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Notre Dame Baseball

Series business: Notre Dame continues ACC run, snags BC series

May 1, 2022
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For the five years prior to Link Jarrett’s arrival at Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish baseball program won a grand total of 21 Atlantic Coast Conference series.

Sunday, courtesy a 16-run, 17-hit outburst, Jarrett’s Notre Dame program claimed its 14th series win in the past two seasons with a 16-10 win against visiting Boston College.

Jared Miller smashed a pivotal grand slam, the Irish’s second in as many days, and Jack Brannigan worked the final three innings for his second save.

“You have to start having the mindset of winning a three-game series,” Jarrett said. “This thing is built, that you have to win that if you want to end up where you want to end up. Your resume is being built every time you walk on the field, from the opening day when we played Stetson to today.

“The magnitude of this if you want to have a chance to really play in the postseason or position yourself to do things in the postseason, they’ve learned.”

HIT PARADE

The No. 12 Irish (28-10, 13-8 ACC) smashed the Eagles (17-28, 4-20) the tune of 44 hits in the three-game set, 15 more than their visitors.

Brannigan had eight hits across the weekend, Cole had five – including a crucial inside-the-park home run and the Irish answered every challenge from the Eagles across the Saturday and Sunday tilts – and he also swiped five bases.

“Well, you love coaching players like that because you could ask him to do, really, anything in the playbook,” Jarrett said of Cole. “You need him to bunt, he can. He uses the field, he’s got sneaky power. He can run the bases, and he can steal bases. Some people can run the bases but aren’t gifted with the ability to steal bases; he can do it. And the stuff we can work on, like we work really hard on this stuff, he takes it out there and he does work on it. It’s not forced.

“He’s a really complete player, the package of skills is complete. I love guys like that at the college level.”

MORE ON MCLINSKEY

Irish right-hander Ryan McLinskey, as Irish Sports Daily first reported Friday, is done for the season with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Jarrett said that McLinskey could potentially receive an additional year of eligibility, though timing does not favor the Seton Hall transfer.

Rehab for the elbow injury usually takes almost an entire calendar year, so McLinksey might only be able to help for 4-6 weeks in 2023. Still, it’s a situation worth monitoring for the Irish and Jarrett, who emphasized his appreciation for McLinskey and was emotional about his injury.

STAYING HOME

The Irish were first going to host William & Mary, and then they were going to make a road trip.

Now, Jarrett’s squad will bide its time at home this week.

“It’s a tough thing. Our bye week was William & Mary here, and they got to a point where they were not able to make the trip,” Jarrett said. “We were trying to help them financially, but I think they had some equity issues with how many teams actually travel on each side, male-female teams, and it got to a point where they couldn’t come. And when you’re at this point in the season, May, most people are playing. Not all leagues stop for exams. I didn’t have an option of anybody else to come here.

“Our guys are in exams all week. Never would I have ever tried to take these guys somewhere that far to play while exams are, we have guys who have exams Thursday night. We were trying to take two different groups down there, and we had to fly into Washington, D.C., which created about a three-hour bus ride to Williamsburg, Virginia. The bus ride to O’Hare and the flight to Washington and the bus ride there … it got to where the logistics seemed insurmountable to try to go play three games. We hated to take games away from the guys, but we’ve been through some trips that will absolutely crush you. I didn’t think it was fair to the team and individuals and the program to make that overly difficult trip. Quite frankly I’m not sure we can even practice this week. I haven’t been through normal exams at Notre Dame; this is going to be my first run.

Notre Dame already has had players who weren’t on hand during parts of this weekend’s series against Boston College.  

“Our guys had exams on Friday; we had guys not at the game taking exams,” Jarrett said. “Some of them were injured, but there aren’t many teams that are doing that.”

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