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Jarrett, Notre Dame will seek Regional hosting

April 6, 2021
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Notre Dame's unprecedented start to its baseball season is bringing with it some rather precocious dreams.

Less than 24 hours after maintaining its unblemished mark in Atlantic Coast Conference series with an 11-5 win at Pitt that gave the Fighting Irish two wins in three games, Notre Dame and skipper Link Jarrett revealed Tuesday the program's intention to bid for the right to host an NCAA Regional Tournament.

Regionals begin June 4. The NCAA is expected to go to pre-selected host sites and bids must be submitted within the next week.

“Oh, yeah, we're going to submit now, the timeline of it, I think everybody that's in the conversation is going to submit a bid to host now,” Jarrett said. “They don't determine those sites for a month or so (mid-May).

“So you've got a lot of plow-way left ahead of you before you're determined to (be awarded the chance to be a regional) host. But it's probably been a while since this has been an option here. And I'm excited.”

That Notre Dame, consensus top-15 in the various college baseball rankings and No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, is legitimately in the conversation as a potential host is perhaps the most stunning development through the midpoint of the college baseball season.

The Fighting Irish were picked last in the ACC; instead, they have won 12 of 17 games in league play and posted an 6-0-1 mark in their last seven conference series.

Jarrett isn't shying away from the hosting discussion.

“It's again, it's a measuring stick for our guys to realize what they've been able to accomplish with a very tough schedule,” said Jarrett, whose squad has played four of its first six ACC sets on the road. “So, you know, I'm proud of them for that … those are things that we'll continue to discuss (Tuesday) afternoon and throughout the week to make sure what we're presenting is logical for everybody involved. But man, to be in the discussion is pretty special. And you know, I'm very proud of what we've been able to do.”

Through his truncated debuted season of 2020 and the first half of this campaign, Jarrett has compiled a 24-7 ledger, including a 15-5 mark in ACC play.

MISSING MILLER

Jared Miller has been one of the Irish's most consistent performers this season, steady in the field and at the plate.

But Notre Dame's primary second baseman is dealing with an undisclosed “upper-body” issue that has kept Miller out of the lineup.

“We'll do more (Tuesday night to determine) what his status is going to be,” Jarrett said. “But you know, he wasn't comfortable, upper-body stuff, to play. It's not COVID stuff. But it was something that didn't allow him to function as he normally would.”

Miller played the opening game at Pittsburg but was limited to reserve duty the remainder of the series. Kyle Hess filled in admirably in starts Saturday and Sunday in Miller's absence.

“He's earned that spot through hard work,” Jarrett said. “... We have a couple other infielders that are able to play if Jared continues to be out so, but you know, happy has went in there, got a couple of hits and turned a nice double play. You know, every at-bat is a learning experience for him. But the guys worked really hard, and I'm proud he got in there.”

TIME SHIFT

Notre Dame's opener Friday against visiting Georgia Tech inside Eck Stadium is set for 5 p.m., and it's a starting slot that Jarrett wants to make the norm.

In pushing back the start to 5 rather than 4, Jarrett explained, the Irish can have a team meal and also go through their regular pre-game home routine.

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Jarrett, Notre Dame will seek Regional hosting

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