May 15, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With its BIG EAST showdown versus Boston College still two days away, the Notre Dame baseball team headed into Wednesday’s unique doubleheader looking to stay focused on the task at hand while boosting individual and team confidence for the stretch run.
When it all was said and done, one of the most productive days on offense in the history of the program had yielded a 10-3 victory over Rochester College and a 23-1 win over the University of Detroit – a seven-inning game which saw the Irish put 10 runs on the board in the first inning before a series of records were tied or challenged over the next few innings.
Notre Dame (38-14) elected not to play many of its regulars in the Rochester game and for much of the Detroit game – but the Irish roster was limited to just five reserve position players, due to the fact that other members of the reserve squad already have returned home for the summer (including three who are injured), with postseason rosters limited to 25.
Three players in particular had noteworthy efforts in the Detroit game, as senior catcher/third baseman Andrew Bushey (Boardman. Ohio) tied the Irish record for RBI in game (7), junior leftfielder Brian Stavisky (Port Allegany, Pa.) posted the first five-hit game of his career and scored five runs (one shy of the team record) and senior centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) picked up two more ND career records (with 240 starts/games played) while also moving into sixth place on the NCAA Division I career hits list (with 361).
The 22-run margin of victory equals the largest by a Notre Dame baseball team in the last 89 seasons, dating back to a 24-1 win over Earlham in the 1913 season (the 1922 ND squad also won by 22 runs, in a 26-4 game vs. Northwestern). The 110-year history of Notre Dame baseball has yielded just four larger margins of victory, spanning 3,160 total games.
Notre Dame’s 28-hit attack versus the Titans (in just six innings at the plate) could prove to be the school record, pending further research into the archival files (boxscores are incomplete prior to the mid-80s). In the last 17 seasons of Notre Dame baseball, only one previous Irish team has posted more than 25 hits in game – when the 1986 squad closed its season with 26 hits in a 22-5 win over Northwestern.
Notre Dame totaled 45 hits in 85 at-bats (.529) during the two games, led by Stavisky (7-for-10), Bushey (6-for-10), junior DH Mike Holba (5-for-6), sophomore second baseman Steve Sollmann (5-for-8) and Stanley (5-for-10). The Irish had 35 total baserunners in the Detroit game, with six reaching via walks.
The Irish now have won 29 of their last 33 games, after opening with a 9-10 record. The current run includes a 20-3 record at home, with a perfect 13-0 mark in non-conference games played at Eck Stadium – improving the program’s home record in non-conference games to 97-16 (.858) during the eight-year Paul Mainieri era.
Freshman righthander Martin Vergara (5-1) picked up the win over Rochester, scattering three hits and two walks (plus an unearned run) over six innings, with a pair of strikeouts in his 69-pitch outing. Junior righthander Ryan Kalita (3-0) then was credited with the win in a planned rotation versus Detroit, allowing one run on three hits and a walk over the first three innings (with five Ks).
The Irish pushed across runs in each of the first four innings versus Rochester (13-14), led by three hits each from Sollmann, Holba (all doubles) and freshman catcher Brent Weiss, who had endured an 0-for-21 start to his college career (many of those at-bats coming as a pinch-hitter).
Weiss went on to hit a combined 4-for-7 in the two games, highlighted by a booming grand-slam home run in the fifth inning versus Detroit (12-31). Weiss delivered the blast on the first pitch he saw from sophomore lefthander Jamie Glinz, driving the ball high over the 400-foot sign in dead-center field and some 30-40 feet up into the massive “batters eye” backdrop.
The rare 10-run first inning saw 16 batters come to the plate, with eight hits (including the first four batters) and four walks accounting for the inning’s 10 baserunners. Bushey hit a three-run shot and two-run single in the inning while senior Matt Strickroth launched a pinch-hit home run in the fourth, with the solo shot sailing over the leftfield fence, clearing the service road and landing near the fence of the football practice field.
See p. 2 for more postgame notes.
