March 7, 1998

Error-Prone Notre Dame Baseball Drops 9-4 Game to Southwest Texas

SAN ANTONIO, Texas- Errors by junior catcher Jeff Wagner and senior shortstop J.J. Brock led to seven costly unearned runs, as Southwest Texas State defeated Notre Dame, 9-4, in non-conference baseball action Saturday at Wolff Municipal Stadium.

Notre Dame (6-7)--opening a seven-game Spring Break slate at the home stadium of the AA San Antonio Missions--trailed 4-3 heading into the fifth inning before surrendering four pivotal unearned runs.

Junior righthander Alex Shilliday (2-2) suffered the hard-luck loss, despite totaling nine strikeouts and just two walks over four and two-thirds innings. Shilliday gave up seven hits and was credited with eight runs, just one of them earned.

Senior righthander Jeremy Fikac (2-3) went the distance for the Wildcats, allowing the four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks, with three K's.

Irish junior lefthander Chris McKeown (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K) gave up a run in relief of Shilliday while senior righthander Dan Stavisky pitched two shutout innings (1 H, 1 BB, 1 K). Freshman righthander Mike Carlin made his first appearance for the Irish, recording three outs and allowing a hit in the ninth.

SWTS jumped ahead in the first, after a double by Jack Wickersham and Tim Davis' sacrifice fly. Then, in the second, Wagner dropped the third strike on Bryan Anderson, who reached safely to extend the inning with two outs. The Wildcats took advantage, pushing their lead to 4-1, highlighted by a two-run double from Wickersham.

Notre Dame scored twice in the third, after singles by Todd Frye and Alec Porzel, a sacrifice fly by Jeff Perconte and a run-producing error by the shortstop Anderson. The Irish cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth, after singles by Wagner and Brant Ust and an RBI groundout by Larry Zimont.

Brock's fifth-inning error came when he threw into rightfield attempting to start a double play. Wickersham then scored on a wild pitch and Shilliday struck out Davis for the second out. Mark Villareal's ensuing two-run double and David Walters' RBI single suddenly provided the Wildcats with an 8-3 lead.

The final Irish run came in the eighth, after Brock doubled and scored on Wagner's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Porzel returned to left field, after missing the last two-plus games with a leg injury ... senior Dan Leatherman missed the game with a leg injury ... sophomore Jeff Felker took Leatherman's place at first base (where Felker played for most of '97) while Perconte played in right field Saturday ... Shilliday's nine K's moved him past Don Wolfe (149, 1956-58) into 10th on the Notre Dame career strikeout list, with 153.

SOUTHWEST TEXAS (9-8)    1-3-0  0-4-1  0-0-0  --  9  10  2
NOTRE DAME (6-7)         0-0-2  1-0-0  0-1-0  --  4  8   3
Fikac and Villarreal. Shilliday, McKeown (5), Stavisky (7), Carlin (9) and Wagner. WP - Fikac (2-3). LP - Shilliday (2-2).

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