March 24, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Notre Dame junior first baseman Evan Sharpley was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Monday after his offensive explosion this past weekend against Georgetown. Sharpley is the first Irish player to earn player of the week honors since Craig Cooper (2006 BIG EAST Player of the Year) took home the honor on April 23, 2006. Sophomore right-handed hurler Eric Maust was also recognized on the BIG EAST honor roll.
Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) carried Notre Dame offensively to a sweep over Georgetown. The sweep was the first for the Irish since 2006 and Notre Dame outscored the Hoyas, 38-2, over the weekend (which is the largest margin of victory for the Irish in a BIG EAST series in school history).
Sharpley started the first and third games of the series (added a pinch hit appearance in the second game) and batted .545 (6-for-11) with three home runs and nine RBI. He registered a pair of three-hit games. In the opener, Sharpley went 3-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs scored and six RBI in the 25-1 rout. The six RBI is the second most in Notre Dame single-game history. It was the most RBI for an Irish player since A.J. Pollock also drove in six on April 21, 2007 against West Virginia. Sharpley then closed the weekend and sealed the sweep with another 3-for-5 performance, including a pair of home runs and three RBI, as Notre Dame shutout the Hoyas, 6-0.
For the weekend, Sharpley posted an absurd 1.455 slugging percentage and .545 on-base percentage. He is the first Irish player to smack three or more home runs in a BIG EAST series since Cooper had three in a series against Rutgers in 2006. The nine RBI for the weekend is also the most for a Notre Dame player since Cooper had nine that same weekend against the Scarlet Knights. He either leads the Irish or is tied for the team-lead in batting (.439), doubles (6), home runs (5), RBI (17) and slugging (.951).
Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) was one of three pitchers named to the BIG EAST honor roll. He tossed 8.0 shutout innings and limited the Hoyas to just four hits, three of which were singles, and improved to 1-0 on the year. Maust fanned five and walked just a pair. He worked around three hits over the first three innings, inducing double plays in each frame. Maust would allow just one hit over his final five innings of work. He is the first Irish pitcher since David Phelps (March 23, 2007) to work at least 8.0 shutout innings. Maust lowered his season earned-run average to a team-best 1.93. Since entering the weekend rotation (span of two starts), he has posted a 1-0 mark with a 1.29 ERA in 14.0 innings of work. Maust has struckout 10 and walked two.
The Irish will return to action this week at Frank Eck Stadium with a pair of non-conference tilts against Ball State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. First-pitch for both contests is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.