May 21, 1999

TODAY’S STARTER – ALEX SHILLIDAY: Shilliday will be looking to atone for a 7-1 loss to Seton Hall on April 24 (Cameron Esslinger had a strong outing to win that game) … the top Irish hitter in the 11 regular-season games started by Shilliday was freshman catcher Paul OToole (.342, 7 RBI, 8 R, 2 3B, 3 2B, 4 BB) … the Irish hit just .264 as a team in games started by Shilliday this season while averaging just 6.1 runs per game when Shilliday started … the Irish have been outscored 12-11 in the first inning of Shilliday’s starts (42-25 over the first four innings) … Shilliday’s nine-inning averages: 9.3 hits, 4.4 walks, 8.9 Ks, 40.8 batters faced, 6.1 flyouts, 10.5 groundouts … his average start in 1999 has lasted five and one-third innings.

FLASHBACK – SHILLIDAY SHUTS DOWN PIRATES IN ’97 ELIMINATION GAME: Notre Dame’s Alex Shilliday has fond memories of his start vs. Seton Hall in the 1997 BIG EAST Championship, a 4-3 elimination-game victory … Mike Amrhein and Jeff Wagner came up with the big hits in that game but Shilliday stole the show with a gutty complete-game performance … Amrhein’s 37th career home run tied the Irish record in the second before the Irish added a run in the fifth and two in the seventh … Shilliday (7-3) turned in a 133-pitch performance while scattering seven hits, two walks and a hit batter over nine innings (with six Ks) … he allowed a run in the second, an unearned run in the third and a run in the eighth … after working out of several early jams, Shilliday set down 12 straight and retired 18 of the final 20 batters … SHU senior lefty Brian Ridley (8-3) took the loss (7 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks) … SHU twice walked Amrhein intentionally and Wagner followed both times with key RBI, including the game-winning double in the seventh … Brant Ust then sent a 2-2 pitch into right field for a run-scoring double and a 4-2 Irish lead … Amrhein earlier tied the game in the third with a two-out, first-pitch shot that tucked inside the leftfield foul pole … the Pirates intentionally walked Amrhein in the fifth and Wagner golfed an 0-2 pitch into shallow right-center to plate J.J. Brock with an unearned run … BIG EAST Player of the Year David Kim went 0-4 for SHU and had no at-bats with runners in scoring position.

SHILLIDAY IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOK: Shilliday enters todays game ranked among the top 10 of five Notre Dame career categories: fourth in strikeouts (262), seventh in innings (280.1), seventh in victories (25), eighth in appearances (63) and sixth in games started (42) … he needs two Ks to move past Chris Michalak (263, 1990-93) into third on the Irish career strikeout list and is 14 shy of second-place Tom Price (276, 1991-94) … Shilliday also will tie Michalak for fifth in Irish history today by making his 43rd career start, one behind Pat Leahy (44, 1990-92) … Shilliday tossed 93 strikeouts in 1998, tying for third in the Irish record book.

Career Wins 2 Tied for fifth Record: Rafael Novoa (Villanova), 6
Career Appearances *7 First Old Record: Novoa, 6
Career Starts *4 Tied for first with Novoa and Brian Kenny (Villanova)
Career Strikeouts 21 Needs four to move into tie for second (record: Novoa, 32)
Career Innings 26.2 Fifth Record: Novoa, 37.2 (needs 2.2 for third)
* Includes today’s start

(see 1999 series stats for other players)

Player G/GS  AVG   H-AB  R  2B 3B HR BB/K RBI SBCooke  6/2   .625  5-8   4  3  0  0  0/2   4  0-0Ust   10/10  .395 15-38 11  3  1  3  2/5   9  1-1Felker 9/8   .288  8-28  5  4  1  0  2/3   0  0-0 Porzel 6/6   .227  5-22  2  0  0  0  1/6   7  0-0 
Pitcher G/GS ERA W-L SV IP H R ER K/BB WP/HBShilliday 4/3 4.61 1-2 0 27.1 30 17 14 21/8 4/4Heilman 2/1 5.59 1-0 1 9.2 13 7 6 8/1 0/1Kalita 3/2 6.55 1-0 0 11.0 20 8 8 17/4 1/1McKeown 1/0 10.12 0-0 0 2.2 5 3 3 0/2 0/1

TOP HITTERS IN THE 1999 ND-SHU SERIES (see series stats for each team later in notes packet): Notre Dame junior LF Matt Nussbaum hit 7-for-10 in this years series vs. the Pirates, with four RBI, a double, five runs scored and no Ks … Irish freshman CF Steve Stanley was 7-for-13 (.538) vs. SHU, with five RBI, three runs, one walk, no Ks and two stolen bases … SHUs Josh Vath started just one of the three games but hit 5-for-7 (.714), with five RBI and two doubles … other top SHU hitters from the ND series included Alfie Critelli (7-for-12, .582, 6 RBI, HR, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 Ks). Brian Leighton (5-for-12, .417, 5 RBI, HR, 2 R, BB, 4 Ks) and Brian McGee (4-for-10, .400, 3 2B, 5 R, 2 BB, HBP, 1 K, 1-2 SB).

