Feb. 25, 2000
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Ohio State rallied to tie the game with four runs in the fifth inning and then scored what proved to be the game-winner on a home run from Trent McIlvain in the sixth, as the Buckeyes edged 23rd-ranked Notre Dame, 5-4, in second-day action of the Service Academies Classic at USA Baseball Stadium.
Ohio State (1-1)-which had lost hours earlier to Navy, on an extra-inning home run (4-3 in the eighth)-capitalized on a Notre Dame error that had the makings of a routine double-play ball. That miscue led to a pair of unearned runs for OSU in the pivotal bottom of the fifth.
Irish junior All-American Aaron Heilman suffered the loss, allowing the five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks, with five strikeouts during his six-inning outing (all the games in the six-team, four-day tournament are seven innings).
Heilman allowed just two hits over the first four innings, including a fourth inning in which he needed to throw just five pitches.
After McIlvan hit a one-out single to center field in the fifth, catcher Chris Alvord hit a comebacker to the mound. Heilman fielded the ball and threw wide right of second base, with shortstop Alec Porzel dropping the ball as he was pulled off the bag (Heilman was charged with the error on the play).
OSU quickly cashed in the error, as leadoff hitter Mike Check plated McIlvan with a scorcher that kicked over the head of third baseman Andrew Bushey. OSU junior third baseman John Mayor then delivered the big blow, with a first-pitch, two-run double to left field. Jason Turner tied the game two batters later, on a two-out, 0-1 single to right field.
Sophomore righthander E.J. Laratta picked up the win, allowing the four runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk, with four Ks.
The Irish put three runs on the board in the top of the third, with Laratta bobbling a leadoff roller from senior leftfielder Matt Nussbaum. Sophomore DH Matt Bok-a transfer from Georgetown-then delivered in his first at-bat with the Irish, stroking an opposite-field single to left. Senior second baseman Jeff Perconte followed with a first-pitch RBI single to left before sophomore catcher Paul OToole added a sacrifice fly to left.
Sophomore centerfielder Steve Stanley capped the three-run inning, with a 2-2 single to center field.
The Irish tacked on a run in the fifth, with Bok collecting a leadoff, 1-2 single to left and stealing second before scoring on OTooles two-out single down the rightfield line.
McIlvan’s home run came on a one-out, 0-1 pitch, with the ball kicking off the top of the wall in left-center field.
NOTES: Fridays early game saw Air Force beat Army 14-1 … ND faces Memphis on Saturday night, after the Tigers tangle with OSU … if Memphis beats OSU, the Irish-Memphis winner would advance to Sundays championship game (which pits the top service academy team versus the top “civilian” team) … freshman rightfielder Brian Stavisky had two noteworthy plays in the game … the lefthanded-hitting Stavisky went with a two-out, first-pitch offering in the fourth and placed the ball off the base off the wall, just 20 feet in from the leftfield foul pole … OSU could have done more damage in the fifth, but Stavisky made the final out with a leaping, twisting catch at the warning track.
#23 NOTRE DAME (1-1) 0-0-3 0-1-0 0 - 4 7 1OHIO STATE (1-1) 0-0-0 0-4-1 X - 5 8 1
Heilman and OToole. LaRatta and Alvord.