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Notre Dame Baseball

Notre Dame Notebook | Post-Texas A&M

June 21, 2022
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Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett, Brooks Coetzee III and Jared Miller spoke following the 5-1 loss to Texas A&M in the College World Series. 

Link Jarrett 
On the loss:
LJ: 
Well, if there's a place you want to end it, it's obviously here. How we ended it was tough. That hurts. That wasn't indicative of how our team plays. But we just gave them so many opportunities to capitalize. And they did.

I don't know the statistic. You guys may know it. But the percentage of games are decided when one team scores more in one inning than the other team scores in the entire game. It's a statistical fact that that's how a lot of the games are decided.

So we tried to pride ourselves on the pitch execution and the defense. And today those things got us a little bit. And their three was more than our one in the third. And we just -- the fly ball obviously hurt. I think Jared called that ball early and kept after it. And I think Spencer backed off and didn't take charge.

That obviously hurts. And when you give them opportunities like that -- it's a good team; they're going to capitalize.

I thought Dettmer did a fantastic job. These guys can probably give you a little more insight at this moment than myself. He had four pitches in play. His fastball had good movement. We never could square it up. We tried some adjustments in the box. Clearly not enough to figure it out.

Started off okay. Like Cole's on and part of the thing today for us was we were going to try to get the third baseman and pitcher involved in the short game. We put a bunt down, but not enough. I guess the thought on the obstruction was was that guy impeding Myers' true lane to run. And I guess they felt "no."

Liam was good. I've talked about Liam and I think he struck out the side in the first inning. So there are flashes of exceptional stuff. I don't know if the scoreboard gun was accurate, but I would venture to say that was 95 to 98. And the slider. And it was good. That was fine.

And then I guess the walk and the balk and then the third inning got away from us a little bit. And I think our guys understandably -- I've been in this position as a player -- you're trying so hard to keep this thing from getting away that I think you almost, you're trying to do a little bit too much.

When you're in an elimination game, I think that sometimes is a hard mechanism to step back from and just kind of settle and play. I didn't feel like we ever got into any real rhythm.

Had some chances. We started to threaten and the double play late hurt. It was tough. It's a tough way to end. But we're here. And if there is a space in this game to end your college season, this is clearly the spot. And it's a tough pill to swallow at the moment. But these guys will reflect on this eventually as a very positive experience.

Although it feels unlike that at the moment because we clearly didn't play a well-rounded game.


On how to keep momentum in the program:
LJ:
Well, the way they feel right now gives you momentum the moment you regroup and start preparing for next year. Like they've won four championships in two years. It's tough. And it's tough last year to see it end as a regular season ACC champion and a Regional champion to have -- you were that close. That experience probably familiarized us what it was like in the Super Regional, and what you had to do to win it.

So that hunger and the understanding of how critical every play is -- and they're not always plays that you script, but how critical the execution on some things that come up that are rare at times, some of the cut-offs and funky things that happen in the game. It's hard if you're in the right spot and prepare.

So the lessons stand out more here. It stood out last year. We were capable of winning it last night. We didn't. Were we capable of winning it this year? Not the way we played the last two ballgames, but the first game, 100 percent. That was trending in the right direction.

So I do think the bitterness of some misfiring in this setting makes every practice and training session a little bit more significant because you remember some of the things that held you back and cost you.

Now, this event does require a little bit of customization of what this is really like when you have a full day off, when you have the day Thursday, with all that goes into it, to walk out Friday, to feel that, it helps.

So you build off of this from the disgust you feel right now and then the knowledge of what it takes to feel how this should work and what the days are like and how the games feel in this stadium.

So you learn from the negatives and then you just try to process obviously some of the good things you did. But to take in what this series feels like, until you've done it, you can't teach it, explain it, fake it, show video of it. You can't. Now they've done that. So, are we more prepared the next time this group comes back? Yes.

Is it easy to win when we play the way we did? No. And they now know all of that. It's just a tough lesson in this setting to taste it like that.


On his name being tied to coaching jobs and where Notre Dame can improve as a program:
LJ: 
I've been dealing with that for a while. And my mind has not gone to that place, and I'm not going there with it right now.

There's things I told our coaches after the first two games, write down everything you felt and sensed that helped us win and hurt us.

Somebody asked me in a press conference a while back, like how do you get to build what you build. Well, it starts with some of the things that you know it takes to win here -- command of an above-average secondary pitch. I think all of the arms in it -- and Bertrand, when he was good, yes. And Findlay is rolling some things in there.

But you look at all the facets of program building from evaluation of what you're looking for in players to how you recruit that type of player and get them to your campus, A, and get them through the draft, B. And then the things within the game that come up that you continue to try to adjust and hammer home.

I never thought I was coach of the year. I have the guys of the year. I mean, these kids have been on 13 road trips, and you've followed it. What they've done is very tough. They earned that. That's not me.

But to continue to escalate the caliber of arm we run out there, to surround them with the type of defense that we did play this year -- we didn't play it in a couple of innings today. But there was some athleticism around those arms and that always helps. Gotta get left-handed bats in the lineup. The balance.

I told you after Sunday that string of righties, it's pretty easy to pitch to six of the same type of guy in a row. And we're probably, in who we've played, I think we're one of the few that has that string. And I knew it was tricky out of the gate. And I tried to get some of those younger guys and Juaire in the equation.

And eventually we had to go with what we had. And I think we were too easy to pitch to and that's why. When you have above-average secondary pitches and some of the right-handers had multiple of them going, when you have six righties in a row, it's hard to string good at-bats together.

I told our assistants, write down everything you saw, felt, think it takes to get over the hump. This is when you really start to build your tactics on how to run things. So I'm doing it right now.


On facilities:
LJ:
 I talk to J.T. every once in a while and he's like, Dad, I think sometimes you put more thought in the facility than maybe the players.