Rochester College 0-0-0 0-1-0 0-0-2 – 3 5 3
Notre Dame 1-2-1 3-0-1 2-0-X – 10 17 4
Richard Hendershot (L, 3-2), Mike Green (4), Andrew Hendershot (4), Josh Lawther (7) and Steven Hendershot.
Martin Vergara (W, 5-1), Scott Bickford (7) and Brent Weiss.
Triple: Brent Weiss (ND; 1st of career).
Doubles: Steve Sollmann (ND), Ken Meyer (ND), Andrew Bushey (ND; 50th of career), Mike Holba 3 (ND), Zach Sisko (ND), Anthony Ventimiglia (RC).
Detroit 1-0-0 0-0-0 0 – 1 4 2
Notre Dame 10-0-5 2-6-0 X – 23 28 3
Matt Spiess (L, 0-6), Charlie Avery (1), Keith Astrauckas (4), Jamie Glinz (4), Tim Poley (5) and Mike Mitrevski, Joe Mannor (5).
Ryan Kalita (W, 3-0), Drew Duff (4), Matt Buchmeier (5), Brandon Viloria (6), Matt Laird (7) and Andrew Bushey, Brent Weiss (5).
Home Runs: Andrew Bushey, ND (1 on in 1st; 5th of season, 10th of career); Matt Strickroth, ND (solo in 4th; 1st of season, 9th of career); Brent Weiss, ND (grand slam in 5th; 1st of career).
Doubles: Brian Stavisky (ND; 44th career), Bushey (ND; 51st career) Kris Billmaier (ND).
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL POSTGAME NOTES (May 15, 2002)
MORE RECORDS FOR #2 – Steve Stanley pushed his streak of consecutive games started to 240 (every game of his ND career) while setting the Irish records for games played (Alec Porzel logged 239 from ’98-’01) and games started (J.J. Brock started 238 from ’94-’98) … he already owns ND records for hits (361), stolen bases (113) and at-bats (938) while scoring three runs on Wednesday for a career total of 238 (second in ND history, eight shy of Pat Pesavento’s record total from ’86-’89).
AN ELITE GROUP – Stanley’s five hits lifted his career total to 361, moving past former BYU player Gary Cooper (359; ’83-’86) and recent Citadel great Philip Hartig (360; ’98-’01) into sixth place on the NCAA Division I list for career hits … many of the top-five players on that list played prior to the 56-game schedule limits, while Stanley’s average of 1.50 hits per game is better than the five players ahead of him … the only Division I player with more hits than Stanley in the last 15 years is former North Carolina State star Jake Weber (366 in 248 games from 1995-98; 1.48 hits/gm) … former Cal State Fullerton slugger John Fishel (379 in 295 GP from ’82-’85; 1.29 h/gm) is second on the list, with the other three all hailing from the Wichita State program: Phil Stephenson (418 in 288 GP, ’79-’92; 1.45 h/gm), Jim Thomas (373 in 288 GP, ’79-’82; 1.30 h/gm) and Tim Raley (370 in 273 GP, ’84-’87; 1.36 h/gm) … Stanley began his college career in an 0-for-17 slump but now ranks third in ND history with a .385 career batting average.
BUSHEY TIES RBI RECORD – Andrew Bushey’s seven RBI matched an ND record set by five previous Irish players, with the last coming in the first season of the Paul Mainieri era (when Ryan Topham drove in seven runs during a 15-4 win over Illinois in the ’95 season) … Bob Roemer (11-3 win vs. Xavier, ’73) is the first ND player known to have totaled seven RBI in a game, with the others including Tim Hutson (17-10 loss vs. Wake Forest in ’88), Joe Binkiewicz (12-6 win vs. Evansville in ’91) and Edwin Hartwell (19-6 win vs. Ill.-Chicago in ’93) … Bushey’s seven RBI included a three-run home run to right field in the first inning (on 1-1 pitch from RHP Matt Spiess), followed by a two-run single later in the inning (to right-center, on 0-1 pitch from RHP Charlie Avery) and an RBI single to right field in the third (3-1 pitch from Avery) … the lefthander then tied the record while facing a full count from LHP Jamie Glinz in the fifth, sending an RBI double to right field.
