April 11, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman righthanded pitcher J.P. Gagne (Bloomington, Minn.) has been named the BIG EAST Conference rookie of the week, after an impressive victory as the game one starter in the April 8-9 series versus Boston College.
Gagne was moved into the role of first-game starter on April 8, after the BC series shifted to a doubleheader on the second day (due to weather conditions). Gagne responded to the challenge by scattering six hits and four walks over six innings in the 12-1 victory, allowing one unearned run while recording three strikeouts and six groundouts.
Gagne-who tossed seven strong innings in the 9-2 win at Connecticut on April 2-has won all five of his decisions, becoming the first Notre Dame pitcher since 1996 (Christian Parker) to open a season 5-0 and the first freshman to do so since the 1990 tandem of Pat Leahy and Al Walania both started 5-0.
His other 2000 statistics include a 2.45 ERA (second-best on the team), 17 strikeouts, eight walks and 39 hits allowed in 33 innings, with nine appearances and four starts. Gagne had yet to record a wild pitch or hit batter until the BC game (when he had one of each). His nine-inning averages include just 2.2 walks (fifth-best on the team).
Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team to have three different pitchers honored by the BIG EAST weekly awards this season, as junior righthander Aaron Heilman (March 6, March 27) and senior righthander Scott Cavey (Feb. 28) have been named BIG EAST pitcher of the week during the 2000 season.
The Irish have compiled five total BIG EAST awards in 2000 (second only to Rutgers’ eight), with sophomore catcher Paul O’Toole earning the March 13 player of the week award. Notre Dame and Rutgers are the only BIG EAST schools to produce a player, pitcher and rookie award winner thus far in the 2000 campaign.