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Notre Dame Baseball

Link Jarrett Notebook | UNC Sweep

May 2, 2021

Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett spoke following the Irish sweeping North Carolina this weekend, including the 19-5 win on Sunday afternoon. 

On offense:
"I'm learning this place - this stadium. I've never seen it play like this since I've coached here. There are days that we try to reflect on how hard some balls were hit and there are days that wind isn't going to allow you to do what happened today. 

"You still have to have really good at-bats, pitch selection and that was good all day long. It was the best pregame routine we've ever had. The guys were on it, into it and I can't say enough about all phases of this weekend. 

"We grade contact 1-3 with 3 being a really well-struck ball and there was a lot of that today. Very proud of the at-bats." 

On pitchers Tanner Kohlhepp and Aidan Tyrell:
"He is still learning his craft. He hasn't thrown a number of innings at the college level that a lot of these guys have thrown. I think he's gained tremendous confidence. His first outing of his career at Notre Dame wasn't great, but we talked about how important he was and the stuff he's running up there is going to help us win. 

"He has continued to evolve and I see pitch ability out of pitches that quite frankly in the fall and preseason - his true breaking ball and change-up weren't great, but they're now in play. He's got his fastball and cutter and then you throw in the other two slower secondary pitches. It's tough. He's very athletic, so he handles himself on the mound well and fields his position. 

"He's resilient, but he's honest. When we've pushed it, he's honest with us and that's important. We're trying to use him today at the most critical moment of the game if we had a situation that was a leverage moment. We had him on ready. We obviously got to that and he got us out of that and gave us another inning. 

"Aidan is a very trustworthy person and pitcher. The balance of some of the righties with velocity with some of the lefties that can sink it and run it and use their off-speed stuff - it's a good mix that we have. That is what has made us effective out of the bullpen. There's good variety. 

"Aiden takes the ball and he executes pitches. He fields his position well and knows what he's doing. There's that trust factor and I think the team plays well when those two guys are on the mound." 

On team responding respond almost losing a 10 run lead on Saturday: 
"I think No. 1 it's pretty resilient and they keep pounding the zone and we did a good job of that today. It was probably our best day. And then our defense. You've got guys ranging and making plays all over the place. That helps. 

"The conditions the last couple days, you have to be tough enough to handle it. You also have to be realistic enough that there's going to be some things that happen where balls get over the outfielders head or get over the fence or fall in because the outfielders are having to play so deep with the wind blowing out like that. 

"I just like the focus of the guys pitch by pitch and defensive awareness and thinking on the field is really what the toughness is when you break it down. I think we've been fairly consistent with that through the roller coasters you endure. You have to be, or it will drive you crazy." 

On C David LaManna's big day:
"He's a tough kid. I think part of the toughness of our team is him back there. He plays with energy and communicates well with the pitchers. He's had some huge hits for our team in the time I've been here. I've seen him do some really important things. 

"It hadn't gone his way. He was hitting a lot of ground balls. I actually talked to him before the game about just being a little more stable in his stance and his load and kind of his stride. Sometimes he gets a little drifty. Whether that helped or not, I don't know. It was an impressive, impressive day behind the plate, at the plate - he was the leader of this thing today for us." 

On getting the winning run on Saturday on a two-out strikeout: 
"I think (Zach) Prajzner through a change-up and it almost hit the catcher's knee or shin guard and kicked all the way out there. You could throw a million pitches and probably not ever have that happen again. 

"I have seen it. One time we had a walk-off on a strikeout where he swung through it, got away from the catcher with a runner on second. The second ran and picked it up and tried to throw our guy out at first and it got into right field, so the winning run actually scores on that. Those are two of my favorite strikeouts I've ever seen. 

"Yesterday was huge. We just needed a ball in play or something. It was in a play off of his left knee, which apparently is effective." 

On RF Brooks Coetzee:
"We talked the other day and there was a weekend where I didn't start him a couple games partly due to being a little sore. It bothered him and he said, 'Coach, I'm going to figure it out.' I said, 'You're going to be back in there and there's a chance for somebody else to get a crack out of it.'

"He said, 'I'm trying to do too much and I haven't been myself.'  

"He kind of righted the ship and we work with the guys, but the mentality sometimes is where you need to line it up and I think he has. He's hit balls to all fields for us. He's a good baseball player. 

"I tried to bunt with him a little bit today, which was maybe a mistake on my end. I didn't feel he was seeing the ball off of Gillian last night or today. We tried it." 

On 2B Jared Miller:
"Miller is very smart and one of the smartest baseball players I've coached. He's still a little uncomfortable left-handed, so the poor guy is batting right-handed vs. right-handed pitching, which he hasn't done. He's getting a little bit better at it. This was really his first good, strong weekend offensively since he's been battling an injury. 

"He's going to be very important. You see what it does when you insert an experienced good baseball player in the lineup at any spot, but as you start to lengthen the quality of that lineup, you can do things and score in bunches like we did this weekend." 

On Miller not ever batting right-handed vs. right-handed pitching:
"He had never done it. I switch hit and if you told me to go up there right on right, you've never seen 83 mph sliders breaking that way. It's just unusual. 

"He's got that baseball moxy where I think it's something he can understand. Eventually, he should be able to go over to the left side, but we have to take this thing one step at a time because we need him. He leads us out there on the field and he's just an intelligent baseball player that you like having involved. 

"He was good at the plate. In the first inning, he was really good - the diving play. Prajzner made a really nice play. Miller made a nice play and Spencer (Myers) had several things he had to deal with and that definitely helped. 

"He's talented. Good player." 

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