FIVES WILD FOR STAVO – Brian Stavisky (5-for-5, with a walk) became the 25th ND player ever to collect five-plus hits in a game (Tom Sheehan did it twice in ’43 and ’44, as did Randall Brooks in a 10-day span of the 1997 season) … Stavisky , Stanley (vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2001 NCAAs) and record-holder Alec Porzel (6-for-6 vs. Pittsburgh, 2001) are the only ND player to post five-plus hits since 1998 … Stavisky joined a more exclusive group by scoring five times in the Detroit game, one shy of tying Booby Lynch’s 102-year-old record (6, vs. Indiana in 1900) … five previous ND players have scored five runs in a game but Stavisky is just the third to do so since 1901 (Pat Pesavento crossed the plate five times vs. Pennsylvania in 1989, as did Brant Ust in a 1998 game at Seton Hall) … Stavisky’s five hits broke down as follows: first-inning RBI single to left (vs. Spiess, 02- count), walk vs. Avery in the first (full cont), single to center vs. Avery in the third (1-0), leadoff double in fourth, on first pitch from RHP Keith Astrauckas and a first-pitch single to right field in the fifth (vs. Glinz).
LOTS OF RUNS AND HITS – Notre Dame’s 23 runs vs. Detroit rank 10th in the program’s history (most since 93) and are the fourth-most runs by an ND team in the last 80 seasons (since 1922), behind a 28-7 win over Northwestern in 1962, a 26-10 game with Western Michigan in 1945 and the 25-9 win over Indiana State in 1993 … the 22-run margin of victory is tied for fifth in the ND record book, behind the 34-7 win over Indiana in 1900, the 24-0 shutout of Hilllsdale in 1903, a 1911 win over Albion (28-4) and a 24-1 win over Earlham in 1913.
RECORD BOOK NOTES – Stavisky’s big day moved his career batting average to .358 (good for 10th in ND history) … Bushey hit doubles in both game, stretching his career total to 51 for a share of sixth all-time at ND (Brant Ust also hit 51 doubles, from ’97-’99, while ’92 grad Craig Counsel and ’99 grad. Jeff Wagner each had 50) … Bushey’s 720 career at-bats now rank 10th in the ND record book … Stanley entered the day ranked 5th in the nation for batting avg. (.459, up to .461) and moved closer to breaking Edwin Hartwell’s ND record (.447, in 1993) … Stavisky’s 7-for-10 day shot his season average from .405 to .429 – which would rank 5th in ND history (Dan Peltier hit .446 in ’89 and Eric Danapilis .438 in ’93) … Stanley already is the only ND player ever to reach 90 hits in multiple seasons (102 in ’01), with his 95 hits this season already ranking 4th in the ND season record book (Peltier had 115 hits in ’89, Danapilis 96 in ’93) … Stavisky’s .714 season slugging pct. would rank 9th in ND history.
GAME NOTES – Wednesday’s game was the 100th of the ND-Detroit series (the Irish hold a 54-46 edge, with six straight wins) … ND entered the day ranked 13th in the nation for team ERA (3.52, down to 3.45) … ND ‘s team batting average jumped from .313 to .320 … Vergara gave up just the fourth 2-out hit versus him this season (opponents are batting just 4-for-40 vs. him with two outs) … Stanley is batting .544 at Eck Stadium this season (43-for-79) while Stavisky is hitting at a .458 clip (27-for-59) in the friendly confines … Stanley also is a .420 career hitter at Eck Stadium (172-for-410), with Stavisky batting .385 (100-for-260) in his three seasons of play at The Eck (.465 in ‘[01) … ND continued to add to its fifth-inning scoring domination (49-13/+36, 6-1 on Wed.) … the Irish plated 33 runs on Wednesday while stranding 22 (+11), continuing a trend over the last 17 games that has seen ND hit .336 overall but .400 (64 points higher) with runners in scoring position during that 17-game stretch (150 runs, 122 LOB; +28).