May 8, 1999
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Junior Jeff Felker continued his hot hitting and the Notre Dame baseball team moved closer to clinching the BIG EAST Conference regular-season title, as the Irish swept a Saturday doubleheader from Georgetown, 8-2 and 11-5, at Georgetown Diamond.
Notre Dame (38-11, 18-3 BIG EAST) clinched a top-two finish in the BIG EAST standings while slicing its “magic number” for the regular-season title to two vs. second-place Rutgers (17-6), which is idle before facing Pittsburgh next week.
Nine of the 11 Irish runs in the nightcap came with two outs, including all of the five-run first inning and the four-run fifth.
Georgetown (17-33, 2-23) remained in the BIG EAST cellar, despite holding an 11-8 edge in hits during the second game. The Hoyas stranded eight runners in the first game, with seven left on base in the nightcap.
Irish sophomore righthander Aaron Heilman (9-2) took another step closer to becoming the first Notre Dame pitcher since 1994 to post double-digit victories in a season. Heilman, who worked out of bases-loaded jams in the third and fourth innings, allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks over six and one-third innings, with seven strikeouts. Junior John Corbin set down the final two GU batters to close out the opening win.
Senior righthander Alex Shilliday (4-3) won the nightcap, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks, with seven Ks.
Hoyas senior lefty Derek Pines (4-8) dropped the opener, allowing eights runs on 10 hits over six innings, while senior righthander Franklin Jarman fell to 1-4 in the nightcap (7 IP, 9 R, 5 ER, 6 H, 7 BB).
Felker collected five hits in seven at-bats during the doubleheader, plus seven RBI, four runs scored, a home run, a double, a walk, and one time hit-by-pitch.
Other top offensive players for the Irish included junior shortstop Brant Ust (4-for-8, 3 RBI, 4 R, HR, 2B), who entered the day with a .600 career batting average vs. the Hoyas (15-for-25). He pushed his career average in BIG EAST regular-season games to .425 (97-for-228), second in BIG EAST history behind former Seton Hall great Marteese Robinson (.432, 1985-87).
GAME 1: The Irish opened the scoring with two runs in the second, after Ust’s first-pitch double, Nussbaum’s single to left field, a wild pitch and Felker’s two-run, opposite-field double to left-center … Ust singled home Steve Stanley in the third while GU plated single runs in the third and fourth … the Irish tacked on two runs in the fourth, when Felker was hit by the first pitch, followed by singles through the right side by Matt Strickroth and Paul O’Toole (RBI) and Ben Cooke’s run-scoring groundout … the three-run sixth included Nussbaum’s leadoff walk, Felker’s two-strike single through the right side, O’Toole’s two-run double to left, Cooke’s two-strike single to right-center and Stanley’s sacrifice fly.
GAME 2: The Irish five-run first inning was ignited by Alec Porzel’s two-out walk (on four pitches), Ust’s full-count walk and Nussbaum’s RBI double past the third-base bag … Felker then plated two runs with a bloop single to center field, followed by Ken Meyer’s walk and Andrew Bushey’s two-run double to left-center … GU made things interesting with one run in the third and two in the fourth … the Irish responded with a four-run fifth, all of them coming unearned after another two-out rally … Porzel drew a walk before Ust reached on a throwing error by the third baseman … a throwing error on the shortstop allowed Nussbaum to reach base (with Porzel scoring on the play) before Felker lifted a 1-0 pitch over the right-center field fence … GU added single runs in the sixth and seventh before Ust capped the scoring with a two-run home run in the ninth (plating Porzel) … the home run was Ust’s first in 14 games and just his third since March 30 … Ust now has 16 home runs for the season, ranking sixth in the Irish record book behind Jeff Wagner’s 17 in 1997, three players who hit 18 (Tim Hutson in ’88, Ryan Topham in ’95 and Ust in ’98) and Frank Jacobs’ record 20 in 1991 … Ust’s 45 career home runs are second to only Wagner’s 49 … Ust also has 19 career home runs during BIG EAST regular-season games, ranking fourth in BIG EAST history behind former Seton Hall great Mo Vaughn (26), Wagner (24) and Jason Grabowski (21, UConn, ’95-’97).
NOTES: Heilman now has 98 strikeouts for the season, moving past Shilliday and Brad Lidge (who each had 93 in ’98) into second on the Irish season K list, behind Frank Carpin’s 108 in 1958 … Ust moved past current Irish assistant coach Cory Mee into a tie with Topham for ninth on the Irish career RBI list (165), just one out of seventh … Ust also moved past Greg Layson (1991-94) into 10th on the career hits list (232), one out of eighth … Ust’s double was the 49th of his career, one out of fourth in the Irish record book … Shilliday’s seven Ks give him 254 for his career, just nine behind Chris Michalak (1990-93) for third in Irish history … Shilliday posted his 25th career win, tying Pat Leahy (1990-92) for seventh all-time at Notre Dame … Shilliday also moved into a tie with David Sinnes (1990-93) for seventh in career starts (40) … the first game marked the 900th career game for Notre Dame’s Paul Mainieri, who is nearing the end of his 16th career season as a college head coach.
NOTRE DAME 0-2-1 2-0-3 0 8 11 2GEORGETOWN 0-0-1 1-0-0 0 2 7 0
Pines, Becchetti (7) and Bok. Heilman, Corbin (7) and O’Toole.
NOTRE DAME 5-0-0 0-4-0 0-0-2 11 8 2GEORGETOWN 0-0-1 2-0-1 1-0-0 5 11 2
Jarman, Roche (8) and Wade, Bok (9). Shilliday, Naumann (7), Kalita (8) and O’Toole.