April 20, 1999
Notre Dame freshman centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio) has earned his second BIG EAST Conference baseball rookie-of-the-week award, after a highly-productive showing in four games during the week of April 12-18.
Stanley led Notre Dame during week in batting average (.625) and hits (10-for-16), while also totaling three RBI, four runs scored, one sacrifice bunt, two walks, one stolen base and a runner thrown out at home (from his centerfield position). He hit 5-for-7 with runners on base, 3-for-6 with two outs and 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Stanley also reached on four of his five leadoff chances, while adjusting to a new batter hitting in front of him (after Jeff Perconte’s season-ending shoulder injury). He also has played the last month with a new batter behind him (in No. 2 hole), after Andrew Bushey’s knee injury on March 21.
Stanley pushed hit hitting streak to seven games, including a 9-for-13 effort in the three-game Boston College series.
In the midweek win over Cleveland State, he went 1-for-3 while also making a crucial fielding assist in the sixth inning, on a throw to the plate that preserved a 2-2 game.
In the opener of the BC series, Stanley had an impressive 4-for-4 game, with one RBI, two runs and a walk. He played a crucial role in the Irish comeback from 6-1 deficit, by scoring or driving in three of the team’s first six runs. Stanley walked and scored in the first inning, laid down a bunt single and scored in the sixth, and legged out an RBI infield single in the seventh as the Irish scored twice to force extra innings (BC won 10-7 in the eighth).
Stanley then batted 2-for-5 in the nightcap, with a perfect RBI bunt single to the second baseman in the seventh inning. He wrapped up the series by going 3-for-4, with an RBI, two runs, a walk and a stolen base. He converted a bunt singled and scored in fifth, during the early stages of a comeback from a 7-0 deficit. Stanley then slapped an RBI single through the infield in the sixth. In the decisive five-run eighth, he walked on a full count, stole second and scored the tying run as the Irish rallied for an 11-8 win.
Stanley ranks fifth among Notre Dame regulars with a .317 overall batting average (46-for-145), plus 20 RBI, 29 runs scored, one triple, two doubles, more walks than strikeouts (15:14), a team-best six sacrifice flies and three sacrifice bunts. He has made just one error in 59 fielding chances (.983) while ranking second in the BIG EAST with 16 stolen bases on 21 attempts (Connecticut’s Glenn Katz has 18). He ranks second on the team with a .390 batting average when runners are in scoring position (16-for-41) and has reached base on 47 percent of his leadoff plate appearances (21 of 45).
Stanley’s .415 batting average in BIG EAST action (27-for-65) ranks eighth in the conference and first among all BIG EAST freshmen. His 27 hits in BIG EAST play rank fifth among all conference players while Stanley and Katz share the conference lead with eighth stolen bases in BIG EAST play.
Notre Dame players have combined for seven BIG EAST weekly awards in 1999, second only to Providence (9) among the league’s 11 teams. Sophomore righthander Aaron Heilman has earned three BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-week honors (March 15, March 22, April 12) while Stanley was named rookie of the week on March 15. The other Notre Dame weekly award winners in 1999 include junior shortstop Brant Ust (player of the week, March 29) and junior first baseman Jeff Felker (player of the week, April 5). The Irish have produced at least one award winner during each of the past six weeks.
Stanley and Providence outfielder Mike Scott are the only multiple winners of the BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week award (Scott has been honored three times).