March 11, 1998
Notre Dame Baseball Tops Southern Illinois, 4-3
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Freshman righthander Aaron Heilman came on to post Notre Dame's first save of the season as the Irish held on for a 4-3 victory Wednesday over Southern Illinois in first-round action of the fourth annual Irish Baseball Classic, at Wolff Municipal Stadium.
Notre Dame (9-7) enjoyed an early 4-1 lead but saw SIU (4-11) close the gap with single runs in the sixth and eighth. SIU was hurt by costly early errors, as two of the four runs allowed by senior righthander Chris Schullian were unearned. Schullian worked seven and one-third innings, allowing six hits and two walks, with three strikouts.
Heilman took the mound with two outs in the eighth, the Irish leading 4-2 and runners at first and second. After serving up an RBI single by Brian Phelan, Heilman induced pinch hitter Cory Schank into a rally-ending popup to shortstop J.J. Brock, leaving the potential tying run at third base. Heilman then set down the side in the ninth, finishing the game with a pair of strikeouts.
Sophomore righhander Steve Szczepanski (1-1) picked up the win, after allowing two earned runs over five-plus innings, on five hits and one walk (with one strikeout).
Brigham Young rallied from a four-run deficit in Wednesday's earlier game, posting a 6-5 victory over Incarnate Word.
Nore Dame forged a 1-1 tie inthe first when Brock smaked a solo shot to left-center for his fourth home run of the season. The Irish took the lead with an unearned run in the second, when Allen Greene reached on one of shortstop Jon Winter's three errors, moved up on an errant pickoff throw, took third on Alec Porzei's sacrifice bunt and scored on Jeff Felker's groundout.
The Irish added two runs in the third, after singles by Brock and Jeff Wagner, a throwing error by Winter that moved Brock to third, a sacrifice fly by Brant Ust and Greene's RBI single to right-center.
Szczepanski opened the sixth with a walk and a hit batter before yielding to junior lefthander Chris McKeown, who served up a single by Jole Peters and a sacrifice fly by Marty Worsley.
Schullian, Fresor (8) and Phelan. Szczepanski, McKeown (6), Heilman (8) and Wagner.