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    July 19, 1997

    Notre Dame Baseball 1997 Mid-Summer Update

    • Grads move on to pro ball, job careers and graduate school
    • Returning players excelling throughout nation's summer leagues
    • Full update on former Irish players currently in pro baseball

    Several current and former Notre Dame baseball players have been active during the summer throughout minor league baseball, in the top amateur leagues and while playing with teams in their hometowns. The below information provides updates on the 1997 graduates followed by complete summer statistics for returning players (most of whom are playing in wood bat leagues) and for the incoming freshman class. Finally, statistics for all former Irish players currently in pro baseball are listed. The statistics were compiled during the period of the Major League All-Star break, with the samplings ranging from July 11-20.

    Among Notre Dame's top summer performers are: senior 3B J.J. Brock (.338, 35 RBI in 130 ABs for the Alaska Goldpanners), sophomore-to-be 1B Jeff Felker (.375 in 112 ABs for the Baltimore Corrigans) and sophomore-to-be OF Larry Zimont (.375, 10 HR for U.S. Bank in Seattle, with primarily aluminum bats). Noteworthy pitching performances are being turned in by: sophomore-to-be LHP Mark Lapinskas (5-1, 2.42 ERA with Ithaca Lakers), junior-to-be LHP Chris McKeown (league-best 5-2, second-best in league 1.63 ERA for Nevada, Mo. Griffins) and junior-to-be RHP Alex Shilliday (5-0, 2.51 ERA for Peninsula, Alaska Whalers).

    The 10 members of the class of 1997 all graduated from Notre Dame in four years while averaging a 2.99 cumulative GPA. Another member of the class of '97, former centerfielder Scott Sollmann, also graduated on time with his class despite being selected in the seventh round of the '96 draft by the Detroit Tigers. Sollmann played short-season A ball in the summer of '96 and completed his degree work at Notre Dame in the fall of '96 and spring of '97 before reporting to Detroit's A team in Grand Rapids, Mich. (the West Michigan Whitecaps) for the current season.

    MIKE AMRHEIN...C...Oak Park, Ill.
    Drafted in 10th round of '97 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs after an MVP season for the Irish (see signing release and updated career bio.) ... was hitting .311 with 10 RBI and one home run through his first 61 at-bats with the Cubs A team in Williamsport, Pa. (see full stats below) ... graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.06 cumulative GPA as a history major.

    MIKE BALICKI...RHP...Santa Margarita, Calif.
    Led the '97 Irish pitchers with 19 appearances while going 4-1 with one save in 28 innings ... posted a 4.82 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 12 walks ... is pursuing sales and marketing positions with various sporting goods companies on the West Coast ... also may look into applying to law school in the near future ... graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.22 cumulative GPA as a marketing major.

    RANDALL BROOKS...CF...Hazelcrest, Ill.
    Concluded stellar career by hitting .366, with 50 R and 17 SB in '97 ... 6th all-time at Notre Dame with a .361 career batting avg., tied for 2nd in Irish history with 14 career 3B ... his .418 career batting avg. in BIG EAST Conference games ranks 3rd in BIG EAST history ... will begin work in August as a fund accountant for Northern Trust Bank in Chicago ... graduated with a finance degree.

    J.J. BROCK...3B...Colorado Springs, Colo.
    Team captain who hit .365 in '97, with 50 RBI and 45 runs scored, from the #9 spot in the batting order ... named to the 1997 GTE Academic All-District baseball team ... has been approved by the Athletic Department Board of Control to return for a fifth year of eligibility (he did not play in '94 as a freshman walk-on) ... currently enjoying a solid summer with the Alaska Goldpanners (full stats below), hitting ,340 with 23 RBI in 97 at-bats ... graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.25 cumulative GPA as a mathematics major, including a 3.3 in-season GPA during the spring of '97.

    GREGG HENEBRY...LHP...Clinton, Mass.
    Missed final seven weeks of the '97 season with a shoulder injury, after winning three of his first five decisions while posting a 5.84 ERA ... is pursuing a marketing position in the Minneapolis, Minn, area ... currently pursuing a position with Airborne Express ... graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in marketing ... posted a 3.09 GPA in his final semester.

    LARRY MOHS...RHP...Nutley, N.J.
    Came back from "Tommy John" reconstructive surgery in fall of '95 ... went 22 months between appearances for the Irish ... served as closer in '97, when he led the team with a 2.66 ERA, four saves and .175 opponent batting through 23 and two-thirds innings, with 23 strikeouts and 11 walks ... has a fifth year of eligibility available to him, after missing all of the '96 campaign ... has decided not to use that fifth year at Notre Dame and is currently pursuing the possibility of playing as a graduate student at another institution, with the hopes of being selected in the 1998 amateur draft ... graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in accounting.

