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Sports

Irish look to bounce back against No. 5 Seminoles 

| Friday, April 1, 2022

After suffering four consecutive conference defeats, No. 13 Notre Dame baseball will look to bounce back this weekend on the road against No. 5 Florida State. It will be Link Jarrett’s first trip to Tallahassee as a head coach, where he was a four-year starter, 1991-94. 

“This will be a super-regional,” Jarrett said of the upcoming weekend. The Seminoles have won each of their three conference series to this point. 

“To go execute and perform and play, you can’t just do it today. You’re going to have to do it Friday, you’re going to have to do it Saturday and you’re going to have to do it Sunday to have a chance to win in these environments,” Jarrett said.

Notre Dame was swept by Louisville on the road two weekends ago and followed that with a loss in their ACC home opener against Virginia Tech, before the rest of the series was canceled due to weather. The Irish bounced back in a big way Tuesday, defeating Northern Illinois 11-2, but the level of competition will certainly be steeper this weekend. 

However, Jarrett said he was pleased by the team’s attitude following the loss to Virginia Tech. “These guys show up to play the game, and that’s what I love about them the most, is they work so hard in all phases of their career here as a student-athlete,” he said. “When it’s time to come play you know you’re going to get their best attention and effort.”

The Irish bullpen has been the culprit more often than not recently. In the previous four defeats, Notre Dame had been leading or tied in the eighth inning in three of those games.

“We’ve got to, with the group as a whole, find ways to get through some of those tough parts of the game and we haven’t done that as well recently,” Jarrett said of the bullpen. 

The starting rotation may look different for the Irish this weekend as well. After being slotted as the Friday starter last weekend, graduate student left-hander John Michael Bertrand will get the nod once again in the opener. Bertrand has been the Irish’s ace so far this season, compiling a 4-0 record to go along with a 2.19 ERA and 39 strikeouts. 

The team has yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s contest and has tabbed graduate transfer pitcher Austin Temple for Sunday’s finale. Temple has been a great addition to the Irish rotation this year after spending four years at Jacksonville. 

Notably, senior pitcher Aidan Tyrell was not listed as a starter for the series. Tyrell had been the game one starter for the first two ACC series but struggled in that role. He came out of the bullpen in the Irish’s loss to Virginia Tech last weekend. 

“Some of the pieces of the pitching staff are the most critical parts of what we’re doing right now,” Jarrett said. “It hasn’t been good in some stretches, and that’s why we haven’t really played as well in the last 10 days.”

The Seminoles pitchers will certainly be a challenge for the Irish. They will start left-handers Parker Messick, Bryce Hubbart and Ross Dunn, all three of whom are limiting opponents to a sub-.200 batting average. However, the Irish have a right-handed heavy lineup, so this could work to their advantage. 

The Seminoles lead the all-time series against the Irish (21-10) and took two of three in South Bend last year. However, the Irish are 8-1 on their in-conference road series since Jarrett took over the program in 2019. 

The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Tallahassee, followed by a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday to conclude the series. All three contests will be televised on ACC Network Extra.

About Liam Coolican

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