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Notre Dame Baseball

No. 7 Notre Dame Hosting Top 25 Clash with No. 21 Florida State

May 7, 2021
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A year ago, Notre Dame never got a home game, let alone a full series inside Eck Stadium.

This weekend, the No. 7 Fighting Irish (24-8, 21-8) host their final Atlantic Coast Conference series of the season when perennial power and No. 21 Florida State visits campus.

Not only are the Irish getting their final league series, they haven't lost a set all year – or in the abbreviated 2020 campaign. It's been almost two full calendar years – May 2019 -- since Notre Dame dropped two or more games to an ACC foe in a single weekend.

That stellar work this season has Notre Dame leading the ACC's Atlantic Division and sporting the conference's top overall record.

The Irish lead both their division and the overall standings by four-plus games after sweeping away North Carolina last weekend as Louisville was being swept by Clemson.

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Game 1 | 6:00 PM ET | ACC Network 
Florida State: LHP Parker Messick: (5-2, 2.45 ERA)

Notre Dame: LHP Will Mercer (1-1, 5.97 ERA) 

Game 2 | 1:00 PM ET | ACC Network 
Florida State: LHP Bryce Hubbart (5-3, 3.44 ERA)

Notre Dame: LHP John Michael Bertrand (5-1, 3.38 ERA)

Game 3 | 1:00 PM ET | ACC Network
Florida State: RHP Conor Grady (4-2, 3.91 ERA) 

Notre Dame: TBD

ANOTHER REUNION OF SORTS

Jarrett is facing off against his alma mater for the first time as a rival coach in the same conference. He was a standout shortstop for the Seminoles in the 1990s.

Testament to Jarrett's journey in college baseball, this is at least the third series with significant personal ties for Jarrett.

He faced off against both his son, J.T., and an N.C. State assistant coach who had played for him earlier this season. It was a similar battle against a former protege in the series at Pittsburgh earlier this season.

“It's been very unique for me this year,” Jarrett said. “This will be the third weekend, Mike Martin Jr. (FSU's coach) and I were teammates and roommates and Mike Bell and I were teammates. We're all very close, you have that inner circle group that you stay very connected with.

“This twist here with Florida State, Mike and I are close friends. We speak very candidly about things that are going on within our programs and within the game.”

Jarrett said any personal connections do nothing to deter the desire to win this weekend or at any other time.

“I spent a lot of time in that uniform as a player, and you give it all you have when you're playing there,” Jarrett said. “And your foundation as a coach, if you're coaching in college, you have a foundation of what you learned when you were starting out as a player in college.”

SCOUTING THE 'NOLES

Offensively, everything revolves around Matheu Nelson. The FSU slugger has belted 20 home runs to pace both his team and college baseball. He's hit at a robust .341 clip, driven in 57 runs and scored 40.

He's the Seminoles' only lineup regular with a batting average above .290. Though Elijah Cabel is hitting just .267, he has ripped 11 home runs, and Robby Martin has nine.

Collectively, FSU has smacked 61 home runs as a team.

On the mound, the Messick-Hubbart-Grady trio are entrenched as FSU's weekend rotation; they've earned 14 of the team's 23 wins. Messick has fanned 91 batters in just 62 innings.

“You have to attack the strike zone and you have to try to make good pitches,” Jarrett said.

“Our guys just have to pitch in the context of how they've pitched and pitch to their strength. We just have to pitch to our strength and try to be intelligent when you get to those situations where some of their guys have historically done their damage.”

JARRETT CONFIRMS SCAFIDI OUT FOR YEAR

Christian Scafidi started the season off strongly for the Irish, going 1-0 in two games with a 1.50 ERA. Jarrett said Scafidi is done for the year with an unspecified ailment.

 
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