April 23, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame baseball team used a nine-run third inning to break open its Tuesday-night game with Chicago State, en route to the team’s 10th straight victory with a 16-7 win over the Cougars.
Notre Dame (28-12) posted its 19th win in the last 21 games, with the Irish electing to rest many of their regulars after claiming a 14-2 lead heading into the fourth inning.
Freshman righthander Martin Vergara (4-1) had a solid six-inning outing, allowing just one earned run (plus two unearned) on four hits and one walk, with six strikeouts. Sophomore lefthander Cody Wilkins then made the first appearance of his Notre Dame career while freshman Tyler Jones logged the final two innings.
Notre Dame continued to cash in a large portion of its scoring chances, with twice as many runs scored (16) as runners left on base (8). The Irish have totaled 50 runs in the last five games while stranding just 37 runners in that five-game span (thanks to a .396 team batting average with runners on base and .383 with runners in scoring position, during the last five games).
Junior leftfielder Brian Stavisky pushed his hitting streak to 11 games, with his 3-for-4 day including an RBI single, a two-run double and a run scored (he now is batting .427 for the season). Senior DH Matt Bok (3 RBI, R) and junior rightfielder Kris Billmaier (RBI, 2 R) both hit 2-for-2 while sophomore second baseman Steve Sollmann hit went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Senior centerfielder Steve Stanley walked twice and scored in his only plate appearances of the night.
Notre Dame’s nine-run third inning included 13 batters who combined for two singles, a pair of two-run doubles (from Stavisky and Sollmann), three walks and a hit batter. The inning also featured a costly fielding error on an attempted sacrifice bunt (leading to eight unearned runs), a sacrifice fly and two passed balls.
NOTES: The 10-game winning streak is the seventh double-digit winning streak of the eight-year Paul Mainieri era … Stavisky’s 11-game hitting streak is three shy of his career-best (from March 11-April 1, 2000) … ND is batting .327 in the current winning streak (.348 with runners on base), with a 2.60 team ERA in the streak … top hitters in the 10-game streak include the trio of preseason All-Americans, Stanley (.500), Stavisky (.450) and Sollmann (.424), plus Bok (.417) … ND owns a 13-2 first-inning scoring edge in the streak, plus a 34-5 edge from the 5th-7th … Stanley appeared in his 228th career game, tying former teammate Jeff Felker (1997-2000) for 5th in ND history, with Mike Coss (235, ’88-’91) next on that list … O’Toole now ranks 9th on the ND list for career starts (203) while his 730 career at-bats are 8th, edging past ’93 graduate Eric Danapilis (729) … Stavisky’s .352 career batting avg. ranks 11th in ND history … Stanley entered the week ranked 6th in the nation with a .462 batting avg. (he and Stavisky could become the third pair of ND teammates ever to hit above .400 in the same season) … Stanley now sits alone in 2nd on the ND career runs scored list (221), behind ’89 graduate Pat Pesavento (246).
Chicago State 0-2-0 0-1-0 2-1-1 – 7 6 3
Notre Dame 2-3-9 0-0-0 2-0-X – 16 14 4
Jason Lambert (1-2), Justin Wharrie (3), Jason Stamper (3), Rob Williams (6), Eric Scheiner (7), Nick Troy (8) and John Szykowny, Daniel Newgent (6).
Martin Vergara, Cody Wilkins (7), Tyler Jones (8) and Andrew Bushey, Brent Weiss (5).
Doubles: Matt Bok 2 (ND), Brian Stavisky (ND), Steve Sollmann (ND), Kris Billmaier (ND), Javier Sanchez (ND).