The bar has been set for Irish baseball and it’s high. In the two full seasons that Link Jarrett has been at the helm, Notre Dame has made it to the Super Regionals last year and this year the College World Series. Although neither trip resulted in hardware being brought back to South Bend, the play has set a standard for the Irish. Here are three factors for the Notre Dame Baseball team to make a return to Omaha next season.
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Keep Link Jarrett in South Bend
Notre Dame head coach Link Jarrett hands the umpires rosters during the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals between Tennessee and Notre Dame at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
This is the biggest reason and there are plenty of factors at play here. After being named the NCBWA National Coach of the Year, Jarrett isn’t an unknown commodity anymore. It just so happens that his alma mater, Florida State, needs to fill a recently vacant head coaching position. Irish AD Jack Swarbrick needs to give Jarrett a pay increase, a contract and extension or whatever he needs for him to stay in South Bend.
Replacing Senior leaders
Notre Dame’s David LaManna (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a homer that tied the game at the top of the seventh inning during the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals between Tennessee and Notre Dame at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
The unquestioned ace of the Irish staff, John Michael Bertrand, just suited up in the Blue and Gold for the last time. The next time JMB will wear a uniform, it will be for a professional team. Outfielders Ryan Cole and Spencer Myers, catcher David LaManna, infielder Jared Miller, and pitcher Austin Temple are all big time contributors that have also exhausted their eligibility. This team was full of experienced, talented players and there is going to be a lot of roster turnover. Finding replacements via the transfer portal or younger players on the roster will be paramount.
Jack Brannigan saying no to the MLB
Notre Dame’s Jack Brannigan (9) celebrates after hitting a homer that put the Fighting Irish in the lead at the top of the seventh inning during the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals between Tennessee and Notre Dame at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
There is one name that has consistently popped up in MLB Draft lists and that Brannigan’s. Although he plays both ways for the Irish, it seems like MLB teams are interested in him as a pitcher. Brannigan has made it known he wants to play third base. Teams might now draft him as high due to this, which works very well for Notre Dame. Maybe getting picked off in the ninth was a good thing and leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.