March 6, 2000

Notre Dame junior righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) was named the BIG EAST Conference baseball pitcher of the week for Feb. 28 – March 5, after turning in one of the more dominating performances by an Irish pitcher in recent memory.

Heilman rolled up a career-high 12 strikeouts over the first eight innings in Notre Dame’s 6-4 win over Georgia on March 4, in action at the Minneapolis Metrodome for the Hormel Foods Classic. His 120-pitch outing included four hits allowed, an unearned run and no walks to go along with his 12 strikeouts-11 of them on called third strikes.

Heilman-who was named to the all-tournament team at the talented four-team event-equaled the mark for most strikeouts in a game by an Irish pitcher since 1980 and is one of just three to reach 12 Ks during that 20-year span, joining Darin Schmalz (12 in nine innings, at Georgetown in ’96) and Brad Lidge (12 in seven innings vs. Pittsburgh, at Three Rivers Stadium in ’98) in that distinction.

Heilman also served as the closer in Notre Dame’s 8-5 win over 24th-ranked Wake Forest two days earlier, allowing three hits and two runs in the ninth inning of that game (with one K). His totals for the week included nine innings pitched, 13 Ks, three runs (two earned), six hits and no walks.

Notre Dame players have captured the BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-week award each of the past two weeks. Senior righthander Scott Cavey shared the weekly award on Feb. 28, after a six-inning shutout effort versus Air Force that included six strikeouts, eight groundouts, one hit and one walk.

HEILMAN NOTES: Heilman’s previous career-high strikeout total was 11, vs. Creighton on May 11, 1999 (in San Antonio) … his 17 career starts have yielded 10 games with eight-plus Ks, five with nine-plus and three with double-digit Ks … he faced just four batters over the eight-inning minimum (28), with four hits, a hit-batter, a dropped fly ball, a runner thrown out stealing and a double-play ball … just three Georgia batters reached three balls in their counts (they all struck out) while seven reached two-ball counts … his 120-pitch outing included five groundouts, five flyouts and a per-inning pitch range of 11-25: 14-14-11-25-14-17-11-14 … his 12 Ks included one on an 0-2 count, five on 1-2 counts, three on 2-2 counts and three on 3-2 counts … he had Ks in every inning but the seventh (two in the second, three in both the fourth and eighth) … Heilman’s first seven Ks were “looking,” before Josh Dorminy went down swinging at a 1-2 pitch in the fifth … eight different Georgia batters were K’d by Heilman, including two each by leadoff hitter Kris Edge (who fouled off four 2-2 pitches in a row before being caught looking to lead off the fourth), No. 2 hitter Josh Hudson and Dorminy (the No. 7 hitter) … Heilman’s first 12 outs included seven Ks, with three in the fourth innings … he closed his outing by striking out each batter he faced in the eighth (on 14 pitches) … Hudson hit a 2-2 single to center in the first but O’Toole gunned him down trying to steal second … Doc Brooks was hit by a 1-2, one-out pitch in the third but Heilman rolled up a 6-3 double play from Adam Swann on an 0-2 count … Jeff Keppinger hit a 2-1, two-out single to center field in the fourth but Brian Rainwater looked at a called strike on a full count … two runners reached in the fifth-Mark Thornhill on the dropped fly ball and Dorminy on his double-but Swann popped up a 2-2 pitch to right field for the third out … Andy Neufeld hit a 1-0, one-out single to left in the seventh but Thornhill flew out to right and Dorminy fouled out to Felker on a 1-2 count … Heilman’s season totals include a 1-1 record in three outings (one in relief), with a 3.00 ERA, 18 Ks, 2 BB and 15 hits allowed in 15 innings (.259 opp. batting avg.) … he boosted his career record to 19-6 while lowering his career ERA to 2.59 … Heilman has moved up on the Irish career strikeout list (214, in 191 IP), passing Brian Piotrowicz (201, ’87-’90) and Tom Bujnowski (201, ’52, ’56-’57) while settling into a tie with former teammate Tim Kalita (’97-’99) for sixth on that list, 22 behind Al Walania (’90-’93) … Sunday marked Heilman’s fourth career outing of eight-plus innings (he threw several seven-inning complete games in ’99) … it marked his third career outing with no walks (min. 5 IP) and his seventh with 0-1 walks … the last Notre Dame pitcher to post 13-plus Ks in a game was Bob Bartlett (13 at Bethel in 1980) … the last to do so versus a Division I team was Frank Carpin, who set a still-standing Irish record with 19 Ks in 10 innings vs. Indiana in 1958.