June 16, 2003

Notre Dame junior second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) has completed his postseason honors by being named a second team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). Sollmann earlier was named a third team All-American by the National College Baseball Writers of America and was a Verizon second team Academic All-America honoree, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Sollmann joined fellow BIG EAST Conference star Marc Tugwell of Virginia Tech as the second basemen named to the ABCA second team All-America squad, with Southern’s Rickie Weeks (the second overall pick in the MLB draft) named to the first team while Southwest Missouri’s Justin Christian was the third-team second baseman.

BIG EAST Conference teams combined to produce four ABCA All-Americans – trailing only the Big 12, ACC, SEC and Pac-10 – while the three total BIG EAST teams with ABCA All-Americans trailed only three conferences (the ACC, SEC and MAC). that had four teams each with ABCA All-Americans St. John’s shortstop Mike Rozema and Virginia Tech closer Matt Dalton both were named to the ABCA third team All-America squad.

Sollmann – who joined 1964 shortstop Rich Gonski as the Notre Dame program’s only middle infielders ever to be named All-America – is one of 13 all-time ND baseball All-Americans and is the 11th Irish player named to the ABCA team. He also combined with teammate J.P. Gagne as part of an elite group of 42 all-time Notre Dame student-athletes who have received All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season (outfielder Dan Peltier is the only other ND baseball player to complete that double distinction, doing so in 1989).

Five previous ND players – catcher Elmer Kohorst (’56, ’57), Peltier (’89), outfielders Eric Danapilis (’93) and Steve Stanley (’02) and pitcher Aaron Heilman (’01) – have been named ABCA first team All-Americans while Sollmann joins catcher Walt Osgood (’62) and Gonski as the program’s ABCA second team All-America picks.

Sollmann in 2003 became the sixth ND player ever to receive three-plus all-BIG EAST Conference honors (1st team in ’01, 2nd team in ’02 and ’03) while ranking 7th in the nation with 38 stolen bases during the ’03 season. The 5-10, 190-pound righthanded batter finished ’03 as the BIG EAST overall leader in hits (98; 4th-most in ND history), runs scored (67) and total bases (136), also ranking 2nd among BIG EAST players in SBs, triples (5) and 7th in batting average (.384; 27th in ND history). He closed the season with a 13-game hitting streak (two shy of his career-best streak earlier in ’03), including a 10-for-17 showing at the NCAA Fullerton Regional.

Several other players from ND’s 2003 opponents were named to the ABCA All-America teams, including four first-team honorees: Toledo C Mitch Maier (listed as a utility player), Arizona State SS Dustin Pedroia and DH Jeremy West and Wake Forest 3B Jamie D’Antona. Second-team honorees from ND opponents included Cal State Fullerton closer Chad Cordero, Nebraska 1B Matt Hopper and Ball State OF Brad Snyder while ASU 1B Jeff Larish, Arizona OF Brian Anderson and CSF OF Shane Costa were named to the third team.

Final 2003 bio. notes on Sollmann follow below:

Steve Sollmann (Jr., 2B; Cincinnati, Ohio) – Team tri-captain and co-MVP in ’03, when he moved to leadoff spot and became 6th ND player ever to receive 3-plus all-BIG EAST Conference honors (1st team in ’01, 2nd team in ’02, ’03) … his 38 stolen bases in ’03 ranked 7th in nation behind five OFs – Coastal Carolina’s Ryan McGraw (63), Eastern Kentucky’s Josh Anderson (57), Bethune-Cookman’s Sebastian Boucher (48), Tulane’s Jonny Kaplan (48) and Miami’s Danny Figueroa (40) – and fellow BIG EAST 2B Graig Badger of Rutgers (41) … finished ’03 as BIG EAST overall leader in hits (98; 4th in ND history), runs (67) and TBs (136), ranking 2nd among BIG EAST players in 3Bs (5) and 7th in batting (.384; 27th in ND history) … closed ’03 with 13-game hit streak (two shy of career-best streak earlier in ’03), including 10-for-17 showing at NCAA Fullerton Regional … owns .487 caree r batting avg. in NCAAs (38-for-78 in 18 GP), including .697 (23-for-33) in ND’s last two NCAA Regional tournaments … named Verizon CoSIDA 2nd team Academic All-American, with 3.30 cumulative GPA as marketing major … his 255 career hits already are 8th in ND record book and 3rd-most by Irish junior (behind Steve Stanley’s 266 and Dan Peltier’s 257) while his .370 career batting avg. ranks 5th, just behind his brother Scott’s .372 from ’94-’96 (plus Peltier’s .406, the .405 posted by Eric Danapilis and Stanley’s .384) … 5th in ND history with 501 fielding assists, 6th with 67 SBs and 11th in runs (172) and triples (11) … in addition to above stats, finished 2nd on ’03 team in 2Bs (16), slugging (.533), on-base (.438) and walks (25), and 3rd in HRs (4) and RBI (40) … his other ’03 stats included one time hit-by-pitch, more walks (25) than Ks (23), 2 sac. flies, 4 sac. bunts and just 8 errors in 310 fielding chances (.974 fielding pct.) as key member of defense that set ND record for season fielding pct. (.970, also 21st in nation in ’03; with Sollmann having a hand in 41 of 57 double plays) … posted team-best .550 leadoff OB pct. and ranked 2nd on team in batting with runners in scoring position (.373) while owning team’s 4th-best 2-out batting (.254, 13 RBI with 2 outs) … grounded into just 2 double plays, advanced baserunners 58% of the time (3rd-best on team) and posted nearly identical batting averages vs. LHPs (.388) and RHPs (.383) … rare junior-year recipient of ND’s Francis Patrick O’Connor Award (recognizing student-athletes who most embody “team spirit, inspiration, courage,” etc.) and became first player ever named BIG EAST player of the week three times in the same season (also tying BIG EAST career mark) … drafted in 32nd round by Oakland A’s.