May 13, 1997

Villanova Upsets Notre Dame in BIG EAST Tournament

NORWICH, Conn. – Villanova’s Matt Neyland tied a BIG EAST Conference Tournament record with five RBI and Matt Perate tied another tournament record with five runs scored while senior right-hander Craig Culhane turned in a solid performance on the mount as the upset-minded Wildcats posted a 10-5 win over an error-plagued Notre Dame squad in opening-day action of the BIG EAST Tournament held at Dodd Stadium (home of the Class AA Norwich Navigators).

Notre Dame (39-18) will face Seton Hall in an elimination game set for Wednesday at noon CDT. Villanova (27-25) awaits the loser of the first-round game between Rutgers and St. John’s.

Culhane (5-4), who allowed one earned in a 4-3 loss to the Irish on April 18, scattered eight hits and a pair of walks over 6 2/3 innings while allowing four runs (earned) and striking out six Irish batters. Notre Dame senior right-hander Darin Schmalz (9-3) was touched for seven runs (five earned), allowing eight hits, three strikeouts and three walks over 5-plus innings of work.

Villanova stranded 13 runners but came up with several key two-out hits while the Irish left nine men on base. Sophomore designated hitter Jeff Wagner hit a solo home run in the second inning. Notre Dame’s team-record 65th of the season (surpassing the 64 set by the 1993 Irish team). Irish freshman shortstop Brant Ust, the BIG EAST rookie of the year, suffered his second 0-for-5 game of the season and his second hitless game in the last 23.

Villanova scored five unearned runs, providing the finals margin of victory, after the Irish equaled their season high in errors with sex (setting a BIG EAST record). The Wildcats tied the game at 2 with a run in the second, adding two runs in the sixth and seventh and a final run in the ninth. The Irish tried to rally in the final innings but stranded two runners in the seventh and left the bases loaded in the eighth before hitting into a game-ending double play.

Todd Frye’s one-out single got the Irish going in the seventh. Randall Brooks added a two-out single and Jeff Perconte walked, loading the bases and ending Culhane’s day. Senior right-hander Trevor Pepkowski then served up a two-out single to Mike Amrhein, cutting Villanova’s lead to 9-4, before forcing Wagner into a rally-ending flyout to right field.

Allen Greene’s one-out single started the Irish in the eighth and Frye was hit by a two-out pitch from Pepkowski, who then walked Brock after a full count to load the bases. Brooks plated Greene on a freak shot back to the mound, with the ball deflecting off Pepkowski before bouncing off shortstop Pat Kane, with Brock hustling into second to avoid the force. Perconte then came up to bat as the potential tying run, with Amrhein was waiting on deck, and sent a hard-hit ball to the firth side, but second baseman Tom Shank smothered the tough one-hopper, jumped to his feet and threw Perconte out at first.

Perate hit a one-out double in the ninth and scored when Frye let Neyland’s grounder past him Wagner then walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth but Ust grounded into a 5-4-3 game-ending double play.

Villanova opened the game with an unearned run, when Perate reached on an error by Frye before scoring on a single by Jeff Stetina. The Irish claimed a short-lived lead in the second, after Wagner led off with an opposite-field shot over the right-field fence for his 17th home run of the season (one shy of the second-most in Irish history). Greene added a one-out double to left field and scored on Frye’s two-out, full-count double to the game in left-center field.

Villanova tied the game in the third, with Perate hitting a leadoff single and stealing second before scoring on Neyland’s single to venter. The Wildcats’ three-run fourth began with a leadoff single from Augie Grove before a two-out rally that included a single by Brian Fili, a walk b Perate, a two-run single by Neyland and a run-scoring single by Rick Welsh.

Fili walked to open the sixth and Perate reached on an error by Grove, ending the day for Schmalz. Neyland and Welsh greeted freshman right-handed Tom O’Hagan with a pair of singles before Dan Boublis walked with the bases loaded. Kane reached to open the seventh, after first baseman Jeff Felker dropped a throw from Ust, and moved up on a sacrifice bunt and groundout before scoring on a single from Neyland. Welsh kept thing s going with a single to center and Stetina reached when third baseman J.J. Brock let a grounder go through his legs, with Neyland scoring on the play.

Notre Dame is expected to throw sophomore right-hander Alex Shilliday on Wednesday.. Shilliday beat the WVU in Morgantown on March 26 (7-6) allowing five earned runs on 12 hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings of work…Greene’s double was his 20th of the season, tying Wagner for the team lead…Brooks’ 3-for-5 day moved him into a tie with Greg Layson for seventh on the Irish career hits list (229)…Amrhein’s two RBI gave him 201 in his career (one behind Dan Pelter for second in Irish history)…Amrhein remains on homer run behind Irish career leader Frank Jacobs, who hit 37 from 1989-91 (Amrhein has not homered in his last six games)…Amrhein’s 89 hits this season are tied or sixth in Irish history (one out of fifth, three out of fourth and four out of third)… Amrhein’s two RBI and one run scored five him 70 of each, making him the third Irish player ever to total 70 runs and 70 RBI in the same season (Pelter had 93 RBI and 81 runs in 1989, Eric Danaplilis had 85 RBI and 71 runs in 1993)…Notre Dame’s season batting average dipped to .338 while the slugging percentage fell to .539 (both still well on place for tem records)…the Irish are three doubles away from tying the record of 125 (set in 1993)…the Irish pitchers are 14 strikeouts away from equaling the school record of 392 (set in 1993).

