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Notre Dame Baseball

Link Jarrett Notebook | Super Regional: Game Two Win

June 13, 2021

Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett spoke following the 9-1 win over Mississippi State in the Starkville Regional. 

On message to the team last night:
"You can learn from the mistakes and you can be mad. And come out and be mad. Everyone was mad. I was mad. It was a miserable day. We had a chance to win the game last night - be mad. Come play mad and angry. You're not going to shake it off, so don't try to shake it off. Learn from it. Process it and let that frustration try to focus you because it was going to be another dog fight, which it was. 

"I know we separated a little bit, but 8-1 or 9-1 doesn't feel safe against this team. Sometimes we rebounded and played angry, but still in control. That's what we told them." 

On message to P Aidan Tyrell before the game:
"AT, I didn't have a heart-to-heart with him. He pitched a complete game last week and turned five double plays. We just needed him to be the cool, calm and collected Aidan Tyrell. That's what he was.

"The first pitch of the game was center-cut. He just told me it was right down the middle and up. Rowdey (Jordan) throttled it. After that, he mixed and had a couple innings where he struck out five guys out of six maybe. 

"The slider was down and good. He mixed in his changeup and controlled the running game. 

"If you've never seen our team play, that was us playing a good game." 

On the team being able to play mad, but under control:
"I don't know when you dig that deep into it. I don't know if it's the taste of seeing things go well and as soon as somethings not right, it's frustrating. If I had to bet $100 on it, that's what it would be on. 

"I think they like to see success and the game played the right way. Part of the reason our defense has been like it was today, they value and grind not to let ground balls through the infield or line drives land in the outfield. 

"They've tasted success and unsuccessful baseball makes them upset. They seem to harness that and move forward and apply some of that focus to the next task." 

On moving SS Zack Prajzner up three spots in the batting order:
"He handled left-handed pitching fairly well. (Scott) Wingo and I like to kick it around. Wingo felt like it was the right batting order. This time of the year, somebody can get a little hot. It's good to get him involved. 

"Prajzner got off to a tough start. If you took out the first 10-12 games, he'd be hitting with anyone in the country. It's good to get him up there hot. We just shuffled it around a little bit with the big lefty on the mound. 

"The ol' check swing in the bottom of the first was a critical moment. Just putting the ball in play with two strikes and forcing them to handle it - hitting hard ground balls.

"You heard him yesterday. That was tough for him to come in here and handle himself the way he did after the defensive game he had to endure. These are tough kids. He's one of many tough ones that we have.

"Those double plays that we turned - impressive.”

On pitching rotation for game three:
"It lines up for (Will) Mercer to start. We've been so creative with our pitching. That's probably what we'll do. Chuck (Ristano) and I will talk about it. If I had to start the game right now, it would be Mercer. He's started a lot of games for us.

"I think we're OK in the pen. We're not in great shape, but we'll manage it and piece it together. We'll try to go lefty-righty-lefty and maybe (Tanner) Kohlhepp is back and our third baseman has pretty good stuff. We'll figure it out.”

On the 'Let's go Irish' chant breaking out in the stands:
"They're hungry for it. The fans, parents, people are hungry to see us play on this stage and play the way we played today on this stage. 

"It was great. I actually heard it and then I heard 13,000 cowbells try to stifle it out. It was a fun combination. I can't say enough about the grit of our players." 

On 2B Jared Miller's diving play and momentum it provided:
"Phenomenal play. He's done that in both directions. There was a flurry where they hit a couple balls of Aidan's glove and one of those may have come just before the line drive. 

"Jared is a great instinctive player. He gets great jumps and reads. That was a big play. That ball - you're probably 1st and 3rd if that ball gets through there. That was huge. 

"You could sense it. They were starting to barrel some balls and I think we might have got (Alex) Rao hot. That play snuffed it out, to be honest. Huge play." 

On his son JT Jarrett and NC State upsetting No. 1 Arkansas to make the College World Series:
"My wife is up there in the top row in section 209 crying. He was on second base at one point and they flashed the game on the scoreboard. I think it was a 2-2 game. It's the first time in my career I actually looked at the scoreboard to see what was happening. We were up 8-1. 

"To think you're coaching a game of this magnitude and your son was involved in the winner-take-all game. You can't draw this up. It's fairy tale stuff. 

"My wife said she was coming to my game because if they win, I'm going to Omaha and if they lose, I don't want to be there anyway. She was here. That was her decision. All the days of baseball and helping JT in the offseasons - he's in a great program. Those guys at NC State really coach the kids well and hard and take care of them and develop the complete kid. I'm proud of the program. They're a good team and they got off to a 1-8 start in ACC play. 

"When we played them, I told them and my son they were a really good team. Everyone knew it and they've caught fire. To think I sat here in this stadium with that many people, fighting with what was going through my mind, was unlike anything I ever imagined could be on my mind during one of these games." 

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