Steve Stanley extended his
hitting streak to eight
games with a 4-for-5
night at the plate.
Irish Cruise to 14-4 Win over Michigan
Freshman Steve Stanley continues hot hitting.
April 20, 1999
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Freshman centerfielder Steve Stanley
continued his hot hitting while junior righthander Scott Cavey tossed
six strong innings, as the Notre Dame baseball team coasted Tuesday
night to a 14-4 victory over Michigan at Old Kent Park, home of the West
Michigan Whitecaps (the single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers).
Notre Dame (29-9)-which has won eight of the last nine, 14 of
the last 16 and 25 of the last 28-welcomed its first comfortable victory
since a 10-1 win at Rutgers on March 28. The Irish, who play host to
Central Michigan on Thursday, are now one win shy of equaling the
quickest season to 30 wins in Notre Dame baseball history (the 1990 and
'94 Irish teams each opened 30-9).
Michigan (21-20) suffered through a sloppy game in the field,
committing six errors that led to three unearned runs. Junior lefthander
Bryan Cranson (2-4) had a rocky outing, as the Irish touched him for
three runs on four hits and two walks over the first one and two-thirds
innings, with one strikeout in his 41-pitch outing.
Notre Dame and Michigan have now split four games at Old Kent
Park, with the Irish winning each of the past two seasons.
Stanley-the recently-named BIG EAST Conference rookie of the
week-entered the game on the heels of an impressive 9-for-13 weekend
series versus Boston College. The speedy lefthanded Irish leadoff hitter
then collected hits in his first four at-bats versus the Wolverines
before just missing a five-hit game on a sinking line drive that was
nabbed by centerfielder Brian Bush in the seventh inning.
Cave (3-1) turned in one of the best efforts of his career,
tossing five shutout innings before yielding a two-run home run by Mike
Cervenak. Cavey scattered seven hits and no walks over six full innings
while posting four strikeouts in his economical 82-pitch outing.
Senior lefthander Chris McKeown closed the game for his first
career save, allowing two unearned runs on three hits over the final
three innings, with two strikeouts.
The Irish put three runs on the board in the bottom of the
first, sparked by Stanley's deep bunt single to the right side and Paul
O'Toole's first pitch double down the rightfield line. Alex Porzel-who
matched O'Toole by factoring in five of the Irish runs-then lifted a
sacrifice fly to center field and O'Toole scored when Bush's throw
sailed into the Irish thirdbase dugout.
Notre Dame then erupted for six runs in the fourth inning. Walks
by Ben Cooke and Ed Golom were followed by Cooke's stolen base and a
throwing error that moved Golom to second base. Stanley then stroked an
RBI single to center and moved up on the throw before O'Toole delivered
a two-strike, two-run single through the right side of the infield.
Porzel added an RBI double to left-center, ending the night for senior
righthander Ryan Kelley. Matt Nussbaum then hit a one-out, RBI double to
left-center and Jeff Felker capped the big inning with a two-out, RBI
single through the left side.
Cervenak put UM on the board with two outs in the sixth, sending
a 1-1 pitch from Cavey over the leftfield fence. David Parrish and Scott
Tousa then opened the seventh inning with singles but Stanley made a
mental mistake when he threw to a vacant first base, after making a
tough catch of Kevin Quinn's linedrive. Parrish scored on the error
while Tousa moved on to third before trotting home with a second
unearned run on Bobby Scales' sacrifice fly.
The Irish tacked on a run in the seventh after Felker's double
down the rightfield line, Cooke's flyout to center field and a wild
pitch by freshman righthander Phil Lobert.
Notre Dame put the game out of reach with four runs in the
eighth, versus senior lefty Robert Reid. O'Toole led off with a scorcher
under the glove of first baseman Brian Besco, with O'Toole advancing to
second on the error. Porzel then sent an RBI double into the leftfield
corner and moved up on Ust's flyout. Pinch-hitter Matt Strickroth was
hit by an 0-2 pitch before Jeff Wagner parked a run-scoring double over
Bush's head. Cooke then hit a two-out, RBI single to the left side, with
Wagner scoring on a throwing error by the shortstop Tousa.
NOTES: Stanley extended his hitting streak to eight games and now is
hitting .333 for the season (fifth on the team), after opening his Irish
career 0-for-17 ... Ust's hitting streak ended at 15 (one shy of a new
career high) while Felker extended his career-best hitting streak to 13
games ... Wagner's double was the 50th of his career, tying him with
Craig Counsell ('92) for fourth all-time at Notre Dame ... Wagner's two
hits give him 229 for his career, tying him with Greg Layson ('94) for
ninth in the Irish record book (four behind '97 graduate Randall Brooks,
six behind Counsell and 10 behind Scott Sollmann, who played with the
Irish from 1994-96) ... Wagner's run was the 154th of his career, tying
Ryan Topham ('93-'95) for 10th all-time at Notre Dame.
MICHIGAN 0-0-0 0-0-2 2-0-0 4 10 6
NOTRE DAME 3-0-0 6-0-0 1-4-X 14 15 2
Cavey, McKeown (7) and O'Toole. Cranston, Kelley (2), Alexander (4),
Lobert (7), Reid (8) and Parrish.