After winning 9-1 on Sunday night, the Fightin’ Irish came into Monday night with one thing on their mind, just win. On the other side of the field Mississippi State had one their mind as well. Don’t lose two in a row at home. This had a billing to be an epic battle. Elimination games are never easy. Monday night was no different. But the mighty Mississippi State had a wake up call on Sunday that they didn’t want to deal with again.
Innings One Through Three
Ryan Cole set the pace for the Fightin’ Irish. The first pitch that he saw, he took yard for the Irish to go up early 1-0 in the inning. The Bulldogs were looking for some magic of their own in the inning. After a tough hit to Jack Brannigan, the lead off batter got on and that’s not something you want to do. In baseball terms, errors like that turn into runs. This time was no different and the Bulldogs capitalized. Playing some small ball, the Bulldogs tied the game 1-1 after the first inning.
The second inning is where all the damage was done. After Will Mercer loaded the bases Coach Jarrett needed to go to his bullpen early. Alex Rao inherited the bases loaded. Rao also had some troubles of his own. Though the runners on base were charged to Mercer, Rao got in his own trouble that forced Coach Jarrett to come out once again and make another change. Liam Simon came in and he struggled as well. During the pitching rotation in the second inning, four pitchers were used. Joe Sheridan was the last pitcher of the inning and got the third out of the inning. The Bulldogs scored 6 runs on 4 hits.
The third inning saw the Irish try to climb back. After a David LaManna double and a Myers single that scored LaManna, that brought the game to a score of 7-2. In order to successfully get back in a game, you need to stop your opponent from scoring and that didn’t happen. Sheridan gave up a one out homerun in the inning to bring the score to 8-2 after three innings.
Fourth Through Sixth Innings
The fourth innings saw only a walk by Carter Putz and a single by Brannigan, as they were left stranded on base. The Bulldogs score two more runs in the inning to bring the score to 10-2. You can say that the first double of the inning was out, but after the review, the runner was called safe. In all the Bulldogs had three doubles in the inning.
The fifth inning the Fightin’ Irish showed they were not giving up. Myers singled and reach third base on a Bulldogs fielding error. Cole immediately singled and scored Myers for a score of 10-3. Jared Miller walked, then the Carter Putz double scoring Cole and Miller for a score of 10-5. Now the deficit is cut in half. John Michael Bertrand came on in relief in the fifth inning. Bertrand gave up a double to center field. Got two quick outs and an intentional walk. The Bulldogs made him pay the price for that. The batter they wanted to pitch hits a single and scores and RBI for a score of 11-5. That would be enough runs for the Bulldogs.
The sixth inning neither team scored. Bertrand threw a three up and three down a first for the Irish in the game.
Seventh Through Ninth Inning
After a Cole walk, two batters later Niko Kavadas does what he does best and that’s hitting homeruns. His shot left the stadium leaving the Bulldogs right fielder watchin in awe. Kavadas brought the score to 11-7 and that would be the final score, sending Mississippi State to Omaha and ending the 2021 season for the Irish.
Post Game Conferences
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Head Coach Link Jarrett
Click here for Head Coach Link Jarrett comments
The Wrap Up
With the loss to Mississippi State, that will conclude the Fightin’ Irish season. The Irish end their 2021 campaign with a 34-13 record. Though they lost on Monday night, the future is bright for this team. Under Coach Jarrett this team is going places. As he said in the press conference, ” this team will learn from this.” Coach will have discussions as to who is staying and who will move on due to graduation. 2022 ND Baseball season will be here before you know it. There is one thing you can be sure of, this team is going to want home field advantage through the Super Regional next year.
All Photos are courtesy of Fighting Irish Media
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘⚾🌩