    PAT O'KEEFE...OF...Grand Ledge, Mich.
    Appeared in 46 games, with 29 starts, during the '97 season ... hit .276 in 123 at-bats, with one home run, three triples, nine doubles, 17 walks and 6-of-9 stolen bases ... currently pursuing a position in the Attorney General's Office for the state of Michigan (located in Lansing) ... also considering applying for January admission to law school, at either Cooley Law School of the Detroit College of Law (at Michigan State) ... graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in the Program of Liberal Studies.

    DARIN SCHMALZ...RHP...Barrington, Ill.
    Drafted in 29th round of '97 amateur draft by the L.A. Dodgers after earning second team all-BIG EAST honors and leading the Irish with nine victories (see signing release) ... reported to the Dodgers A team in Yakima, Wash., where he went 1-1 in three appearances before suffering a tender shoulder that held him out for a week ... has logged nine and two-thirds innings, with a 4.91 ERA, two strikeouts, two walks and four hits allowed ... graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in marketing.

    JUSTIN SCHOLL...OF...Athens, Ohio
    Suffered through an injury-plagued '97 season that saw him appear in just 21 games while hitting .242 with two home runs ... currently interning with an accounting firm and coaching with the American Legion team in Athens, Ohio ... is in the final interview process with accounting firms in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio ... graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in accounting.

    WALLY WIDELSKI...LHP...South Holland, Ill.
    Made 14 appearances (five starts) for the '97 Irish, going 3-0 with a 5.89 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 14 walks in 36 and two-thirds innings ... his current plans include serving as pitching coach at Northern Illinois University, where he will pursue a master's degree in sports management ... graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.61 cumulative GPA as a communication and theater major.

    Notre Dame Baseball 1997 Summer League Statistics 
    (compiled from July 11-20)
    Position Players, '97-'98 Yr., Pos. (Team, League)           G   AB  R   H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB   AVG.
    J.J. Brock, Sr., IF (Fairbanks Goldpanners;  Alaska)        33  130 34  44    7   1   3   35  16  19   7  .338
    Ben Cooke, Fr., IF (Youngstown, Ohio - Astro Falcons)       11   35                                       .380
    Jeff Felker, So., OF/1B (Baltimore Corrigans)              112   42                   3                   .375
    Todd Frye, Sr., IF (Quad City 76ers)                             56 16  22    2   0   0    7              .393
    Allen Greene, Jr., OF (Sandusky Bay Stars; Great Lakes)     32  105 19  29    4       3   17  20  26  10  .276
    Mike Knecht, Jr., C (local teams in Newport Beach, Calif.)                    stats unavailable
    Dan Leatherman, Sr., OF/1B (Oak Forest Shooters)            21   83 18  32    9   0   1   10  10  10 6-7  .386    
    Matt Nussbaum, So., IF (South Bend Senators)                65   26  4        1      14                   .400
    Jeff Perconte, So., OF/IF (Quincy Gems; Central Illinois)   25   77 10  17    2   0   0    7  14   2 8-8  .221
    Alec Porzel, Fr., IF/OF (Norwood Blues;  NABF)              15                        4              8-9  .603    
    Michael Restovich, Fr., IF (Rochester A's; Rochester Royals)           currently out with wrist injury
    Brant Ust, So., SS (Harwich Mariners; Cape Cod)             26   86  9  16    4   1   0    3   6  28   1  .186
    Jeff Wagner, Jr., C (Harwich Mariners; Cape Cod)            24   84  6  22    2   0   2   12   6  23   1  .262
    Larry Zimont, So., OF  (U.S. Bank, Seattle, Wash.)          36                       10   60              .375
    Pitchers, '97-'98 Yr., Pos. (Team, League)                 W-L (S) G   GS    IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
    Jim Cesak, Fr., RHP (Chicago Ridge American Legion)        7-3             49.0                26  53  2.46
    Pat Davis, Sr., LHP (Hays, Kan. Larks;  Jayhawk)           3-0     8    3  27.0    20          20  10  5.06    
    Aaron Heilman, Fr., RHP (Indiana Bulls)                                       stats unavailable
    Tim Kalita, So., LHP (Sandusky Bay Stars; Great Lakes)     0-2             15.0                11  11  4.80
    Mark Lapinskas, So., LHP (Ithaca Lakers; Northeastern)     5-1             44.2    35  15  12  20  28  2.42
    Dan Leatherman, Sr., LHP (Oak Forest Shooters)             1-0     3       12.0     9       6   5  14  4.50    
    Chris McKeown, Jr., LHP (Nevada, Mo. Griffins; Jayhawk)    5-2     7    7  38.2    28  15   7  15  29  1.63
    Tom O'Hagan, So., RHP (Crystal Lake Cardinals)             3-1 (2)         40.0                 7  35  3.02
    Alex Shilladay, Jr., RHP (Peninsula Whalers; Alaska)       5-0     6    6  43.0    37  13  12   9  31  2.51
    Dan Stavisky, Sr., RHP (South Bend Senators)               3-0     5    5  37.0    16   5   5   9  41  1.22
    Danny Tamayo, Fr., RHP (Coral Gables American Legion) recently returned to action after coming back from shoulder injury
    Notes: Knecht is playing on the weekends while working full-time
    helping to develop marketing and information databases for Meguiar's
    Carcare Products ... junior-to-be RHP Brad Lidge is not playing summer
    baseball as he continues to rehabilitate from an elbow injury that forced
    him to miss his final four starts of the '97 season ... Lidge had been
    invited to the summer USA national team tryouts and also was considering
    playing for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League ... sophomore-to-be
    RHP John Corbin also is rehabbing from an elbow injury in his hometown of
    Hollywood, Fla.. while two other sophomore-to-be righties--Scott Cavey
    (elbow) Steve Szczepanski (hand)--have been attending summer school and
    worked at the Notre Dame baseball camps while recovering from their
    respective injuries ... Restovich and Heilman were selected in the 1997
    amateur draft but have yet to sign a professional contract ... they may
    sign a contract up until attending their first day of classes at Notre Dame
    (classes begin on Aug. 26).
            
