July 20, 1999

TUCSON, Ariz. – Notre Dame junior-to-be righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) had a solid starting performance spoiled by the error-prone USA defense, as the Nicaraguan Pan-Am Games team defeated the USA national team, 5-2, in the final game of a four-team, four-day tournament at Hi Corbett Field.

Just one of the four runs charged to Heilman was earned, with the USA making four of its five errors during his five and two-thirds innings. Heilman allowed seven hits and two walks, with two strikeouts, eight groundouts and his second balk of the summer.

Heilman had missed the previous three games while attend his grandfather’s funeral. His updated summer stats with Team USA include a 2-2 record and two saves in 10 appearances (three starts), plus 23 strikeouts, seven walks and 20 hits allowed in 23.2 innings. He is tied for first on the staff in victories while ranking second in ERA and third in innings, strikeouts and low opponent batting average (.225).

The USA, which has dropped four of its last five games, saw its summer record drop to 10-13. The USA’s offensive stats include a .283 batting avg., just 5.3 runs per game, 25 home runs, a .467 slugging pct., a ..363 on-base pct., 84 walks, 157 strikeouts and 19 stolen bases in 34 attempts. The USA pitchers own a 4.22 staff ERA, with 216 hits allowed, 76 walks and 193 Ks in 200.1 innings (with a .277 opponent batting average). The USA has made 49 errors in the 23 games, for a .948 fielding pct.

NICARAGUA 5, USA 2 : The USA made a late threat but left the bases loaded in the eighth. Nicaragua grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fifth, when Adolfo Matamoros pulled off a delayed, two-out stolen base and advanced when 2B Koyie Hill misplayed the throw. Matamoros scored on an infield hit and Nicaragua added single runs in the sixth and seventh.

Nicaragua jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first, after an Eduardo Lopez double down the rightfield line and an ensuing throwing error from Texas A&M rightfielder Daylan Holt. Danilo Sotelo followed with a one-hop comebacker to Heilman, with Lopez later scoring on an infield out.

A bad throw by Nicaragua pitcher Cairo Murillo set up two unearned runs for Team USA in the second S California DH Xavier Nady drew a leadoff walk and Stanford 3B John Gall hit a chopper to Murillo, who threw high to second. California C Mike Tonis bunted the runners over and Miami OF Manny Crespo added an RBI single to right, followed by a run-producing infield out from Holt S UCLA righty Jon Brandt (who has a 6.49 summer ERA) threw the final 3.1 innings (4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 Ks).

USA PAN-AM TEAM 7, USA NATIONAL TEAM 1 (July 18): The USA Pan Am team won its third of seven exhibition games, in preparation for the Pan Am Games, (beginning July 26 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) former South Bend Silverhawk Brad Penny (currently in the Florida Marlins system) pitched six solid innings, limiting the national team to one run on six hits while fanning seven … he was relieved by Dan Wheeler (Devil Rays) and Todd Williams (Reds)and Dave Roberts (Indians), went 4-for-4 with a double and RBI while Peter Bergeron (Expos) collected three hits for the Pan Am Team.

Stanford RHP Justin Wayne was touched for three first-inning runs, capped by an RBI single from Matt LeCroy (Twins) S Mike Neill (A’s) belted a solo home run in the third for a 4-0 game. A fielding error on San Francisco 1B Tagg Bozied led to two more runs in the fourth. The national team finally got to Penny in the fifth, when Holt’s double to right center plated Gall, who had singled S Wayne (4.71 summer ERA) worked four innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits. USC righthander Mark Prior (3.93 summer ERA) tossed the final four innings, allowing one run on a base hit by Roberts that scored Bergeron in the seventh.

USA 3, NICARAGUA 2 (July 17): The USA pushed across a go-ahead run in the seventh and Arizona RHP Ben Diggins (team-best 0.63 summer ERA) pitched himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning. The game was shortened to seven innings because of a rain delay. Kentucky C John Wilson scored the winning run on a hard grounder to the shortstop from Gall. Wilson had been hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single to right by SS Keoni DeRenne. Diggins worked out of the bases-loaded jam in the seventh by forcing Ariel Delgado into a game-ending flyout. UCLA leftfielder Bill Scott hit a leadoff triple in the fourth before scoring on Hill’s groundout to the shortstop. The USA scored once in the first, with DeRenne and Gall drawing back-to-back walks, followed by a double play and Nady’s RBI double to left-center.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2, USA 0 (July 16): The only mistake pitch by Stetson LHP Len Dinardo (2.28 summer ERA) cost him a potential shutout, as Melvin Rosario stroked a one-out, two-run homer in the eighth. Five Dominican pitchers stopped Team USA on five hits (three by DeRenne) and one scoring threat. The USA loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but RHP Hector Alamante retired Holt on a popup to first base and Bozied on a grounder. Dinardo faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings, despite two hits and a catcher’s interference (the lefty came through with a pickoff throw each time, adding a fourth pickoff to end the eighth).

NICARAGUA 4, USA 1 (July 15, Spokane, WA): Washington native and UCLA righthander Josh Karp (4.68 summer ERA) lost a chilly homecoming game before 2,534 fans. Nicaragua RHP Cairo Murillo allowed a home run by Scott (his fifth of the summer) and five singles over seven innings. The USA loaded the bases in the eight but reliever Evelio Valdez retired Scott on a forceout at the plate and Hill on a linedrive to left. The USA also failed to plate two baserunners in the ninth. Norman Cardoze put Nicaragua ahead with a two-run shot in the first. The USA had runners on first and second in the fifth, but Wilson struck out and North Carolina CF Tyrell Godwin grounded out.