Aug. 7, 1999
WICHITA, Kansas– The USA Baseball national team used strong starting pitching from Notre Dame junior-to-be Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) and an explosive offense to post a decisive 21-1 victory Saturday over the Thonotosassa (Fla.) Pop Daumys at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, propelling the USA into the winners’ bracket at the annual National Baseball Congress World Series.
Team USA (22-13 overall)-which opened play with a 15-0 win over Luke (Ariz.) Air Force Base-again enjoyed the scheduling benefits of being the tournament’s top-seeded team. The USA will look to extend its 12-game summer winning streak on Sunday, Aug. 8, against the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters (game time is 5:00 p.m. CST). Heilman allowed one run, five hits and one walk while striking out four batters over the first four innings. Stanford righthander Justin Wayne pitched the final inning, with the game called after five innings due to the tournament mercy rule (Heilman was credited with the win).
Heilman’s summer statistics with Team USA include a 2.50 ERA, a 4-2 record (tying him with UCLA’s Josh Karp for the team lead in wins), two saves, 36 strikeouts, 10 walks and 35 hits allowed in 37.1 innings, with a .250 opponent batting average.
As has been the case in previous years, Heilman is not the only current Notre Dame player who is participating in the NBC World Series, as four Irish players-catcher Paul O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio), outfielder Jeff Felker (Ellicott City, Md.) and righthanders John Corbin (Hollywood, Fla.) and Drew Duff (Sevierville, Tenn.)-are members of the Hays (Kan.) Larks squad that fought off elimination in a 10-inning game on Thursday night, with Felker and O’Toole providing key RBI (see recaps below).
USA 21, Thonotosassa 1 (Aug. 7): Heilman gave up a run in the bottom of the first but the USA responded with a six-run second, versus starter J.J. Smith S the big inning was capped by the 16th home run of the summer by University of California third baseman Xavier Nady, moving him into a tie for third on the USA national program single-season list with Will Clark (’84) and Ty Griffin (’88) … Nady now stands one behind Travis Lee (17, ’96) and four behind the record holder Tino Martinez (20, ’88) S Team USA tacked on nine more runs in the third, versus relievers Terry Conn and Ryan Land … Texas A&M rightfielder Daylan Holt capped the inning with his sixth home run of the summer, a two-run blast S local favorite Koyie Hill, the USA’s second baseman and a product of Wichita State, collected two doubles and a triple in front of the home crowd, with three RBI and two runs scored … University of San Francisco first baseman Tagg Bozied and Arizona shortstop Keoni DeRenne each scored three runs.
USA 15, Luke Air Force Base 0 (Aug. 5): The USA opened play at the NBC World Series, led by three hits and two RBI from UCLA leftfielder Bill Scott S California catcher Mike Tonis also delivered a bases-clearing double S Holt and Hill each added a pair of hits and two RBI S every starter for Team USA scored at least one run S USC righthander Mark Prior pitched four innings and allowed just two singles while striking out four to earn the win S the game was shortened to five innings due to the tournament 10-run rule … Houston lefthander Shane Nance worked the final frame in his first appearance with Team USA during the summer of 1999 (Nance was a teammate of former Notre Dame infielder Brant Ust on the 1998 USA national team) S DeRenne’s 18-game hitting streak came to an end when he went 0-for-1 with two walks.
Hays 8, Wichita Twins 7 (Aug. 5): The Larks stayed alive and have advanced to the round of 16 in the loser’s bracket, with their next game on Sunday vs. the loser of the USA-Santa Barbara game S Hays fell behind 4-0 before a five-run fourth, with Felker’s two-out single to the pitcher plating the third run (followed by a two-run home run by the No. 6 hitter) S Wichita took a 7-5 lead in to the bottom of the ninth but Hays rallied, with cleanup hitter O’Toole smacking a two-out single up the middle to tie the game S O’Toole went 2-for-4 while catching, Felker was 1-for-5.
Edmund (Okla.) Mudcats 9, Hays 8 (Aug. 4): Hays jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings but Edmund roared back for the win S O’Toole went 1-for-5 with an RBI and run scored while hitting cleanup as the DH S Felker batted seventh and played right field, hitting 3-for-5 with a run and RBI S both Irish players had an RBI double S one of the Larks’ two coaches is Pat Davis, the former Notre Dame lefthander (1995-98) who is a former Larks player and coaches at his former high school, the Texas Military Institute S Felker and Corbin (both seniors-to-be with the Irish) were late additions to the Hays squad (Felker attended summer school at Notre Dame while Corbin began the summer playing for the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League) S Hays advanced to the NBC World Series as champions of the Jayhawk League S Duff and O’Toole both will be members of the talented sophomore class for the Irish in 1999-2000.