March 17, 1998
Notre Dame's Brock, Lidge Earn Big East Conference Honors
The Notre Dame baseball team has produced two honorees in the first BIG EAST Conference weekly awards, as senior shortstop J.J. Brock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy HS) has been named BIG EAST player of the week while junior righrhahder Brad Lidge (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) was named the BIG EAST pitcher of the week.
The Irish nearly swept the three weekly awards, as freshman leftfielder Alec Porzel was nominated for BIG EAST rookie of the week, an award that went to Providence first baseman Mike O'Keefe.
Brock led the Irish last week to a 3-1 record in games played at Wolff Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. He paced the Irish during the week with a .500 batting average (8-for-16), two home runs, six RBI and six runs scored. He also had a double, three walks, a stolen base and just one strikeout. Brock hit 5-for-9 with two outs while collecting five of his six RBI with two outs. He went 2-for-5 with four RBI, three runs, a walk and a two-run home run in 15-4 win over BYU and 2-for-3 with a walk, solo home run and two runs in the 4-3 win over Southern Illinois.
Lidge tossed seven shutout innings in the 8-0 win over Southwest Texas State, with seven strikeouts, five hits allowed and no walks. He faced just five batters over the seven-inning minimum while retiring the leadoff batter in each inning.
Porzel (Lisle, Ill.) was third on the team during the San Antonio trip with .385 batting (5-for-13), plus four runs, a double and one RBI. He went 2-for-4 in the wins over Southwest Texas (8-0) and BYU (15-4), with an RBI and run scored vs. SWTS and two runs vs. BYU.
* Junior catcher Jeff Wagner heads into this week's conference-opening weekend at Providence and Connecticut ranked fifth on the BIG EAST all-time batting average list (.417), just two pct. points out of third. His 31 career home runs are six shy of equaling the Notre Dame all-time record. Wagner has posted some impressive combined career numbers vs. PC and UConn: 18-for-24 (.667) in eight games, with seven home runs, 15 RBI, six walks, two K's and 45 total bases. He is 12-for-17 (.631) in five games vs. PC the past two seasons, with five home runs, 10 RBI and 30 total bases. He is 6-for-7 (.857) in three career games vs. UConn, with five RBI, two home runs and four walks.
* 1997 BIG EAST rookie of the year Brant Ust leads the Irish with a .350 batting average this season, plus 12 RBI and three home runs.
* Junior RHP Alex Shilliday (2.70, 30 IP, 37 K/8 BB) and freshman RHP Aaron Heilman (2.76, 16.1 IP, 16 K/3 BB) have posted impressive early numbers for the deep Irish pitching staff.
* Notre Dame's team ERA stands at 5.50 but it is just 2.47 when excluding the tough three-game series at potent Miami, when the Irish gave up 54 earned runs in 24 innings.