The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Notre Dame falls 6-2 to Oklahoma in second game of College World Series

| Monday, June 20, 2022

Notre Dame suffered its first loss at the 2022 College World Series Sunday night, falling to Oklahoma 6-2.

In a reverse of what gave the Irish the edge in prior matchups against Texas and Tennessee, Notre Dame’s bats ran cold for the majority of Sunday’s contest against the Sooners. 

Oklahoma struggled early at the plate as well, being held scoreless in the first two innings despite chasing graduate student right-handed pitcher Austin Temple out of the game for the Irish in the second inning. But the Sooners broke through in the third against senior left-handed reliever Aidan Tyrell.

After a single and stolen base put Peyton Graham in scoring position, Tanner Tredaway laced an RBI single to center field to put Oklahoma up a run. Just a few at-bats later Tredaway himself scored to double the Sooners’ advantage. A Wallace Clark RBI single plated him, giving Oklahoma a 2-0 lead.

A Tyrell strikeout limited the third inning tally to just a pair of runs. But the damage was done. The inning was especially frustrating for Notre Dame, since the Tredaway run went down as unearned. The Irish all year and all-tournament have made their defense a strength, all but eliminating needless runs. A passed ball allowed Tredaway to move into scoring position though before Clark’s single. That sloppy error proved to be something Notre Dame couldn’t afford on Sunday.

After a quiet fourth inning by both teams, another uncharacteristically erratic defensive performance by the Irish cost them once again. After a pair of singles put Sooner runners on first and third, a throwing error by senior first baseman Carter Putz on what appeared to be a routine sacrifice bunt allowed both runners to score. Wallace Clark, who seemed certain to be thrown out at first, made it all the way to third in the ensuing chaos. Clark himself would score in the next at-bat as Jackson Nicklaus drove a single to left-center, furthering the Sooner lead.

Putz would redeem himself next inning. He reached base on a single, making graduate student catcher David LaManna’s ensuing home run to left field a bit more meaningful. Putz’s bat was the only one consistently alive on Sunday for Notre Dame. He finished as the lone Irish player to register multiple hits with a 4 for 4 performance.

The Sooners quickly responded to LaManna’s home run in the bottom of the frame. Tanner Tredaway provided his second RBI single of the night, driving in John Spikerman. Oklahoma would not score again after tacking on that insurance run. But it would prove more than enough for the Sooners to close out the game.

Notre Dame showed brief signs of life in their last reps in the ninth inning. Junior third baseman Jack Brannigan and senior outfielder Brooks Coetzee III both reached base to start the frame. But the Sooners immediately turned a double play, quickly nixing any Irish momentum. Notre Dame briefly rekindled hope, as a graduate student center fielder Spencer Myers hit by pitch extended the contest. But despite the top of the order back at the plate, Oklahoma closer Trevin Michael dug in. He struck out graduate student left fielder Ryan Cole to secure the win for the Sooners.

Looking forward, Notre Dame now faces a win-or-go-home matchup with Texas A&M for a chance to get another shot at Oklahoma. The Aggies eliminated Texas from contention in the losers’ bracket, winning 10-2. Having lost to the Sooners themselves in their first game, The Aggies will have their backs up against the wall as well.

The elimination game for the Irish will provide head coach Link Jarrett with a major decision at pitcher. Ace John Michael Bertrand is available for usage. But putting him on the mound against the Aggies would mean if Notre Dame wins Austin Temple would be once again matched up with a Sooners lineup that hit him well Sunday. But saving Bertrand and using Temple, Liam Simon, or another arm against the Aggies runs the risk of never getting to use Bertrand anyway if the Irish lose. 

Notre Dame will face off against Texas A&M on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About J.J. Post

Contact J.J.