    Former Notre Dame Baseball Players in the Pros in 1997 
    (compiled from July 11-20)
    Position Players, Years at Notre Dame (Team, League)         G   AB  R   H 2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB    AVG.
    Mike Amrhein, 1994-97 (Williamsport, Cubs A)                16   61  5  19  6   1   1   10   4   3   0   .311          
    Craig Counsell, 1989-92 (Colorado Springs, Rockies AAA)     84  327 69 110 28   6   4   58  38  31  11   .336
    Paul Failla, 1992-94 (Lake Elsinore, Angels A)              59  215 28  59 13   1   1   30  30  47  14   .274
    Matt Haas, 1991-94 (Harrisburg, Expos AA)                   19    2  4   1  0   1   4    4   2   1       .211
    Bob Lisanti, 1992-96 (Rockford, Cubs A)                     49  123 12  30  8   0   0   16  10  26   1   .244    
    Rowan Richards, 1993-96 (Port Charlotte, Rangers A)         33   93  8  22  3   1   2    9  14  27   2   .237    
    Scott Sollmann, 1994-96 (Western Michigan, Tigers A)        77  300 51  98  8   2   0   24  46  49  26   .327    
    Ryan Topham, 1993-95 (Winston-Salem, White Sox A)          193   26 46  13  2   4  21   24  53   0       .238
    (currently with Birmingham, White Sox, AA)                  13   37  6   8  4   0   0    6   6  11   1   .216    
    
    Pitchers, Years at Notre Dame (Team, League)        W-L (S) G  GS     IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   ERA
    Tim Kraus, 1992-95 (Winston-Salem, Whit Sox A)      0-2    15   0     38                    38  4.99    Retired (6/97)
    Chris Michalak, 1990-93 (High Desert, Arizona A)    2-6    32   0   58.1    55  24  18  23  52  2.78
    Christian Parker, 1995-96 (Cape Fear, Expos A)      8-7    18  18    113   109  51  36  36  73  2.87    
    Tom Price, 1991-94 (New Haven, Rockies AA)          0-2    27   0   28.1    28  12   7  11  22  2.22        
    Darin Schmalz, 1994-97 (Yakima, Dodgers A)          1-1     3   0    9.2     4   3   2   2   2  4.91
    Al Walania, 1990-93 (Grays Harbo, Western Lg. Ind.) 3-3     8   8   41.2    50  31  25  16  26  5.40    Released (7/97)     
    Managers                                            W-L     Pct. Finish
    Tommy Shields, 1984-86 (Delmarva Orioles, Rookie)  83-59   .585     2nd 
    Note: Kraus is one of several former Irish players to retire from
    pro baseball during the past year, with the others being Craig Allen, Eric
    Danapilis, Frank Jacobs, Pat Leahy, Dan Peltier, George Restovich and Rich
    Sauget. 
    
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