Irish Baseball Downs Creighton
Heilman holds Bluejays to five hits over nine innings in 8-1 victory.
May 28, 1999
Box Score and Play-by-Play | Postgame Quotes
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Sophomore righthander Aaron Heilman scattered
five hits over a gutsy complete-game performance while the Irish offense
broke open a tight game with a two-out, five-run rally in the seventh
inning, as No. 2-seeded Notre Dame downed No. 3 seed Creighton, 8-1, in
opening-round action Friday at the NCAA South Bend Regional.
Notre Dame (43-16) advances to a 3:00 p.m. game on Saturday versus
top-seeded Cal State Fullerton, which rallied earlier in the day for three
runs in the ninth inning to defeat Michigan, 6-5. The double-elimination
tournament also will include an 11:00 a.m. game on Saturday between
Creighton and Michigan. The winners of Saturday's first two games then will
meet at 7:00 p.m.
The Irish provided a memorable game for the second-largest crowd in
Frank Eck Stadium history, as 2,037 fans jammed the stadium and bleacher
areas. The early game drew 1,288 fans, yielding a first-day total of 3,325.
The game featured a marquee matchup between two pitchers who had
been named All-America by Collegiate Baseball magazine earlier in the day:
Heilman and Creighton senior righthander Peyton Lewis
Lewis (10-1) suffered his first loss of the season, after allowing
six runs on five hits and five walks over six and two-thirds innings, with
eight strikeouts and nine groundouts in his 109-pitch outing. Lewis, who
also serves as a first baseman and DH for the Bluejays, was named a second
team All-American utility player by CB.
Heilman (11-2)-who was named a third team All-American by CB for
the second straight season-equaled his season-high with six walks but
continually worked out of trouble while posting his 11th victory in his
last 12 decisions. His 154-pitch outing included seven strikeouts and 10
The game hinged on clutch at-bats, as the Irish scored eight times
while stranding only four runners. On the flip side, Creighton pushed
across just one run while leaving 10 men on base.
Creighton plated the game's first run in the top of the fourth but
the Irish responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, en
route to their 20th come-from-behind victory of the season.
The decisive bottom of the seventh saw Lewis set down the first two
batters he faced, before walking three straight Irish freshmen.
Designated hitter Ed Golom-making his first start in a month and
his 10th start of the season-walked on five pitches from his No. 9 spot in
the batting order, igniting the five-run inning. Centerfielder Steve
Stanley then walked on four pitches before catcher Paul O'Toole-who had
tied the game with a solo home run in the fourth-kept the bat on his
shoulder on a close full-count pitch, ending Lewis' night.
Sophomore shortstop Alec Porzel then jumped all over the first
pitch from freshman righthander Scott Yahraus, drilling a two-run single
into center field for a 5-1 lead. Junior leftfielder Matt Nussbaum extended
the rally by sending an 1-1 pitch down the opposite rightfield line to
score O'Toole. Junior second baseman Brant Ust capped the big rally with a
first-pitch, two-run single to left.
Creighton opened the scoring in the fourth, after a leadoff single
to left by Scott Allen, Brian Smith's two-out walk and Troy Carley's single
through the left side.
O'Toole hit his second home run in as many games and sixth of the
season in the bottom of the fourth, lifting a 3-1 leadoff pitch over the
rightfield fence. Porzel then walked on a full count and Creighton elected
to pitch out on the next pitch, but the righthanded-hitting Nussbaum
reached out and slapped the ball over the head of the unsuspecting
shortstop Kenny Sarna.
Junior first baseman Jeff Felker then walked on a nine-pitch at-bat
and freshman third baseman Andrew Bushey plated the go-ahead run with a
groundball to the third baseman.
Porzel's fourth home run in as many games gave the Irish a 3-1 lead
in the sixth, when he sent a 1-0 leadoff pitch over the leftfield fence for
his 13th home run of the season.
CREIGHTON 0-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1 5 0
NOTRE DAME 0-0-0 2-0-1 5-0-X 8 8 2
NOTES: Friday night's crowd was the largest at Eck Stadium since 2,104 fans
saw the Irish play Evansville in April of 1994 ... Ust made his first start
at second base since the April 23, 1997 game versus Northwestern ... Friday
was the first game that Ust did not hit in the cleanup spot since the
seventh game of the season ... the Irish have eight home runs in the last
four games and 68 for the season (five shy of the 1998 record total) ...
Heilman dropped his season ERA to 3.14 and his career ERA to 2.58 while
moving into ninth on the Irish career strikeouts list (196) ... Stanley's
234 at-bats rank fourth in Irish history ... Ust and Porzel now share the
team RBI lead, with 58 each ... Porzel's 13 home runs are the third-most
ever by a Notre Dame sophomore, behind Ust's 18 in 1998 and Jeff Wagner's
17 in 1997 ... Heilman's 109 innings are the fifth-most ever in a season by
an Irish hurler ... he became the sixth Irish pitcher and first since 1994
to win 11-plus games in a season.
Peyton Lewis, Scott Yahraus, Chris Ringleb and Brian Smith.
Aaron Heilman and Paul O'Toole.