SLOW STARTERS: Notre Dame owns a narrow first-inning run margin this season (45-43) and actually has been outscored by the opponents through the first three innings during 1999 (129 opponents runs, to 124 for the Irish) … the fifth inning has been a key part of the game for the Irish in 1999, as Notre Dame has scored 50 fifth-inning runs while yielding just 15 … aside >from the fifth and third innings (53-39 edge for the opponents), the combined total runs by Notre Dame and its opponents are separated by seven or fewer runs in every other inning of 1999.


Player G/GS  AVG  H-AB  R  2B 3B HR BB/K RBI SBPorzel 6/6  .318  7-22  4  0  0  2  4/1   8  0-2Ust   10/10 .237  9-38  6  2  0  2  3/6   7  1-1Felker 9/9  .250  9-36  3  2  0  0  4/13  4  1-2 
Pitcher G/GS ERA W-L SV IP H R ER K/BB WP/HBHeilman 5/0 1.93 1-1 3 9.1 5 2 2 9/1 1/2Kalita 3/3 3.60 1-0 0 20.0 13 9 8 20/9 1/2McKeown 2/1 3.75 1-0 0 12.0 11 5 5 7/2 0/0Shilliday 5/4 5.06 1-2 0 26.2 31 18 15 21/6 4/5

IRISH PIRATES SPLIT 1999 DOUBLEHEADER: Jeff Wagner’s 49th career home run helped Notre Dame win the opener, 8-7, but Seton Hall rode the strong pitching of Cameron Esslinger to win the nightcap, 7-1 … Wagner’s three-run shot in the fifth inning of the opener gave the Irish an 8-4 lead, runs that proved crucial when SHU rallied with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh … Wagner added an RBI groundout in the nightcap, giving him 83 career RBI in BIG EAST regular-season games and a share of the BIG EAST record (joining former SHU greats Mo Vaughn, 1987-89, and Alex Andreopoulos, 1992-95) … Wagner also has 24 home runs in BIG EAST regular-season play, second in BIG EAST history behind Vaughn’s 26 … Aaron Heilman picked up the win in the opener (6.2 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 11 H, 1 BB, 6 KS) … John Corbin (H, BB, K) struggled to get the final out while posting his ninth save of the season … John Probst took the loss (8 R, 10 H, 4 BB, 3 Ks) … Esslinger turned in a strong effort that included eight strikeouts and 14 groundouts (1 R, 9 H, 0 BB) … Alex Shilliday took the loss (7.2 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 Ks).

GAME ONE: SHU scored in the first, on Brian Leighton’s RBI single … the Irish answered on Brant Ust’s RBI fielder’s choice … both teams scored in the third, with SHU scoring after two Irish errors and the Irish scoring on Alec Porzel’s RBI double … the Irish scored three times in the fourth, thanks to Ben Cooke’s two-run double and Stanley’s RBI single … SHU came back with two in the sixth, on RBI singles from Leighton and Alfie Critelli … singles from Ust and Nussbaum in the fifth were followed by Wagner parking a full-count pitch over the leftfield fence … SHU plated a run in the sixth, on an RBI double by Josh Vath … SHU’s final rally included RBI singles from Richard Petrsuka’s and Vath but Damon Ponce deLeon struck out swinging.

GAME TWO: SHU opened the scoring in the second, after Kevin Leighton’s leadoff walk and Vath’s RBI double … Ust then smacked a leadoff triple before tying the game on Wagner’s groundout … SHU plated a run in the fifth, thanks to McGee’s two-out single and Bravette’s double … Bravette smacked an eighth-inning leadoff pitch off Shilliday, who still had a chance to get the out but misplayed the ball on the first-base side … Brian Leighton then drilled a one-out, 1-1 pitch over the rightfield fence for a 4-1 lead … his brother Kevin followed with a single (ending Shilliday’s day) and Drew Duff walked Jeff Miller before giving up a two-out, two-run double by Critelli … SHU capped the scoring in the ninth, when Navarette drew a two-out walk, moved up on passed ball and scored on Brian Leighton’s single.

GAME THREE: Scott Cavey came out of the bullpen to turn in his second impressive outing of the week while the Irish offense awakened for 18 hits, as Notre Dame closed out the SHU series with a 17-8 win … SHU jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Irish erupted for three runs in the second, five in the third, three in the sixth, one in the seventh and five in the eighth … SHU was guilty of three errors that led to seven unearned runs … Cavey (6 IP, 95 pitches, 1 R, career-best seven Ks, 0 BB, 5 H) was strong in relief of junior lefty Tim Kalita (2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 Ks) … SHU juniorDamon Ponce deLeon (3-1) took the loss (2.1 IP, 8 R, 4 ER, 6 H) … every Notre Dame starter except leading hitter Brant Ust notched a hit, led by three with three-plus hits: Steve Stanley (4-for-6, 4 RBI, R), Jeff Felker (3-for-6, 2 2B, 3B, 3 R) and Matt Nussbaum (3-for-4, 4 RBI, 4 R) … Matt Strickroth had a hand in five Irish runs (1-for-3, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI) … SHU stretched to a 5-0 lead in the second, on Alfie Critelli’s two-out, three-run shot over the leftfield fence … the five-run Irish third was sparked by Alec Porzel’s leadoff home run to left-center.