Where do you start when a game unravels like this? The answer is you start at the beginning and you break down the where and how the scoring occurred. The Fightin’ Irish definitely brought more muscle on Saturday evening. It was up and down the lineup and from the pitchers mound as well. Coach Jarrett has once again figured out a way to get a little more from his team. If there was any question about this team wanting to win, Saturday nights result will undoubtedly answer that question rather easily. One more point before the breakdown begins, the Irish were the away team.
Innings One Through Three
One cliché about baseball that is on the mind of every pitcher. Never, ever put the lead off batter on base via a hit by pitch or walk. Well, Ben Casparius did both to start the game against the Irish. Spencer Myers was hit by pitch and subsequently walked Ryan Cole. Then Casparius gave up a single to Jared Miller to load the bases. Carter Putz followed that with a single, that scored Myers while collecting an RBI and a score of 1-0. Next up is Niko Kavadas. On Friday afternoon he hit two monster homeruns against the Chippewas. Casparius was in a tough spot. You can’t walk Kavadas as the bases are juiced. Well, Kavadas makes him pay for the rough start. Kavadas went yard over the Left Field wall for a Grand Slam and collected four RBI’s with one swing of the bat. The score jumps to 5-0 with one monster swing. After a half inning of play the Irish score 5 runs on 3 Hits and 0 LOB.
On defense, Will Mercer got the ball as the starting pitcher. He worked effortlessly in the inning as he got a three up and three down to get his team back to the batter’s box.
Caspirius settled down in the second inning and was able to allow a walk and chalked up a strikeout in the inning.
On the defensive side for the Irish, Mercer had a little bit of a hiccup in the inning. Mercer, gave up double and a single that scored a run to bring the score to 5-1. UConn scores 1 run on 3 hits and 2 left on base.
The Irish got back on pace in the third inning. Putz led off with a homered to Right Center for a score of 6-1. Kavadas did not homer, but singled to Right Field. David LaManna homered to Left Field and collected two RBI’s and a score goes to 8-1. The Irish scored 3 runs on 3 hits and 0 runners left on base.
In the bottom of the third, Mercer faced a little adversity once again. With two outs in the inning, Mercer gave up back to back singles then a double allowing a run to score to bring the score to 8-2. UConn scores 1 run, 3 hits and 2 runners left on base.
Innings Four Through Six
The Irish were seeing the ball once again in the fourth inning. Myers led off with a single and then stole second and third. Putz was hit by a pitch, then Jack Brannigan walked advancing Putz to second and loading the bases for Kavadas. Casparius was done after 3.2 innings and UConn brought in Will Lucas. Lucas did not give up a home run to Kavadas, but Kavadas worked a walk scored a run and collected another RBI for a 9-2 lead. The bases remain loaded for Brooks Coetzee. Coetzee singles through the left side to collected two RBI’s for a 11-2 lead. Wrapping up the scoring was LaManna who singled and collecting an RBI as Kavadas scored and a 12-2 to end the inning. The Irish score 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 runners left on base.
Mercer was back in the zone in the Fightin’ Irish portion of the inning. Collecting a strike out, giving upon a single and then getting a double play ball to end the inning.
The Irish played some good old small ball in the inning. Cole singled on a bunt and then stole second. Miller doubled to Left Center scoring Cole from second base and collecting an RBI and lead of 13-2. Miller was caught stealing third and Putz grounded out to end the inning. The Irish score 1 run on 2 hits and left 0 runners left on base.
Mercer was solid in the sixth inning. with a three up and three down and collecting another strikeout along the way.
Lucas pitched to Branningan and struck him out. UConn then goes to Sam Favieri. Kavadas worked and 3-2 walk. LaManna worked a walk as well , putting runners on first and second with two outs. Zack Prajzner worked a walk and loaded the bases for the Irish. TJ Williams pinch hit for Myers and he worked a 3-0 walk scoring Kavadas and collecting an RBI. The score grows to 14-2. Favieri gets the hook and Brendan O’Donnell comes in relief. Cole with another great at bat, doubles to Left Center, clearing the bases and racked up three RBI’s and a score of 17-2. All of the scoring came with two outs. The Irish score 4 runs on 1 hit, and 1 runner left on base.
Mercer still feeling pitches another tremendous inning. After a lead off single being given up. Mercer gets two fly outs and a ground out to stop the Huskies. The Huskies score 0 runs on 1 hit and 1 runner left on base.
Innings Seven Through Nine
Wow an inning where the Irish didn’t score. O’Donnell actually got the Irish in a three up and three down situation. Mercer also returned the favor. Mercer got to fly outs and a ground out for yet another three up and three down to end his afternoon.
All the Irish scoring came from Coetzee from the lead off spot in the inning. A homerun to Center Field. The HR brought the score to 18-2. From there O’Donnell struck out the side.
Dominic Cancellier came on in relief of Mercer in the bottom of the eighth. He gave up a home run and a single. Allowing only 1 run on 2 hits and 2 runners left on base and a score of 18-3.
The ninth inning was pure fire for the Irish. Cole grounded out to start the inning. Miller singled to Center Field. Kyle Hess pinch run for Miller. Nick Juaire pinch hit for Putz and singled to Right Field. Brannigan singled through the left side and collected and RBI as Hess scored and a score of 19-3. But the Irish were not done. Kavadas homered for the second time of the day to Left Field. Kavadas collected another three RBI’s and a 22-3 score. Coetzee kept the carousel going with a single through the left side. Prajzner singled to Center Field advancing Coetzee to second base. Williams collected a single to Left Field and score Coetzee and collected and RBI and a score to 23-3. Cole wrapped up the Irish evening after starting with a ground out to start the inning with a homerun to Left Field and collected three RBI’s as Williams and Prajzner score with a final score of 26-3.
The Final Stats
The stat box is definitely full for the Irish. Kavadas 3-4, 2 HR (1 Grand Slam) and 8 RBI’s. Cole 3-6 double, 1 HR and 6 RBI’s. Coetzee 3-6 1 HR and 3 RBI’s. Miller 3-6 double, 2 RBI’s. LaManna 2-3 1 HR, 3 RBI’s. Putz 2-4 1 HR, 1 RBI, Williams 1-2 and 2 RBI’s. Brannigan 1-5 and 1 RBI.
Mercer 7 innings pitched, 2 runs on 8 hits, 2 strikeouts, and 92 pitches thrown.
The Wrap Up
The only thing standing between Notre Dame moving out the South Bend Regional is themselves. Beating either CMU or UConn in the evening is their quickest way to advance. Anything is possible. Coach Jarrett has this teams mindset in a championship state. Coach has done that through the season by winning weekend series week after week. With that said, playing confident is one thing, playing with over confidence that’s where the real trouble begins. If the Irish can play a focused game on Sunday evening. The Irish will advance to the Super Regional next weekend. They need to keep that one game at a time approach through the tournament. (Coach Jarrett Photo Courtesy Of The ACC Media Portal)
The Fightin’ Irish will face the winner of the UConn vs CMU game which is underway at the time of this release. The Irish will then play at 6:06 PM EST on the ACC Network.
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘⚾🌩