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Notre Dame Baseball

Jarrett acknowledges potential for FSU distraction, vows focus on World Series

June 11, 2022

KNOXVILLE -- There was just one element for Link Jarrett to address Friday night more glaring than his Notre Dame squad’s stunning, 8-6 upset of top-ranked and top-seeded Tennessee: the sudden opening atop the baseball program at Jarrett’s alma mater, Florida State.

The Seminoles Friday afternoon fired coach Mike Martin Jr. just days after his squad was bludgeoned out of the Auburn Regional.

Jarrett’s still a record-holder and among the storied FSU program’s most decorated players, a multi-time All-American. He knew the topic at hand.

“I mentioned it today (to his team), ‘I said, I love you guys. We're here to win this. I'm not talking about this coaching stuff. I'm talking about Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee,’” Jarrett said, “and that goes for in here too. There are distractions and that's a unique one.

“I wanted them to know that because it is out there. I love the way these guys play and I'm not talking anymore. I have no idea what's going on down there. That coach was my roommate and a good friend of mine. My focus is 100 percent on this, this team and then trying to find a way to win one of his last two games. That's it.”

Nonetheless, Jarrett is expected to be the top candidate for the Seminoles’ vacancy; additional sources indicated to Irish Sports Daily on Friday that Jarrett also has been a coveted target of Clemson, as well as, per one source, the top choice for the University of Southern Cal.

Jarrett’s Irish (39-14) return to the diamond Saturday at 2 p.m., a win away from Notre Dame’s first College World Series berth in 20 years.


Ryan Cole set the early tone for Notre Dame, lining a sharp single to begin the game, stealing second base and taking third on an errant throw. He scored the game’s first run on Carter Putz’s home run.

But Cole exited the game in the sixth after reaching first base, and Jarrett said it’s a bit unclear if the Irish’s All-ACC outfielder will be available for Game 2.

“I said, ‘Hey man, you just tell me when you think it’s time and we’ll get No. 6 (TJ Williams) out there. I’m fine with that,” Jarrett said. “It just worked where we kind of got that one more at-bat out of them and then we just controlled. I’m trying to nurse and he got up and down the line pretty good. I felt like the defense just let go when we’re winning the game. Let’s put another very capable outfielder out there and, usually, I would put maybe TJ (Williams) in center, but today it worked.

“We’ve been working TJ in left field just to get him a little more comfortable because like (Jack) Findlay, he has never really relieved. Your really good outfielders should play centerfield, so we’re trying to get them acclimated. I don’t know if Cole will figure it out. We’re just kind of a moment to moment.”


For the third time in a week, all of them high-leverage situations in the NCAA Tournament, Jack Findlay was summoned from the Notre Dame bullpen to be the Irish stopper.

And for the third time in as many tries, Findlay delivered; he worked the eighth and ninth innings against the Vols to preserve the 8-6 win and Findlay’s third save.

“Especially over these last three games, that confidence that he has,” said Irish veteran first baseman Carter Putz. “Obviously, they've been pretty emotional games, but just to see the way that he's attacked the hitters and just the feel that he has on the mound, you can tell he's a very confident kid. We're to happy to have him.”

Added third baseman Jack Brannigan, ““I think it's just the poise. No matter what's around him. I think last week, he was in bases-loaded jams in a one-run game multiple times. It looks like he's comfortable. The poise is just

exceptional for a freshman, and he goes out there and executes his pitch as well. It's just really good to see it from a freshman.”

All of Findlay’s three postseason saves have covered more than a simple inning of work; he’s now logged 5.1 innings in the Road to Omaha.

Against the Vols, arguably Findlay’s biggest moment came when he fielded Seth Stephenson’s high chopper off the mound, pivoted and erased the Tennessee lead-off hitter at first base.

“For that guy, as a freshman on the chopper that (Seth) Stephenson hit, to have enough sense to make sure he caught it, turned and drop it over there, is impressive,” Jarrett said. “You just have to feel your way through it and try to know the players as best as you can, and then put them in those roles and right now that has clearly worked for him.

“He's been good. He got the big strikeout, I think with the breaking ball, and may have got another one with the breaking ball. That didn't happen in the regional. It was predominantly fastballs. Chuck (Ristano) called a great game, and Findlay executed.”


Not in 27 days, almost exactly four weeks, had Jared Miller had an in-game at-bat for Notre Dame. The senior second baseman simply homered in his first trip to the plate against the Vols in one of the grandest settings of Miller’s career.

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