May 19, 2008
CLEARWATER, Fla. -
Sophomores David Mills and A.J. Pollock were each awarded All-BIG EAST first team, while senior Wade Korpi and sophomore Eric Maust earned second team and junior David Phelps took home third team honors at the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament opening ceremonies from Bright House Networks Field Monday night.
Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) finished the regular season with a .365 batting average, 15 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 41 RBI and 27 stolen bases. A two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week selection, Pollock leads the Irish in slugging (.517), hits (76), doubles, total bases (109), sacrifice flies (7) and stolen bases. He was one of three outfielders and four sophomores on the squad.
Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) was one of the other three sophomores and earned the designated hitter position. He is batting .365 with two doubles, six triples, two home runs and 26 RBI. Mills is a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen bases. He also set new single-season school records in both sacrifice bunts (18) and total sacrifices (22). Mills ranks third in hitting (.407) in conference games only.
The weekend trio of Phelps (Hazelwood, Mo.), Korpi (Lake Worth, Fla.) and Maust (Alpharetta, Ga.) started each of the first 25 league games for Notre Dame (freshman Cole Johnson started the regular season finale).
Phelps, a first team choice in 2007, went 5-4 with a 3.71 earned run average in 13 starts. He tossed 87.1 innings and allowed 92 hits along with 72 strikeouts. Phelps has worked at least five innings in 12 of this 13 starts this season and pitched into the seventh inning on seven different occasions. After two consecutive poor outings (against St. John's and UConn), Phelps has rebounded with two straight dynamite performances. He has allowed just two earned runs in 14.0 innings. Phelps has fanned 12 and walked five over the stretch.
Korpi, the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament MVP, returned to the form that saw the southpaw finish 2006 with a 7-2 record and 2.00 ERA. He stands 6-3 on the season with a 3.59 ERA in 77.2 innings of work. Korpi was even better in BIG EAST games. The senior went 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA in nine starts. Korpi fanned 41 and surrendered 52 hits in 54.1 innings of work as opponents hit just .250 against him.
Maust simply might have been the most consistent Notre Dame starting pitcher in 2008. The right-handed hurler moved into the starting rotation on March 16 and did not miss a beat. Maust has pitched at least six innings in seven of his nine starts, including a span of five consecutive outings of at least seven innings. He is now 6-2 on the season with a 3.86 ERA. Maust has struck out 43 and walked just 20 in 65.1 innings of work. He, like Korpi, excelled in BIG EAST games. Maust was 6-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven league outings. He yielded only 39 hits in 48.1 innings of work - good for an opponents' batting average of .223.
The Irish return to action Tuesday evening with their first game from the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament. Notre Dame, the third-seed, will play the sixth-seed USF at Brighthouse Networks Field at 8:00 p.m. The game can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1490 AM and UND.com.