May 28, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL GAMEDAY NOTES – vs. St. John’s (May 28, 2004) … BIG EAST Tournament Second Round


* Enters 2004 postseason ranked 2nd in ND history with an .870 career win pct. (20-3, trailing only the .917/22-2 posted by Herb Kelly from 1912-14)

* Also owns the best career K-to-walk ratio in ND history (4.20) while ranking 4th in lowest career walk avg. (1.88 BB/9 IP), 7th in strikeouts (227, nine behind Alan Walania), 8th in starts (42, one behind Chris Michalak) and 10th in innings pitched (258.0)

* His 4.59 season K-to-walk ratio in 2004 would rank 7th in ND history (just above his 4.59 in ’03)

NIESEL’S CAREER STARTS VS. ST. JOHN’S (see PDF for game-by-gme stats): 1-0, 2.19 ERA, 12.1 IP, 16 H, 5 R/3 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks

ND Batters Career Stats vs. SJU

Greg Lopez: .833 (5-for-6), RBI, 2 R, K

Cody Rizzo: .462 (6-for-13), 4 RBI, 7 R, HR, 3B, 2B, HBP, 2 Ks

Matt Edwards: .375 (6-for-16), 5 RBI, 6 R, 2 HR, 3B, K, SB

Craig Cooper: .375 (3-for-8), RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, SB

Steve Andres: .333 (2-for-6), 2 R, 3 BB, K

Steve Sollmann: .258 (8-for-31), 7 RBI, 7 R, 2 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 4 BB, 6 Ks, SB

Matt Macri: .214 (3-for-14), 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 Ks

Matt Bransfield: .200 (1-for-5), RBI, R, 2 BB, K, CS

Javi Sanchez: .192 (5-for-26), 3 RBI, 4 R, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, K, SAC

Sean Gaston: 0-for-5, BB, K

Danny Dressman: 1 GP, RBI, SF

SJU Batters Career Stats vs. Niesel

Anthony DeRosa: 1-for-5, BB, SAC, 2B, E (4-3, 6-3, P-9, 3-U/SAC, 2B-LC/R, 6-3)

Jim Martin: 2-for-7, K (4-3, 1B-LS, 1B-LL, KS, P-6, F-8)

Mike Rozema: 3-for-5, BB, 2 RBI, 2 2B, K (KS, P-6, 2B-9, 2B-RC, 1B-MI)

Derek Sullivan: 3-for-4, R, 2B, SB (1B-8/SB, 1B-MI/UER, 6-3, 2B-RL)

Blake Hershelman: 0-for-3, K (KL, F-9, 3-U)

Greg Thomson: 0-for-3 (4-3, 4-3, 4-3)

Drew Jackson: 2-for3, R (1B-RC, 6-3, 1B-7/R)


Chris Niesel’s 2004 GAME-BY-GAME (relief vs. UTSA, Oakland, BSU) (see PDF)


* ND leads the SJU series 18-7 (but just 7-5 at Eck Stadium), including 9-2 in the last 11 … the Irish beat SJU at the BIG EAST Tournament in 996 (4-0) and 1998 (3-2), both t Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.

* Notre Dame has climbed to 37 games over .500 for the first time in the program’s history

* The Irish now have compiled a 191-59-1 four-year record (.763) from 2001-04, making the current seniors the winningest class in the program’s history (besting their predecessors in the class of ’03, at 190-67-1).

* Dan Kapala came on for two huge Ks in the 9th vs. BC and now has allowed just 4-of-19 inherited baserunners to score.

* ND now has won the first game in 7 of its last 8 postseason tournaments (all but the 4-3 loss to Stanford in the 2002 College World Series)

* ND now owns a winning record in BIG EAST Tournament openers (5-4), including three straight opening wins

* The Irish never have gone 0-2 in a postseason tournament during the 10-year Mainieri era (18 total; 10 conference, 6 regionals, the ’02 Super Regional and ’02 CWS)

* The Irish now are 9-3 in one-run games this season while also posting 24 wins by 5-plus runs

* ND’s bullpen now owns a 3.02 ERA, 19-2 record, .233 opp. batting avg. and 2.5 K-to-walk ratio (188/74) in 214.2 IP

* Grant Johnson’s last five outings include a 0.62 ERA, wins in all four starts, 28 Ks, 11 BB and 15 H in 29 IP

* ND is riding the 2nd-longest scoring streak in the program’s history (143 games; 372 of the last 373)

* ND has reached 47 wins for the fifth time, trailing only the 2002 (50), 2001 (49), 1989 (48) and ’92 (48) Irish teams.

