March 24, 1998
Wagner's 8th-Inning Home Run Lifts Irish Past Cincinnati, 3-2
Irish announce three more makeup games
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior catcher Jeff Wagner's two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference as the Irish came back to defeat the visiting University of Cincinnati, 3-2, in non-conference baseball action Tuesday at Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (10-7) rallied from a midgame 2-0 deficit, with Wagner singling home sophomore rightfielder Jeff Perconte in the sixth before bringing home Perconte in the eighth with a blast over the leftfield fence.
Cincinnati (4-15) ended a scoreless game in the top of the fifth, when senior catcher Jeff Bechtol drove a two-run blast over the fence in deep left-center field.
Freshman righthander Aaron Heilman (3-0) picked up the win, allowing just two walks over the final two innings while striking out three UC batters. Junior righthander Alex Shilliday opened the game with four shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three Bearcat batters.
UC junior righthander Casey McEvoy allowed just three hits and four walks over the first six innings, with one strikeout. The Bearcats used three pitchers over the final two innings, with junior righthander James Steele taking the loss after serving up Wagner's fifth home run of the season.
Cincinnati welcomed Irish sophomore lefthander Tim Kalita with two straight hits to open the fifth, as Kevin Wilson singled to left before Bechtol sent a 1-2 pitch over the fence for his third home run of the year.
Perconte drew one of his three walks to open the bottom of the sixth and stole second. Wagner followed moments later with a first-pitch single to center field, slicing the Bearcats' lead in half.
Junior lefthander Tony Cento took the mound for UC in the eighth, in relief of senior righthander Joel Gallimore. Cento have up a one-out walk to Perconte and forced J.J. Brock to foul out to the catcher before yielding to Steele. Wagner then worked to a 2-2 count before lofting his 32nd career home run over the leftfield fence.
NOTES: Wagner's 32 home runs rank fifth in Irish history, one behind Joe Binkiewicz and five behind the team record shared by Frank Jacobs and former teammate Mike Amrhein ... the Irish pitching staff has allowed just 10 earned runs in the last six games and 13 in the last eight ... Shilliday's last three outings have featured 22 strikeouts, three walks and just one earned run in 16 and two-thirds innings ... Heilman's last four outings have included seven strikeouts, one hit and no earned runs in five and one-third innings.
IRISH ADD THREE MORE GAMES: Notre Dame has added three makeup games, following last week's snowed-out doubleheaders at Providence and Connecticut ... the added games (all at home) are: Fri., March 27 vs. Indiana Tech (5:05 PM); Wed., April 1 vs. Western Michigan (5:05 PM); and Thur., April 23 vs. Toledo (6:05 PM) ... the team has one makeup game left to schedule ... previously scheduled makeup games include: Wed., March 25 vs. Indiana Tech (4 PM); Thur., March 26 vs. Northeastern Illinois (changed to 4:00 PM doubleheader); and Mon., April 13 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (4 PM) ... WHME-103.1 FM has added the Fri., March 27 game vs. Indiana Tech and the Sun., March 29 game vs. Georgetown to its broadcast schedule.
CINCINNATI (4-15) 0-0-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 -- 2 4 1 NOTRE DAME (10-7) 0-0-0 0-0-1 0-2-X -- 3 4 2 McEvoy, Gallimore (7), Cento (8), Steele (8) and Bechtol. Shilliday, Kalita (5), Heilman (8) and Wagner. WP - Heilman (3-0). LP - Steele (0-1). Home Runs: UC - Bechtol (5th, one on, 3rd of season); ND - Wagner (8th, one on, 5th of season)