Box Score

Villanova University vs Univ. of Notre Dame May 13, 1997 at Dodd Stadium

Villanova University 10 (27-25)                             Univ. of Notre Dame 5 (39-18)Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A        Name (Pos)                 AB  R  H RBI  BB SO PO  A----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Brian Fili cf.............  4  2  1  0    1  0  2  0        Randall Brooks cf.........  5  1  3  1    0  0  1  0Mike Perate lf............  5  5  2  0    1  0  3  0        Jeff Perconte rf..........  4  0  1  0    1  0  4  0Matt Neyland rf...........  6  1  4  5    0  0  3  0        Mike Amrhein c............  5  0  1  2    0  0  7  1Rick Welsh 3b.............  6  0  4  1    0  1  2  4        Jeff Wagner dh............  3  1  1  1    2  1  0  0Martin Stetina dh.........  6  0  1  1    0  0  0  0        Brant Ust ss..............  5  0  0  0    0  1  3  4Dan Bouslis 1b............  3  0  0  1    2  1  7  1        Allen Greene lf...........  4  2  2  0    0  1  0  0Augie Grove c.............  4  1  1  0    0  1  7  0        Jeff Felker 1b............  4  0  0  0    0  3 11  0Tom Shank 2b..............  4  0  0  0    0  0  2  2        Todd Frye 2b..............  3  1  2  1    0  0  1  1Pat Kane ss...............  5  1  0  0    0  2  0  2        J.J. Brock 3b.............  3  0  1  0    1  1  0  3Craig Culhane p...........  0  0  0  0    0  0  1  1        Darin Schmalz p...........  0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1 Trevor Pepkowski p........ 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0         Tom O'Hagan p............. 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  1 Wally Widelski p.......... 0  0  0  0    0  0  0  0----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Totals.................... 43 10 13  8    4  5 27 10        Totals.................... 36  5 11  5    4  7 27 11Score by innings:                      R  H  E----------------------------------------------Villanova University  101 302 201   - 10 13  0Univ. of Notre Dame   020 000 210   -  5 11  6----------------------------------------------E - Rand. Brooks(8), Jeff Felker(8), Todd Frye 3(21), J.J. Brock(24).DP - Wildcats 2. LOB - Wildcats 13, Irish 9.2B - Mike Perate(5), Allen Greene(20), Todd Frye(4).HR - Jeff Wagner(17).SB - Brian Fili(24), Mike Perate(14).SH - Brian Fili(4), Tom Shank(1).Villanova University   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF     Univ. of Notre Dame    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  AB  BF---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Craig Culhane.......  6.2   8   4   4   2   6  27  29     Darin Schmalz.......  5.0   8   7   5   3   4  24  29Trevor Pepkowski....  2.1   3   1   1   2   1   9  12     Tom O'Hagan.........  2.0   4   2   0   1   0  11  13Wally Widelski......  2.0   1   1   0   0   1   8   8Winner - Craig Culhan 5-4.  Loser - D. Schmalz 9-3. HBP - by D. Schmalz (Augie Grove), by T. Pepkowski (Todd Frye).Start: Noon   Time: 2:57   Attendance: 300

Game Notes:
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT – Game #1 (double elimination)

Notre Dame to face loser of West Virginia/Seton Hall on May 14 (noon).

Villanova to face loser of Rutgers/St. John’s on May 14 (3:30).

D. Schmalz faced 2 batters in the 6th.


Villanova University inning 1

Brian Fili flied out to rf. Mike Perate reached on an error by 2b. M.Neyland flied out to cf. Rick Welsh singled to shortstop; Mike Perateadvanced to second. M. Stetina singled to left field, RBI; Rick Welshadvanced to second; Mike Perate scored, unearned. Dan Boublis struck outlooking. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 1

Rand. Brooks grounded out to ss. J. Perconte flied out to lf. Mike Amrheingrounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Villanova University inning 2

Augie Grove hit by pitch. Tom Shank grounded out to p, SAC, bunt; AugieGrove advanced to second. Pat Kane lined out to ss. Brian Fili groundedout to c unassisted. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 2

Jeff Wagner homered to right field, RBI. Brant Ust struck out. AllenGreene doubled to left center. Jeff Felker out at first 1b to p; AllenGreene advanced to third. Todd Frye doubled to left center, RBI; AllenGreene scored. J.J. Brock struck out. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Villanova University inning 3

Mike Perate singled. Mike Perate stole second. M. Neyland singled tocenter field, advanced to second on an error by cf, RBI; Mike Perate scored.Rick Welsh struck out. M. Stetina grounded out to ss. Dan Boublisgrounded out to 3b. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 3

Rand. Brooks singled to left field. J. Perconte singled to left field;Rand. Brooks advanced to second. Mike Amrhein grounded into double play 3bto 1b; J. Perconte advanced to second; Rand. Brooks out on the play. JeffWagner intentionally walked. Brant Ust grounded out to p. 0 runs, 2 hits,0 errors, 2 LOB.

