Feb. 24, 1998

Notre Dame Baseball Adds Feb. 25 Home Game vs. Central Michigan

The University of Notre Dame baseball team has added a home game on Wednesday, Feb. 25 against Central Michigan. The 4:00 p.m. game at Frank Eck Stadium will serve as a makeup game for the game that was rained out at the University of New Orleans on Feb. 15.

The game will serve as the earliest home opener for the Irish since a Feb. 5 game versus Goshen during the 1990 season.

Notre Dame is expected to give freshman righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) his first career start in Wednesday's game. Heilman is off to a solid start, compiling a team-best 1.08 ERA through four relief appearances. Heilman has totaled eight strikeouts while allowing just four hits and one walk through eight and one-third innings. He won his only decision, throwing four shutout innings in a 5-2 win over Loyola (La.),with five strikeouts and one hit allowed.

The Irish are 2-6, with upcoming games this weekend at the three-day Diamond Classic in Evansville, Ind. The tournament includes the state's eight Division I programs, with Notre Dame opening against Evansville on Friday night (7:00 p.m. local start), with games to be determined on Saturday and Sunday.

Notre Dame's top hitters through the first eight games of the season include sophomore designated hitter Larry Zimont (.391, 4 RBI), sophomore third baseman Brant Ust (.333, 5 RBI, HR), junior catcher Jeff Wagner (.286, 6 RBI, HR) and junior centerfielder Allen Greene (.281, 4 RBI, HR).

Notre Dame defeated Central Michigan 14-9 in late March of last season, behind a 5-for-6 day from Randall Brooks ('97) and Wagner's career-best six RBI.

The Chippewas return 27 of 31 letterwinners and eight of nine offensive starters from their 1997 team that went 25-20. CMU's top returners include senior shortstop Greg Jones (.362, 7 HR, 36 RBI, just seven errors) and senior outfielder Brian Tyo (.363, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 16-18 SB).

CMU is expected to use several pitchers in a planned rotation, including senior righthander Lee Gardner (8-4 in 1996, injured last season) and junior righthander Phil Roberts (3-1, 5.06 ERA last season).

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