre Dame offense has performed noticeably better in the 13 previous games started by ace pitcher Aaron Heilman than in the other 46 games this season … in the 13 games started by Heilman, the ND offense has posted a .333 batting avg.-compared to just .289 in games not started by the Irish ace … the Irish also are averaging 8.4 runs scored per nine innings when Heilman pitches, compared to 6.9 runs/9 inn. when Heilman opens the game on the bench … top hitters in games started by Heilman include sophomore DH and leadoff batter Ken Meyer (.524, 11-for-21, HR, 3B, 4 2B, .952 slugging pct.), senior 1B Jeff Felker (.348, 18-for-44) and sophomore C Paul O’Toole (.348, 16-for-46, 4 HR, 16 RBI) … Felker is hitting 83 points lower in games that Heilman does not start (.265, 43-for-162) while O’Toole’s average in those games is just .282 (38-for-135, 3 HR, 19 RBI), 66 points lower than when Heilman starts … other ND stats from the 13 Heilman stats include 13 home runs (35 in the other 46 games), an eye-popping .984 fielding pct. and just seven errors (.960, 71 Es in non-Heilman starts), plus a .364 batting avg. with runners in scoring position.

STARTING STATS: Aaron Heilman has averaged 7.0 innings in his 13 starts (including six 7-inning complete games) while his nine-inning averages as a starter include: 10.4 Ks, 2.3 walks, 7.7 hits allowed and 9.7 groundouts … stats from his 13 stats break down as follows:

Earned Runs

0 – 5 games

1 – 0

2 – 2

3 – 3

4 – 0

5 – 1

6 – 1

7 – 1


1 – 1

2 – 1

3 – 0

4 – 2

5 – 0

6 – 2

7 – 2

8 -4

11 -1


0 – 2

1 – 3

2 – 5

3 – 2

4 – 0

5 – 1


5 – 4

6 – 2

7 – 0

8 – 2

9 – 2

10 – 0

11 – 1

12 -1

18 -1

BOUNCE BACK: Aaron Heilman will be looking to bounce back from a pair of rocky outings, vs. Rutgers in the final week of the regular season and vs. Pittsburgh in the BIG EAST Tournament (on four days rest, as compared to his usual full-week layoff) … his stats from those last two games include 16 runs allowed (12 earned) in 12 innings, plus 19 hits (in 53 at-bats, .359), five walks and 11 Ks … those two outings pushed Heilman’s season ERA from 2.21 to 3.04 … Rutgers touched Heilman for nine runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks while Pittsburgh posted the most earned runs (seven) and second-most hits (11) vs. Heilman in his 67 career appearances.


ND Head Coach Paul Mainieri: “This has been a very consistent season for us. It has not been spectacular, but we have played steadily throughout the year. We won all nine of our BIG EAST series and had the same number of wins as Rutgers but also had two more losses than them … We have not been spectacular, except for a few things-most of them from Aaron Heilman. Alec Porzel is the type of player that typifies this team. He has come through in the clutch and we are a team that has won most of the one-run games that we have played. In general, we are real excited to be here in the hotbed of college baseball. Next to the College World Series, the atmosphere here at Mississippi State is second-to-none. … In the old six-team regional format, it was real key to stay in that winners bracket. With the new four-team format, most teams have 1-2 outstanding college pitchers. And in the later games, the pitching drops off and it’s all about scoring runs. … Aaron will go as long as he can pitch effectively, but I’m not counting on nine innings from him in this heat. The bullpen has to do the job to win this thing. … Hosting a regional last season was an unbelievable experience. It was a great experience to increase interest in college baseball in that part of the country. … We got off to a great start and a lot of that can be attributed to our new indoor practice facility. … Our trainer Mike Bean has preached a lot to our players about hydrating themselves in this heat. The key things are drinking a lot of fluids and getting rest but once you get on the field, you can’t hold back. It’s still hot for the other teams, but they are just used to it. … We have respect for all of the teams in this regional, but we are not in awe of anyone.”

ND Junior SS Alec Porzel: “Everyone on the team is real happy to be here and we are looking forward to playing in the regional for the second time in as many years. … The biggest difference here is the grandstands. There is more of a presence, especially when the seats will be filled. But I don’t think anyone will be intimidated, we will just be excited. The fans come to see the games and we will show them some great baseball.”

ND junior RHP Aaron Heilman: “We really are looking forward to playing some great competition and enjoying the southern hospitality. … At Notre Dame, we don’t get as many fans as the football team but we have seen more and more people come out to support us and don’t feel like we have to take a second seat to anyone.”