Villanova University inning 4

Augie Grove singled to center field. Tom Shank popped up to ss. Pat Kaneflied out to rf. Brian Fili singled to right center; Augie Grove advancedto third. Brian Fili advanced to second. Mike Perate walked. M. Neylandsingled to center field, 2 RBI; Mike Perate advanced to second; Brian Filiscored; Augie Grove scored. Rick Welsh singled to center field, RBI; M.Neyland advanced to second; Mike Perate scored. M. Stetina grounded out to1b unassisted. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 4

Allen Greene flied out to lf. Jeff Felker struck out. Todd Frye flied outto cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Villanova University inning 5

Dan Boublis walked. Augie Grove struck out. Tom Shank reached on afielder’s choice; Dan Boublis out at second ss to 2b. Pat Kane struck out.0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 5

J.J. Brock singled to left field. Rand. Brooks flied out to cf. J.

Perconte flied out to lf. Mike Amrhein reached on a fielder’s choice; J.J.Brock out at second 3b to 2b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Villanova University inning 6

Brian Fili walked. Brian Fili stole second. Mike Perate reached on anerror by 2b; Brian Fili advanced to third. Tom O’Hagan to p for D. Schmalz.M. Neyland singled to right field, RBI; Mike Perate advanced to second;Brian Fili scored. Rick Welsh singled to left field; M. Neyland advanced tosecond; Mike Perate advanced to third. M. Stetina fouled out to 1b. DanBoublis walked, RBI; Rick Welsh advanced to second; M. Neyland advanced tothird; Mike Perate scored, unearned. Augie Grove reached on a fielder’schoice; Dan Boublis advanced to second; Rick Welsh advanced to third; M.Neyland out at home 3b to c. Tom Shank grounded out to c. 2 runs, 2 hits,1 error, 3 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 6

Jeff Wagner struck out. Brant Ust fouled out to 3b. Allen Greene struckout. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Villanova University inning 7

Pat Kane reached on an error by 1b, assist by ss. Brian Fili grounded outto p, SAC, bunt; Pat Kane advanced to second. Mike Perate grounded out toss; Pat Kane advanced to third. M. Neyland singled to center field, RBI;Pat Kane scored, unearned. Rick Welsh singled to center field; M. Neylandadvanced to second. M. Stetina reached on an error by 3b; Rick Welshadvanced to second on an error by 3b; M. Neyland advanced to third on anerror by 3b, scored on an error by 3b, unearned. Dan Boublis flied out torf. 2 runs, 2 hits, 2 errors, 2 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 7

Jeff Felker struck out. Todd Frye singled to center field. J.J. Brockflied out to rf. Rand. Brooks singled to center field; Todd Frye advancedto second. J. Perconte walked; Rand. Brooks advanced to second; Todd Fryeadvanced to third. T. Pepkowski to p for Craig Culhan. Mike Amrheinsingled to center field, 2 RBI; J. Perconte advanced to second; Rand. Brooksscored; Todd Frye scored. Jeff Wagner flied out to rf. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0errors, 2 LOB.

Villanova University inning 8

W. Widelski to p for Tom O’Hagan. Augie Grove grounded out to 3b. TomShank grounded out to 1b unassisted. Pat Kane struck out. 0 runs, 0 hits,0 errors, 0 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 8

Brant Ust flied out to rf. Allen Greene singled down the rf line. JeffFelker struck out looking. Todd Frye hit by pitch; Allen Greene advanced tosecond. J.J. Brock walked; Todd Frye advanced to second; Allen Greeneadvanced to third. Rand. Brooks singled to pitcher, RBI; J.J. Brockadvanced to second; Todd Frye advanced to third; Allen Greene scored. J.Perconte grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

Villanova University inning 9

Brian Fili grounded out to 2b. Mike Perate doubled to left center. M.Neyland reached on an error by 2b; Mike Perate advanced to third, scored onan error by 2b, unearned. Rick Welsh popped up to ss. M. Stetina flied outto rf. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Univ. of Notre Dame inning 9

Mike Amrhein grounded out to ss. Jeff Wagner walked. Brant Ust groundedinto double play 3b to 2b to 1b; Jeff Wagner out on the play. 0 runs, 0hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.