February 21, 1999

MIAMI, Fla. – Righthander David Mittauer faced just three batters over the six-inning minimum and the Florida International offense erupted for four home runs, as No. 23-ranked FIU extended the best start in its history (12-0) with a 12-0 victory over visiting Notre Dame, in the third and final game of their weekend series Sunday at University Park.

Notre Dame (1-3) managed just four hits and three walks versus Mittauer (2-0) and relievers Ramiro Mendez and Peter Kocur. Sophomore righthander Aaron Heilman – who led the nation in 1998 with a 1.61 ERA as the Irish closer – drew his second career start and first since Feb. 25, 1998. Heilman was touched for seven runs (six of them earned) on nine hits and one walk over five and two-thirds innings, with four strikeouts.

Mittauer retired the first 11 batters he faced before senior catcher Jeff Wagner reached on an infield single to the shortstop. Wagner then stole second base and took third on the ensuing throwing error, but freshman third baseman Andrew Bushey bounced out to the pitcher to end the inning.

A two-run double to left-center by Joel Hernandez gave FIU a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning and the Panthers added a run in the fifth on Eric Miller’s RBI single. FIU’s four-run sixth inning featured a three-run blast by Jorge Burgos (his third of the season), ending Heilman’s day.

Freshman righthander Drew Duff came on in relief of Heilman but didn’t fare much better, allowing five runs on six hits and one walk. Junior righthander Steve Szczepanski pitched the eighth inning, facing four batters while allowing one hit. FIU opened the bottom of the seventh inning with three straight home runs, by Luis Fernandez (his third of the season), John Parrado (his first) and Miram Silfa (his sixth). George Otero’s RBI double in the eighth capped the scoring.