May 1, 1999
Gm. 1 Box Score
Gm. 2 Box Score
NOTRE DAME, Ind.-- Junior leftfielder Matt Nussbaum continued
his hot hitting as Notre Dame concluded a three-game sweep of Oakland
University, 9-1 and 10-5, in non-conference baseball action Saturday at
Notre Dame (36-11) - which next takes a six-day break for final
exams - inched closer to its 11th consecutive 40-win season while
continuing to produce at the plate. The Irish totaled 23 hits in the
doubleheader, including four home runs, one triple and five doubles.
Oakland (15-19) made four errors in the first game while struggling at
the plate versus junior righthander Scott Cavey, who extended his recent
dominance en route to his fifth win of the season. In the nightcap, the
Golden Grizzlies forced an early 3-3 tie only to see the Irish score
seven of the game's next eight runs.
Cavey (5-1) tossed a career-best eight strikeouts while allowing
just one run on three hits and two walks in his 81-pitch, six-inning
outing. Cavey-who has 28 Ks and just two walks in his last 32
innings-opened the game by giving up a leadoff walk to Kyle Simmons but
retired the next 12 batters before Mike Morasso's leadoff single in the
fifth. Senior righthander Alex Shilliday (3-3) picked up his 24th career
win in the nightcap, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks over
six innings (with two Ks).
Freshman Gordon Hosbein (1-1) lost the opener, allowing seven
runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks over 3.1 innings.
Sophomore lefty Erick Swanson (1-4) gave up eight runs (seven earned) on
nine hits and one walk in five nightcap innings.
Nussbaum - a former walk-on who was 0-for-16 his first two
seasons - extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 3-for-3 in the
opener before collecting hits in his first three at-bats of the
nightcap. Nussbaum - whose day included four RBI, three doubles and a home
run - was denied a rare seven-hit day when his seventh-inning line drive was
caught by the centerfielder. Nussbaum is batting 20-for-37 (.541) in his
11-game streak-including 13-for-22 team in the last six games. He owns a
.325 season average (sixth-best on the team), while also ranking first
on the team in runners advanced (27), third in RBI (28) and two-out
batting average (.340), fourth in home runs (5) and total bases (73) and
fifth in doubles (7).
Other Irish offensive heroes on Saturday included: freshman DH
Ken Meyer (3-for-7, RBI, 2 R, 2 2B, BB), sophomore second baseman Alec
Porzel (3-for-7, 3 RBI, 3 R, HR, 2B, BB, SB), junior shortstop Brant Ust
(3-for-6, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, SB) and junior rightfielder Jeff Felker
(2-for-6, 5 RBI, R, HR, 3B).
GAME ONE: Notre Dame opened the scoring in the second, on
Nussbaum's leadoff, first-pitch home run left-center S the Irish broke
open the game with four runs in the third and four in the fourth ... Ben
Cooke reached to open the third when Hosbein dropped his pop-up bunt ...
Steve Stanley followed with a first-pitch bunt single and Meyer scorched
an RBI double over the first-base bag ... the inning continued with
Porzel's RBI groundout, Ust's single to center, Nussbaum's RBI double
down the leftfield line and Felker's sac. fly ... the four-run fourth
included RBI doubles down the leftfield line from Porzel (scoring
Stanley on a 1-2 count) and Nussbaum (on a full count) and Felker's RBI
triple to right-center (Cooke had singled and scored the inning's first
run after a stolen base, wild pitch and throwing error on the catcher) S
Oakland averted the shutout on Kyle Simmons' RBI single in the sixth.
GAME TWO: The Irish opened the nightcap with three runs, sparked
by Paul O'Toole's one-out single to the third baseman ... Porzel added a
single to center and the runners pulled off a double steal before Ust
sent a two-run single through the left side and moved up to second on
the throw ... Ust then stole third and scored on Nussbaum's RBI single
to right ... Oakland tied the game in the second, thanks to Greg Rogers'
two-run triple and Chris Kimball's sacrifice fly .... O'Toole reached on
a third-inning error and scored on an Ust single and a wild pitch,
followed by a Nussbaum single and Felker's RBI groundout S the Irish
tacked on three in the fifth, thanks to Porzel's rare opposite-field
shot to right (his eighth home run of the season), Nussbaum's double to
right and Felker's first-pitch blast that carried over the rightfield
fence for his fifth home run of the season S Oakland added single runs
in the seventh (RBI double by Bennion) and the ninth (sacrifice fly from
Kip Harris), with the Irish plating two in the eighth after Meyer
singled to center and Matt Strickroth launched his third home run of the
season to straightaway center field.
NOTES: The Irish had just two home runs in their previous
seven games before Saturday's barrage S the Irish pitchers have totaled
383 strikeouts (in 395 innings), already the fourth-most Ks thrown in
team history (sophomore Aaron Heilman's total of 91 also ranks fourth in
Irish history, 17 shy of the record) S Notre Dame has pushed its team
batting average to .321 (well above last year's .304), with the biggest
improvements coming from Felker (.340 this season, ..283 in '98) and
Porzel (.353, up from .265 in '98) S nine Irish players are hitting
above .300, with the others including: Ust (.381), Jeff Wagner (.354),
Stanley (.349), Jeff Perconte (.323), Andrew Bushey (.310) and O'Toole
(.303), followed closely by Ed Golom (.282), Meyer (.280) and Cooke
(.277) S Nussbaum's six-hit day is not unprecedented, as Felker went
6-for-6 with two walks in a doubleheader vs. Northeastern Illinois in
'98 S in BIG EAST action Saturday, second-place Rutgers (16-6) won twice
at last-place Georgetown, 14-5 and 17-2, while ninth-place Connecticut
(9-13) split at 10th-place Boston College (6-13), 7-6 and 8-11 S the
weekend's other two series begin Sunday: St. John's (11-6) at Providence
(12-8) and Pittsburgh (10-9) at Seton Hall (9-10) S Notre Dame owns a
.909 (30-3) combined BIG EAST winning pct. in baseball (16-3) and
softball (14-0), which would rank first in BIG EAST history, since the
conference started sponsoring softball in 1992 (Notre Dame holds the
existing record of ..800, set by the baseball and softball teams of 1996
and '98) S Notre Dame is bidding to become the first BIG EAST school
ever to post the top conference winning percentages in baseball and
softball during the same season.
OAKLAND 0-0-0 0-0-1 0 1 4 4
NOTRE DAME 0-1-4 4-0-0 X 9 12 0
Hosbein, Devantier (4) and Van Robays.
Cavey, Buchmeier (9) and
OAKLAND 0-3-0 0-0-0 1-0-1 5 7 1
NOTRE DAME 3-0-2 0-0-3 0-2-X 10 11 1
Swanson, Sokoll (6) and Van Robays.
Shilliday, Naumann (7), Carlin (8),
Arnold (9) and O'Toole.