Feb. 27, 1998

Shilliday's 10 Strikeouts Lead Notre Dame Past Evansville, 6-1

Irish to Face Purdue in Second Day of Diamond Classic

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Junior righthander Alex Shilliday faced just five batters over the eight-inning minimum and four Irish players drove in runs as Notre Dame defeated host Evansville, 6-1, in first-round action late Friday night at the Diamond Classic Championship, held at Bosse Field.

Notre Dame (4-6)--which served as the home team in Friday's tournament format--jumped ahead with two runs in the second before scoring three times in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double from sophomore third baseman Brant Ust.

Shilliday (2-1) has won eight of his last 10 decisions with the Irish and 17 of his last 19 decisions vs. collegiate competition, including a 9-0 mark during the summer of 1997 while playing with the Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska League. His masterpiece Friday included a career-best 10 strikeouts and no walks over eight innings, with one run on four hits and two hit batters. Junior lefthander Chris McKeown closed out the game by retiring three straight batters in the ninth.

Evansville (1-2) managed just six baserunners, with their only run coming unearned in the fourth ,after a single by Wes Carroll, an errant pickoff throw by Shilliday and a double by Brian McMillin. Shilliday also yielded a hit in the third and sixth innings while Evansville batters reached when hit by a pitch in the second and sixth, with junior catcher Jeff Wagner foiling Ryan Connors' stolen base attempt in the second.

The three-day Diamond Classic features the state's eight Division I teams, with Friday's other results including Ball State's marathon 15-12 win over Indiana State, Indiana's 10-3 win over Butler and Purdue's 10-4 win over Valparaiso. The Notre Dame-Evansville game did not begin until 8:10 p.m. central time (70 minutes late).

Notre Dame will face Purdue in Saturday's final game (7:00 p.m. scheduled time), with the winner to face the BSU-IU winner on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. for the tournament title. The third-place game is scheduled for Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

Sophomore righthander Ryan Miller took the loss for Evansville, which produced four errors that led to three unearned runs. Miller totaled eight strikeouts of his own yielded all six Irish runs over seven innings, on eight hits and one walk.

Notre Dame sophomore right fielder Jeff Felker drew a walk in the third and scored on a single by junior centerfielder Allen Greene, who moved to second on the throw, took third on a throwing error by rightfielder Douglas Schoenekase and scored when Miller threw the ball away attempting to nail Greene at third.

The Irish stretched to a 5-1 lead in the sixth after singles by Greene and senior shortstop J.J. Brock, an RBI double by sophomore leftfielder Jeff Perconte and Ust's two-run double down the leftfield line.

Notre Dame capped the scoring in the seventh, when senior first baseman Dan Leatherman legged out an infield single, moved up n an error by the shortstop Carroll and scored on Brock's single to center.

NOTES: Shilliday has 144 career strikeouts, just six shy of moving past Don Wolfe (1956-58) into 10th on the Irish all-time strikeouts list ... Brock's four at-bats Friday give him 671 in his career, moving Brock into a tie with Joe Binkiewicz ('92) for seventh in Irish history.

EVANSVILLE (1-2)      0-0-0   1-0-0   0-0-0   --   1   4   4
NOTRE DAME (4-6)      0-0-2   0-0-3   1-0-0   --   6   8   1      
R. Miller, Lager (8) and Jenkins. Shilliday, McKeown (9) and Wagner.
WP - Shilliday (2-1).  LP - Miller (1-1).
Doubles: EV-Carroll, McMillin;  ND-Perconte, Ust.

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