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Notre Dame Baseball

Link Jarrett Notebook | UConn Win

June 5, 2021
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Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett spoke following the 26-3 win over UConn to advance to the regional final. 

On setting the tone offensively in the first inning:
"Our guys were locked in and they laid off some tough pitches. The hit by pitch and did (Ryan) Cole walk? I don't know if I can remember the recount the inning. The guy on the mound is good and that's a good team. That's a very good starting pitcher. You look at the numbers and it's good. 

"Our guys have seen good pitchers. The focus and ability to manage the at-bat and lay off some tough pitches is really kind of what got it going. 

"(Jared) Miller was going to base hit bunt and took it for ball one. We turned him loose and he smoked it. 

"(Carter) Putz hit the ball hard to the third basemen and it was good to see some positive things happen. You now have that chance for your big guy to deliver. 

"It got to two strikes and he hung in there and he crushed that. We all have seen the capabilities he has and that blow if you look back and you could say it won the game. It changed how the early part of the game was played on our game."


On LHP Will Mercer:
"Will could pitch to contact. He was great. There were balls that found their way through, but when you feel like he's on the ground with it, he's been effective. Sometimes when he's up a little bit and the ball is in the air, it's not as good. 

"Today, ground balls, defense played well. He was in command. He was running fastballs up there pretty good today. He was good and maybe as good as I've seen him. He was in total control with what he was doing. 

"He got his longest start for us. There's not a better time for it. We told you guys initially he might throw out of the bullpen, but when he wasn't bouncing back, we started stretching him out. We stretched him today and he was fine. Great stuff." 


On new home run celebration by the team:
"I don't really know what they're doing and it's just one of those things that organically developed. I think they're good. I don't think it's over the top. We've sat through far worse than that on the other side. 

"They're engaged and they like to compete. The enthusiasm and energy that's created in this setting was good. They're having fun." 


On message to the team postgame:
"It's one of the most exceptional offensive games I've seen. The extra-base hits, the baserunning, Cole had a base hit bunt and Brannigan almost had one. Just an exceptional game and they know it. They know how important it is to put us in position.

"The tournament is built to give you rest when you win. You get to recover and get a couple treatments in. We'll sort out the pitching. The bullpen is in nice shape at this point of the tournament. I'm just proud of them to deliver like that in the first two games. The stadium is packed and these guys were hungry for it. The focus was as good as I've seen. It really was. 

“We're in the driver's seat and that's what happens when you set it up and you win." 


On keeping Niko Kavadas in the 6-hole: 
"Probably. If I'm sitting here right now, I think I would lean that way. Our lineup is deep and when he's down there, I think everybody is aware of his presence. It allows the top three guys that all run to all be bunched up together. I think it creates another dimension in that top third. 

"How we use him is different than the other guys on the team offensively. It gives you another left-handed bat in the middle. It has a good rhythm to it." 


On setting the postseason record for runs in a game:
"Electric. It was fun. It was great. There were a lot of guys that contributed. I can't say enough about the offensive game. It's hard to summarize that type of performance. I know the wind was pushing a little bit and I'm still learning the stadium. It makes up for some of those days in mid to late March if that wind is the other way and it's a different game. That's why we lean so much on the pitching, running, bunting because sometimes the conditions might not allow it. 

"It was awesome. I'm very proud of the effort and the execution." 


On his team already being focused on Sunday:
"These guys play one game at a time. We talk about that before every game and we also talk about it after the game. The scoreboard is going to say 0-0 and they know that. You have to now process whether it's UConn or Central Michigan and how you can find a way to beat that team. 

"They've embraced that thought. I think a lot of teams would try to say they do, but you can watch our guys and how they handle different ball games. They really embrace what it takes to try to figure out the game that's next on the docket." 


On starting pitcher on Sunday:
"I don't know. Aidan (Tyrell) has had some good starts. (Alex) Rao has had some time where he's good. Chuck (Ristano) and I will break it down in a few minutes. I don't know. 

"Regardless of who goes out there, the ability to right, left, right, left - mix and match is the whole key. If I knew, I'd tell you guys, but I don't." 

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Link Jarrett Notebook | UConn Win

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