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Notre Dame Baseball

RHP Ryan McLinskey Grad Transferring to Notre Dame

June 20, 2021
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Notre Dame baseball is fresh off a Super Regional appearance and the Irish have landed a veteran piece to the pitching puzzle for the 2022 season. 

RHP Ryan McLinskey will grad transfer from Seton Hall, where he pitched the last four seasons, including an impressive 2021 campaign. 

McLinskey started 12 games in 2021 and held a 4-1 record with an ERA of 2.81 in 57.2 innings to go with 66 strikeouts. 

"I enjoyed my time at Seton Hall," McLinskey told ISD. "I made some of my best friends there, but I was kind of looking for the opportunity to go play on a national scale and play in a regional. 

"Notre Dame gave me that option, especially with the year they had this year. It was really what I was looking for." 

The New Jersey had success at Seton Hall, but McLinskey also wants to show he can do it in the ACC. 

"The big thing for me was to prove to guys I'm not just a Big East or Northeast pitcher," stated McLinskey. "I want to prove that I can go out and beat anybody on a national scale. Notre Dame fits that bill. 

"Growing up, I went to a Catholic school at Don Bosco and Seton Hall is also Catholic, so I think that was also important as well." 

The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder entered the Transfer Portal in early June and the decision was almost a no-brainer. 

"The background speaks for itself," explained McLinskey. "Notre Dame is Notre Dame. When I got the call from them - it wasn't eye-opening, but it was to the point I couldn't turn it down. It's Notre Dame and the school of my dreams. To be able to go there for a year and hopefully play a big part and get us to the College World Series - it'd be huge." 

Notre Dame pitching coach Chuck Ristano reached out to McLinskey and then Rich Wallace, followed by head coach Link Jarrett. 

Those conversations were key as McLinskey felt it was essential to get to know the staff before making the decision.

"At first, I spoke with Ristano," McLinskey said. "He's a New York guy and had seen me in high school. I also spoke with Coach Wallace and had a pretty good talk with Coach Jarrett to get the lay of the land. The whole decision came quick. It was within the span of a week, so I wanted to get to know all the coaches."

Jarrett's straightforward approach sold McLinskey on the Irish as he didn't need to hear false promises at this point in his career. 

"The big thing for me was that he was honest," McLinskey explained. "I wasn't looking for a guy that was going to BS me. He wanted me to come in and be a guy that could contribute. 

"They were looking for a grad transfer to contribute right away and help Notre Dame take the next step forward. I think Notre Dame as a baseball program shocked some people this year, but I think that's what they were expecting. I think next year, we'll go out and hopefully do even more." 

McLinskey played against Notre Dame catcher David LaManna and RHP Dom Cancellieri in high school, but he found the success of LHP John Michael Bertrand comforting.

Bertrand used a grad transfer last year from Furman and found immediate success, which McLinskey hopes to do next spring. 

"I saw him towards the end of the season," said McLinskey. "I saw he had great numbers this year, but I don't know the full background. It's definitely uplifting to hear about a grad transfer that can go in there and play that type of role right away." 

As for a role, McLinskey will enter the program with an open mind. He's been used in every type of role during his career, including a weekend starter the last two years at Seton Hall. 

"I was closer in high school and kind of got used to that relief role," McLinskey explained. "My first few years at Seton Hall, I was a back-end closer and then I took over as a starter throwing on Friday. 

"It doesn't really matter. I just want to throw in those big innings. I want to go that guy that's out there in big situations, whether that's a starter or coming out of the pen in the 3rd inning or the 8th inning."

McLinskey will be using some blind faith as he has yet to step foot on campus, but the good is news is the rest of his family has been to Notre Dame.

"I haven't visited yet," laughed McLinskey. "I'm still playing some summer ball in New Jersey, so I'm hoping to get down there within the next month or so. I think everything speaks for itself over there. 

"My family has been over there. I come from a big hockey family, so my brother is going to Quinnipiac for hockey next year and he's actually played at Notre Dame. My whole family has been at the campus. I'm just the only one that hasn't been there." 

Notre Dame fans can also expect an intense and tough competitor when they see McLinskey take the mound next spring. 

"I'm a four-seam fastball guy with a pretty good slider and changeup," said McLinskey. "I mix in some curveballs here and there. The big thing for me is I grew up playing hockey and baseball, so I think it's important to take that mentality on the mound of that toughness and pitching with an edge and emotion. 

"I think that's super important. There's a level where you're not taking it too far where you're cursing at guys, but you're pitching with some pride and energy. I think that edge helps me to have success." 

 
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