NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 10 overall seed Notre Dame baseball team is primed to begin its first postseason run since 2015 when they open the South Bend Regional against Central Michigan Friday afternoon. It will be the first postseason game at Frank Eck Stadium since 2004 and it will be in front of a capacity crowd for the first time this season. Friday’s regional opener will begin at 1 p.m. ET and will be aired on ESPN3.
South Bend Regional
For the first time since 2004, South Bend will be the host for an NCAA Regional as the Irish earned the No. 10 overall seed in the 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
This will be Notre Dame’s 22nd all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the first since the 2015 season.
The Irish are joined by Connecticut, Michigan and Central Michigan in the regional.
As the top seed in the regional, the Irish will face off with Central Michigan Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET for their first game of the regional.
Connecticut (33-17) enters the regional as the BIG EAST regular season and tournament champion after defeating Xavier in the BIG EAST tournament final this past Sunday.
Michigan (27-17) finished the regular season third in the B1G as they just faced conference opponents and did not have a conference tournament.
Central Michigan (40-16) was the outright MAC regular season champion as the conference did not hold a conference tournament this season.
The Irish faced Central Michigan earlier this season in a midweek matchup on April 13. The Irish came away with an 8-4 win after scoring all eight runs in the first three innings.
Friday’s matchup against the Chippewas will be the 37th meeting all-time between the two schools and the Irish hold a 22-13-1 advantage.
If the Irish face off against the Huskies over the course of the regional, it will be the 48th all-time meeting between the former BIG EAST conference foes. The Irish lead the all-time series 28-18-1 and it would be the first meeting between the two schools since May 26, 2013.
If the Irish square off against the Wolverines over the course of the regional, it will be the 135th meeting between the two rivals. Michigan leads the series with an 88-46 record and it would be the first meeting since April 4, 2017.
The Irish and Wolverines have faced each other once before in the NCAA Tournament back in 1999 in the South Bend Regional. Michigan came away with an 11-5.
Irish Shut Out Hokies in ACC Pool Play
Playing their fourth straight game against the Hokies to open up ACC Pool Play on May 26, the Irish continued to roll with an 8-0 victory.
Jared Miller and Zack Prajzner led the Irish at the plate as they won their fifth game in a row.
Miller launched his fourth home run of the season in the sixth inning and followed it up with a triple the very next inning.
Zack Prajzner set a career high with four hits on the afternoon in four plate appearances.
On the mound, Will Mercer tied a career high with five innings pitched and just three hits allowed.
Alex Rao tossed three innings of scoreless and hitless relief.
Liam Simon finished the game off for the Irish fifth shutout of the season and second against the Hokies in the past three games.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, Prajzner was named to the ACC Championship All-Tournament Team.
Jarrett Named ACC Coach of the Year, Kavadas & Bertrand Earn First Team Honors
After leading the Irish to the first ACC Atlantic Division Championship in program history, head coach Link Jarrett was named the ACC Coach of the Year.
The Irish finished with a conference-best 25 ACC wins this season and won 10 series which was also the best in the league.
It is the first regular season conference championship since 2006 and Jarrett is the first coach to earn conference coach of the year honors since Paul Mainieri in 2001.
The Irish finished the season leading the country in the fielding percentage (0.986) with just 21 errors in 39 games. The Irish also have not lost back-to-back games.
The rest of the ACC Postseason Awards were announced and the Irish were well represented.
Niko Kavadas and John Michael Bertrand were both named to the first team while Tanner Kohlhepp and Carter Putz earned second team honors.
Niko leads the Irish with 16 home runs and 49 RBI on the season. He has hit the most home runs in a single season since Brant Ust hit 17 in 1999.
John Michael Bertrand leads the Irish in innings pitched (75.2) and complete games (2) while he is tied for the team in wins (7) and ranks second in strikeouts (57).
Tanner Kohlhepp leads the team in strikeouts (60) and is tied for the team lead in wins (7). He ranks third in the ACC in ERA (2.88) among qualified pitchers.
Putz leads the team in hits (50) and triples (3) on the season. He ranks second on the squad in runs (33) and RBI (34) and batting average (.309).