April 29, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman leftfielder Alec Porzel (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North High School) has been named the BIG EAST rookie of the week for April 20-26, becoming the sixth Irish player to be honored by the BIG EAST this season.
Porzel was second on the team during the 5-1 week with a .421 batting average (8-for-19), plus team-high totals in RBI (10) and doubles (5). He compiled an .842 slugging percentage during the week, including a home run versus Toledo, while adding five runs, three walks, a sacrifice fly and errorless play in the field.
Porzel delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to push the Irish ahead of Seton Hall (3-1) en route to 11-3 win on April 25. He added a sacrifice fly, double and run scored in that game.
His other highlights for the week included an RBI groundout, RBI double and a walk in the 9-1 win over Michigan (4/20). Porzel went 3-for-3 with a walk in the first game of an April 21 doubleheader versus Valparaiso, including a two-out, two-strike single that won the extra-inning opener in the 9th (1-0). He then added a walk and run scored in the nightcap versus Valparaiso (3-1).
Prior to the Seton Hall series, Porzel had a big game in the 15-4 win over Toledo (4/23), smacking a two-run double and solo home run before scoring his third run of the game in the ninth.
Porzel’s current 47-game statistics (as of April 29) include a .272 batting average (37-for-138), with 31 RBI, 28 runs scored, five home runs, two triples, 11 doubles, 4-of-7 stolen bases, three sacrifice flies and one sacrifice bunt. He opened the season with 15 strikeouts and no walks but has since totaled 11 walks and only eight K’s over the last 21 games (he has 11 walks and 23 K’s overall). Porzel has made just one error in 46 fielding chances, for a .978 fielding percentage.
Six Notre Dame players have combined for seven BIG EAST weekly awards this season, most among the 11-team conference (Rutgers has five while Providence has three).
The Irish are the only team to produce three BIG EAST pitchers of the week this season: junior righthander Brad Lidge (3/16), freshman righthander Aaron Heilman (4/6) and junior righthander Alex Shilliday (4/20). Senior shortstop J.J. Brock (3/16) and sophomore third baseman Brant Ust (4/13) have been named BIG EAST player of the week while Heilman was named BIG EAST rookie of the week on April 13.
Notre Dame is the only school to have produced two players of the week this season while Porzel and Heilman are the only teammates to have earned BIG EAST rookie of the week in 1998 (Rutgers third baseman Jake Daubert and West Virginia lefthander Shane Rhodes are two-time winners of the rookie award).