May 30, 1999

NOTES: The Irish scored just eight runs in Saturday’s two games while leaving a combined 18 runners on base … Kalita’s six Ks give him 97 for the season, moving past Shilliday and Brad Lidge (who each had 93 in 1998) into third place on the Irish single-season list, behind Frank Carpin (102 in 1958) and current sophomore Aaron Heilman (117) … just as he did during his high school days, O’Toole collected home runs in bunches during 1999 … he hit his first four home runs of ’99 in an eight-game midseason streak before collecting HRs in each of his final four games … Stanley’s 24 stolen bases were two shy of the Irish freshman record, set by Scott Sollmann in 1994 … Ust finished his third season having started every game of his Notre Dame career (179), the second longest streak of consecutive starts in team history (Pat Pesavento started 204 straight, from 1986-89) S Ust’s double vs. Michigan was the 51st of his career, moving him past teammate Jeff Wagner and 1992 graduate Craig Counsel into fourth on the Irish all-time doubles list S Shilliday concludes his career among Notre Dame’s top-10 career leaders in strikeouts (third, 265), innings (seventh, 290.0), victories (seventh, 25), appearances (eighth, 65) and starts (fourth, 44) S Stanley’s 242 at-bats in 1999 rank third in Notre Dame history, behind Dan Peltier’s 258 and Pesavento’s 245 (both in 1989) S Stanley and Ust finished tied for the team lead in hits (79) while Porzel totaled a team-high 61 RBI S Corbin made his 28th appearance of the season, tying Chris Michalak (199) for third in the Irish record book S Kalita became the sixth Irish pitcher and first since 1994 to start 16-plus games in a season S O’Toole’s 410 putouts rank sixth in the Irish record book and are most ever by a Notre Dame catcher S Notre Dames 113 doubles rank fourth in team history while the team’s 70 home runs came up three shy of equaling the 1998 record total S the 1999 team also finished second in the Irish record book for home runs per game (1.15) and at-bats per home run (28.71) S the Irish pitching staff finished with a record 478 strikeouts (22 above the 1998 record), a 2.18 K-to-walk ratio (fifth all-time at Notre Dame) and 8.38 Ks per nine innings (best by an Irish staff since 1963 and fourth all-time).

Quotes from Saturday’s NCAA Basebal Championships

South Bend Regional
NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
No. 3 seed Creighton vs. No. 4 seed Michigan

On this season and the game: “We had a tremendous year getting this program back to one of the top programs in the country, especially in the Midwest.Today, we did not play the style of game we are accustomed to. We did not swing the bats. Not to take anything away from Michigan. They played a great game.”


Third baseman Ryan Gripp
On striking out with the bases loaded: “I would definitely like to have that one back. Sliders away are my weakness. He threw a good one out there and I went after it.”

Second Baseman Vince Pietro
On what this means for the team: “I think this is a definite stepping stone for us. We got to the tournament last year and a regional this year. It should inspire the players to work harder next year to get back to a regional and hopefully do a little better.”

On the game: “Like I’ve said all year, there’s no lack of fight in this team. You couldn’t have asked for a more heartbreaking loss yesterday, but we came back. J.J. (Putz) pitched great. We’re glad to get back in it and we’re looking forward to playing tonight.”

On Brian Bush being sick yesterday: “For those of you who don’t know, Brian was sick, dehydrated, throwing up yesterday during the game. It just shows his character and his spirit. He told me that even if I wanted to take him out yesterday, there was no way he was coming out.


Pitcher J.J. Putz
On his performance: “I felt good the first couple of innings, but got tired toward the end. They hit some pretty good pitches. They’re a pretty good hitting team. I think we got some double plays that got us out of some jams.”

Centerfielder Brian Bush
On being sick yesterday: “Oh, I feel a lot better today. I could barely move yesterday. I just thank the Notre Dame doctors. They said it was something food-related … something I ate.”

South Bend Regional
NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
No. 1 seed Cal St. Fullerton vs. No. 2 seed Notre Dame

On the confrontation between Paul O’Toole and Chris Beck: “I’m not really sure wdhat was said, but I guess one of their players said something he shouln’t have following the home run and Paul (O’Toole) took offense to it and stood up for his pitcher. The umpire just said that something was said and he wanted to put both teams on warning and diffuse it right there. There’s absolutely no bad blood between the two teams and I thought the umpire handled it great.”

On Cal St. Fullerton pitcher Adam Johnson: “He pitched fantastically. He was everything that everyone said he was. He’s a real competitor, he has a really good fastball, and he threw his off-speed pitches really well. I thought our kids battled him well and I’m very proud of our team.”


Pitcher Chris McKeown
On his performance: “I just went out there, threw strikes and tried to keep the team in the ball game. I just let the fielders do the work behind me.”

General comments on the game: “It was another great baseball game, although it was a little uncharacteristic of the way we play the rest of our games. We don’t usually rely on the long ball. Both teams scored in the same amount of innings. It was that four-run inning that made the difference.”

On the Irish pitching: “I would describe their pitching as effectively wild. They were out when they needed to be out and in when they need to be in. It made things difficult.”


Starting pitcher Adam Johnson
On his performance: “I missed my spot a couple times, but the runs backed me up. The run support was definitely needed. Being ahead most of the time really helped.”

On the Irish hitters: “They did a great job. They hit a couple of pitches that were almost in the dirt. They made me pitch a finer game.”

Outfielder Reed Johnson
On his home run: ” I saw before that he (Kalita) was starting to struggle with his control. I wanted to make sure I got a fastball and a fastball only. I took a slider in the dirt and then I got what I wanted.”

Game 5 – Notre Dame vs. Michigan

“Notre Dame is a great team. They play hard. I’m proud of my guys. We lost a tough one last night and came back today to win twice. We did a lot of things right. We earned our way into tomorrow.”


Vince Pistilli
On the first inning: “At the beginning, it felt like things were going a 1000 miles per hour. I wasn’t getting my pitches down. What settled me down was with first and third with one out, I was supposed to throw a pitch out but I slipped of the mound and he swung and hit into a double play. After that I just relaxed.”

Brian Bush
On his two home runs today: “It was a good day at the plate for me. Both balls I hit 0-2.”

“Obviously, we are very disappointed that we didn’t get to the championship game tomorrow. The kids did the best they could. At the risk of sounding like we are making excuses, in the end it was just too difficult to overcome some of the firepower we lost with a few of the injuries. … We had a few spots in the lineup filled with a few players who are just not ready to play at this level.”

“The flip side of having such a young team is that just about everyone is due to come back next season. We have three freshmen starters-Paul O’Toole, Steve Stanley and Andy Bushey-who had great freshman seasons and had a good showing in the NCAAs. So, the future is very bright for Notre Dame baseball.”


Notre Dame shortstop Alec Porzel
“I would sum up this season with the words ‘maximum effort.” We were a young team coming into it. I have been on two different type of teams here. My freshman year, it was a veteran team that just came to the game and got the job done. This year, we are a young team with four or five freshman starting every game. It is a real voval and enthusiastic group. This is the closest-knit group I probably ever have been on. The good thing about a yoiung team is that means good things for Notre Dame baseball in the future.”