* Johnson is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two career BIG EAST Tournament spots (4 R/2 ER, 14 H, 13 Ks, 3 BB in 14 IP)

* ND had gone just 6-7 when being outhit by the opponent prior to BC owning a 6-4 hit edge

* The Irish now are 31-4 when making 0-1 errors (1), 40-3 when the opponent has single-digit hits and 35-6 when issuing just 0-3 walks * ND’s 98 times hit-by-pitch now rank 8th in NCAA history (Sanchez picked up his 14th and 15th of the season)

* SS Greg Lopez logged his 16th straight error-free game in the BET opener vs. BC


* ND’s Grant Johnson (7 IP, 2 R/1 ER, 5 B, BB, 6 Ks, 9 GOs, 73 of 107 pitches for strikes) and BC’s Chris Lambert (8 IP, 2 UER, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 Ks) waged a classic pitchers duel, with neither factoring in the decision

* Both teams cashed in errors while using small-ball strategies and timely hitting to scratch across two runs each in the first eight innings … BC threatened to reclaim the lead they had lost when the Irish plated two in the 5th … Joe Thaman lost Ryan Morgan to a leadoff walk and Garrett Greer attempted to bunt the runner over – but C Javi Sanchez pounced on the spinning ball and threw a bullet to shortstop Greg Lopez for the key forceout of the lead runner … Josh DiScipio then walked but Dan Kapala came on to strike out pinch-hitter Shawn McGill (3-2 pitch) and Marco Albano on three pitches (both Ks were swinging).

* ND’s winning rally included Sanchez reaching with a leadoff HBP (from Mike Gauthier) before pinch-hitter Danny Dressman went the other way with a hit-and-run single through the left side that moved Sanchez to third … Craig Cooper then drew an intentional walk and Matt Edwards lined a 1-0 pitch into left field to end the game (Edwards also hit a 2-run, 8th-inning double vs. Gauthier to win game-2 vs. BC in the ’04 regular season, 6-4).

* ND’s two-run 5th included a full-count walk by Edwards, Cody Rizzo’s 20th HBP of the season and Greg Lopez’s single off the first baseman’s glove – before 2B Josh DiScipio’s costly throwing error allowed two runs to score (DiScipio also made an error that led to five unearned runs the previous time ND had faced Lambert in 2002, with Lambert taking a 6-0 lead and no-hitter into the 4th inning of that game only to see ND score seven en route to a 10-6 win).


Scoring 8-plus runs 23-2

Scoring 7-plus runs 28-2

Scoring 6-plus runs 32-4

Scoring 5-plus runs 35-6

Scoring 1-4 runs 12-5

Holding opponent to 0-3 runs 30-1

Holding opponent to 0-4 runs 32-3

Holding opponent to 0-5 runs 37-3

Opponent scores 6-plus runs 10-7

Outhit opponent 37-3

Opponent outhits the Irish 7-7

Opponent held to single-digit hits 40-3

Opponent has 10-plus hits 7-7

Playing error-free 22-2

Making 0-1 errors 31-4

Making multiple errors 16-6

Making 3-plus errors 4-4

Allowing 0-1 walks 15-2

Allowing 0-2 walks 24-3

Allowing 0-3 walks 35-6


* ND senior 2B Steve Sollmann missed the SJU games due to his fractured jaw injury (his classmate, C Javi Sanchez, filled in at 2B).

