Notre Dame not finished taking down giants
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish put their giant-slaying ways to work, shutting down the Texas Longhorns in a 7-3 outstanding performance.
After an incredibly exciting super regionals where Notre Dame took down the nation’s number one team to get to the College World Series, any thoughts that perhaps the Irish had peaked were put to rest when they repeated the performance by taking down one of the favorites to win it all.
The number-nine ranked Texas Longhorns were tipped to be in the final from the beginning of the season, but if they are to do that, they must fight their way there from the loser’s bracket. Notre Dame took the fight to them and held one of the most potent offenses in the country to only three runs in a textbook 7-3 Irish victory.
For the first time this season, the Longhorns failed to hit for extra bases, and only managed six hits on the night. Bats from such big hitters as the NCAA’s player of the year, Ivan Melendez, were all but silenced by a superb pitching performance out of Notre Dame. Starter John Michale Bertrand went 5.1 innings, surrendering three runs and six hits. Reliever Jack Findlay went 2.1 and shut Texas down completely with a dominant performance.
In the top of the first, Jared Miller poked a 3-1 pitch into the right field bullpen for a solo home run, and the Irish never relinquished the lead. They did it all old-school as well, with single after single, putting men on base and then knocking them in.
In the fifth inning, trailing 4-1, Texas went to the bullpen, with one out and men on the corners, bringing veteran hurler Tristan Stevens on. His first move was a now-prohibited fake pickoff to third base, to balk the fifth run in. That was kind of an example of the Longhorns game, perhaps even their season. Someone who is better than that, knows not to do that, but just has a momentary lapse, leading to giving up runs.
Texas managed to work two more runs across the plate on back-to-back-to-back singles over the fifth and sixth, but the Irish brought on Jack Findlay and all movement on the bases came to an end.
In the top of the ninth, Carter Putz took a 1-0 pitch to right field for the second solo shot of the game for Notre Dame to close out the scoring.
The Irish will now go on to face the Oklahoma Sooners, who took down number-five seed Texas A&M 13-8 in the first game on Friday, while Texas will face the Aggies in a Sunday elimination game.