I said, J.T., I think you're right. I just want our players to have the best, number one, to grow their craft and skills. This is going to be a profession for these guys. I always focus on player development stuff first. We've done some modifications.

Then you look at to have the ability to host. So maybe you're giving yourself a better chance to play some of the series on campus. I don't know if that came into the equation this year or not. Maybe it did. The financial piece, when you hold a lot of people, it adds up. Was that part of it this year? I don't know. And Jack and I have talked about it and trying to maybe expand a little bit, because now you are in the discussion for those sort of things.

And in fairness to them, that's kind of the second part of always what I look at is how can we make them better players. Now, is there anything we need to do to just increase the capacity?

You've seen our place. It's a little tricky how you would do it. So the indoor stuff is fine. Loftus is good. And our cages are good, and the bullpen is great, new turf is great.

And the stadium was built in '94, '95. So it's at one time it was probably one of the best, if not the best, in the Midwest, rivaling different ones in the country. As time goes on, people continue to build.

And Jack and I have talked about it. I hope that's something that we can get to, and I think it gives them maybe a better chance to play at home at the end of the year.


On challenges of facing a patient Texas A&M lineup:
LJ:
We're going into the game with Liam, who we know strike throwing is not necessarily his forte.

So that factored in a little bit. But they do -- and I don't know them well enough. At some point I'll grab Schloss and say, explain it to me. But they don't seem to jump on things until maybe runners are in scoring position, then they get a little more aggressive. Where we were a little bit reckless but they weren't recognizing the slider. It looks reckless. If you knew what it was, A, you wouldn't swing at it or, B, you'd probably square it up.

So they did a good job early. Whether it's, like, simply taking -- that's one way to do it. If you're just I'm taking or somebody is telling those guys to take, it clearly works. Their offense is built off of that. They walk a lot. They create that.

The way they deepen the starter's pitch count, and eventually the weakness of most of us is somewhere in the middle of that game and they capitalize on it. And you could see the personality of the team we knew coming in. We had it scripted out on the report, exactly how they do it. Very patient, different. May adjust a little bit with runners on second and third.

And they did it. So they played their game. And they do a good job. And they can do enough damage with some of their more physical guys that, if you give them a few freebies eventually one of those -- I don't think it was a big deal in this game -- but they've hit some balls over the fence this season a lot. So that combination is why they're here. They do a good job with it.


On how he focused on the team despite the outside distractions from Clemson and Florida State:
LJ:
Yeah, the constant questions on it, whether it was Clemson or FSU, whatever, trying to completely keep my routine and my focus and leave the other people and the other questions that I get as far out of this as I can.

When we were in Knoxville whatever day that was, Friday, they made that maneuver, the focus to try to redirect because you're getting question after question on it.

And I'm sitting there with these guys that are the best. These guys are the best. They're unique species of student-athlete.

You can forget that out there, I mean that's why we're here. But remove the baseball part. These are exceptional guys. Like, these are global leaders that are in the making, in the world of finance and whatever field they will be in, that's where they will end up. To have that group of guys, my focus was on them and not the other stuff.

And you know what, I had to deal with it last year. When your program's doing the right thing, you're going to have those distractions whether it's baseball, basketball, football. And I tried with all I had not to go there in my mind. And it was difficult. But I wanted to know, when this thing either ended with a trophy or not, that they were the focus of what I was doing. And they're just phenomenal. Like, they're phenomenal human beings.


Brooks Coetzee and Jared Miller 
On Texas A&M pitcher Nathan Dettmer:
BC:
He mixed well. His pitches had depth. He had the sinker going. He had the fastball's run going. Had the change-up going. Like it was nothing was going straight.

And he was pitching everybody differently. Didn't fall into tendencies. My first AB was different than my second AB. You just tip the cap.

JM: I just think he just relentlessly attacked the zone, and we never really got into a rhythm. Coach mentioned we wanted to get into the bunt game. That never really happened. He was sharp tonight. So you tip a cap.


On not being able to find a rhythm the last two games:
JM:
That's just a tough question. I don't know. I think we were ready to play. We knew where we were and our backs were against the wall. I think we gave it everything we got. It just wasn't in the cards today.

BC: We emptied the tank. It was not for lack of effort. Not for a lack of wanting to be here. Just didn't fall our way today.


On the future of Notre Dame baseball and progress of the program:
BC:
Future for Notre Dame baseball is bright. We're one of the best teams in the history, our group. And it didn't reflect that today. Not the outcome we were looking for. But the stuff we were able to do, the group of guys we had, everything was special.

JM: I wish we could run that same group of guys back on the field again and give it another shot. But we've come a long way and it's been a fun ride. I'm sure I'll reflect back on it once I process this. But I wouldn't rather be on the field with anyone else.


On Dettmer’s two-seamer and pitch movement:
JM:
I mean, it's nothing we haven't seen before. But he was pretty sharp tonight. I think maybe we got a little aggressive and just really wanted to do some damage and didn't really let the game come to us. But he was attacking the zone. And he was pretty sharp. And he was putting that pitch right where he wanted to. So you tip a cap.

BC: He kept all those pitches moving away from you out of the middle of the plate -- fastball, two-seamer in, away from the middle of the plate. Again, like I said, tip your cap. He was sharp tonight.


On processing the moment:
JM:
No, I mean, we came in here to win the whole thing. This whole platform was special. We acknowledge that we ran through some tough teams. And maybe the outside didn't really give us a chance. But we wanted to win the whole thing. So it's tough right now.

BC: It's hard to really reflect in the moment because for some of these guys their career is over. And it's just one of those feelings you can't really describe. You don't really care what happened in the past. Just really an emotional time right now.

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Notre Dame Notebook | Post-Texas A&M

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