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Notre Dame Baseball

Why Top 2022 RHP David Lally Jr. Couldn't Pass on Opportunity at Notre Dame

July 22, 2022

Notre Dame fans might not know about #LallyShoveDay, but it's coming to South Bend soon.

2022 Grand Blanc (Mich.) RHP David Lally Jr. will enroll at Notre Dame after going through the MLB Draft process and his arrival is a significant one for new head coach Steve Stiffler. 

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder had a monster senior season, including taking a 0.00 ERA into the season's final game. 

Lally finished 2022 with a record of 9-1, 0.42 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 50.1 innings on the mound while also batting .430 with seven home runs and 44 RBI. 

The Fighting Irish signee had a decision to make following his senior year. He could enroll in Notre Dame's summer bridge program or go through the MLB Draft process. 

"The biggest thing leading up to it was the fact all the scouts were coming to watch me play and being in contact with them," Lally told ISD. "I knew I would be able to go through the draft process after talking to my advisor." 

Scouts flocked to Grand Blanc Community all spring to see Lally. When Lally took the mound, the backstop was lined with bodies with radar guns, but it didn't phase the Michigan native. 

"I never really got the nerves from it," laughed Lally. "It's normal for me at this point, but it's also cool because there hasn't been a player at Grand Blanc with MLB scouts at their games. It was cool to see how my teammates reacted to it." 

Lally did his research before jumping into the draft process. A significant piece of that was simply educating himself on every option to make the best decision for his future. 

"Throughout the draft process, it was valuing my options, similar to when you're committing to a school, except it's one or the other for the draft," explained Lally. "You're either going to school, or you're getting drafted. You have to value your options, mark yourself at a number and stay true to that." 

The opportunity to go see where he stacked up made too much sense, especially when Lally was one of 118 high school prospects invited to the MLB Draft Combine in San Diego. 

"I learned I could compete at that level," Lally said of the experience. "I pitched very well out there. I like matching myself against other people to see where I compare and how successful I can be." 

The performance led to more interest from MLB clubs, but Lally and his family still had to make a business decision. 

They had to set a number to pass on more development as a player and degree from Notre Dame. 

"The money had to be life-changing," stated Lally. "It's different for me because I'm committed to Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a prestigious university known for academics and the baseball team making the College World Series is unreal, too. 

"My heart has been set on Notre Dame for a while." 

What would it take for Lally to skip playing in the blue and gold?

"My number was $1.5 million," said Lally. "I was offered $1.1, but I denied it." 

How many kids would turn down that kind of money a month after graduating high school? 

Not many. 

"My dad and I joke about it sometimes," Lally said. "I turned down $1.1 million. It's kind of funny, but crazy to think about that I literally just graduated high school and I'm making that type of decision." 

Yet, it's worth it in the eyes of Lally, which is why he set a high number. 

"It's really nice to know because if baseball doesn't work out, I know a degree from Notre Dame is going to mean more to people who would be hiring me," Lally explained. "They will see I'm a Notre Dame graduate, which will mean more than if I went to some other school. The Notre Dame education gets you farther in life." 

Lally will bring his 97mph fastball to South Bend and gives Stiffler another young arm to build around in his first year. 

"I've talked to him a couple times on the phone and then I've texted him back and forth," Lally said. "He seems like a really cool guy and I'm glad I'll get to play for him." 

It might show some blind faith in Stiffler, but Lally believes in Notre Dame and the incoming class, which is one of the best pound-for-pound in school history and he can’t wait to make debut. 

"Our class is well-rounded and talented at all positions," said Lally. "I've at least seen or played with all of them throughout the past summer. I've played with Estevan (Moreno) in fall ball and he's a really good player. He had a really good combine too. 

"I'm just excited to see where we can go." 

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