* ND junior RHP Grant Johnson (5 IP, 2 H, 3 Ks, 8 popups, HB, 18 BF, 72 pitch in controlled pitch count) and freshman RHP Jeff Samardzija (7.1 IP, 2 UER, 2 H, BB, 2 Ks, 11 GOs. 26 BF, 85 pitches) nearly pitched the Irish to the sweep, in a rare Monday doubleheader following Easter weekend … Samardzija retired the first 14 he faced in game-2, took a no-hitter into the 7th and extended the second-longest personal shutout streak of the Paul Mainieri era to 22 innings but SJU used a pair of unearned runs to escape with a split

* ND improved to 26-4 for the best 30-game start in the program’s history (besting the 24-5-1 in 2001)

* The teams combined for nine errors in the doubleheader, with eight of the 11 runs coming unearned (including all three in the nightcap and five of the ND runs in the opener) while the Irish posted their 13th error-free game of the season in the opener.

* Eddie Schultz was the first player to reach base vs. Samardzija, on a 5th-inning walk that ended up being the only base on balls issued by ND all day.

* Four-year All-American Aaron Heilman is the only ND pitcher during the Mainieri era to log a longer shutout streak than Samardzija, who did not allow a run for 22.2 innings over the span of nine appearances … Heilman logged 33 straight shutout innings over 19 relief appearances as a freshman in 1998, en route to leading the nation with a 1.61 ERA.

* Just three ND players – Greg Lopez (5-for-6), Cody Rizzo (3-for-6) and Matt Macri (3-for-7) – managed 3-plus hits in the doubleheader, with the rest of the team combining to bat 5-for-38 (.132) in the two games.

* Joe Thaman retired 6 of the 8 batters he faced to close the opener and register the first save of his brief ND pitching career (R, 2 H, K) … Anthony Varvaro suffered his first loss of the season (5.1 IP, 7 R/2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks).

* Matt Tosoni (7.1 IP, UER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks) picked up the SJU win while Craig Hansen notched his 4th save (2.2 IP, 9 BF, 2 H, 2 Ks).

* ND’s chances in the nightcap included two runners on in the 1st (Tosoni rolled up a groundout) and a runner picked off in the 2nd before senior Javi Sanchez drove the ball over the head of RF Blake Hershelman … Sanchez chugged around the bases and appeared to slide in for the triple but he was called out to end the inning.

* The Irish claimed a brief lead in the 7th inning of game-2, when Macri sent a leadoff single into left field on a 2-2 count (taking second on another outfield error) … Matt Bransfield then singled through the left side for the 1-0 lead , but SJU added another pickoff to end the inning.

* SJU’s Jim Martin sent a one-out bouncer to the right side in the top of the 7th and the ball bounced up on the 2B Sanchez, who still had the chance to recover and make the forecourt before bobbling the ball … Joe Burke then delivered with two outs, with a dipping hit to left field … Fournier made a diving try to preserve the no-hitter but the ensuing double tied the game, with Eddie Schultz then providing the go-ahead single to short-center field on a 2-2 pitch.

* Hansen later rolled up a double play in the 7th (runners on first and second) before getting an 8th-inning strikeout with two outs and the tying run on second … the leadoff batter then reached in the 9th but Hansen induced another double-play ball to help seal the win.

* The ND pitchers put 14 zeroes on the board in 16 innings of play vs. SJU.


* Closer Ryan Doherty now has enough innings to rank him near the top of several ND career categories, including the program’s best ratios of Ks per 9 IP (13.12, ahead of Dan McGinn’s 12.66 from ’64-’65) and fewest hits allowed per 9 IP (5.58, below McGinn’s 6.27)

* Doherty also now ranks 2nd in ND history for career ERA (2.41, just behind All-American Nick Palihnich’s 2.36 from ’59-’61), plus 3rd in K-to-walk ratio (3.96, behind Walania’s 4.00) and saves (12, behind Corbin’s 20 and Gagne’s 19) and 4th in low walk avg. (1.88/9 IP)

* Doherty’s season K avg. (12.48/9 IP) would rank 2nd in ND history (behind Frank Carpin’s 12.48 in ’58) while his 4.65 hits/9 IP in 2004 is on pace to best Ed Lupton’s standing record of 4.83 in ’63

* The big righthander owns a .148 opponent batting avg. for the 2004 season (would rank 1st in the ND record book, with the stat kept since 1991)

* His 27 appearances this season rank 8th in the ND record book

DOUBLEHEADER STATS – ND vs. St. John’s (April 12, 2004), see PDF