CHARLOTTE — The top-seeded Notre Dame baseball team is set to begin pool play in the ACC Championship Wednesday afternoon against a familiar foe. The Irish are set to take on No. 12 seed Virginia Tech after finishing the final ACC series in the regular season against the Hokies. The Irish and Hokies will face off at Truist Field at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday and it will be the first of two pool games for the Irish as they will play eight-seed Virginia Friday morning at 11 a.m. ET.
ACC Tournament Time
- The Irish head into the ACC Championship with the No. 1 overall seed and leaders in Pool A.
- Joining the Irish in Pool A are the eight-seed Virginia Cavaliers and 12-seed Virginia Tech Hokies.
- The Irish played both teams this season on the road and came away with sweeps in each series.
- The Irish swept the Cavaliers back on March 12-14 with wins of 10-5, 12-4 and 8-3.
- In the series sweep Notre Dame tallied 43 hits, their most in a series sweep since April 20-21, 2012 when they had 46 hits in a sweep over Georgetown.
- The Irish were the first Cavalier opponent to score in double digits in back to back games since April 26-27, 2016.
- The Irish faced the Hokies in the final series of the regular season in Blacksburg and came away with wins of 8-2, 4-0 and 7-1.
- The pitching staff only allowed three runs in the series sweep, the fewest in a sweep since March 20-21, 2008 when they allowed just two in a sweep against Georgetown.
- This will be the first time the Irish have faced Virginia and Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship.
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 (74.2) and complete games (2) while he is tied for the team lead in strikeouts (57) and wins (7).
- Tanner Kohlhepp is tied for the team lead in strikeouts (57) and wins (7). He leads the ACC in ERA (2.56) among qualified pitchers.
- Putz leads the team in batting average (.316), hits (49) and triples (3) on the season. He ranks second on the squad in runs (32) and RBI (34).
Irish Sweep Hokies With 7-1 Win
- Notre Dame put the exclamation mark on one of the best regular seasons in program history with a 7-1 win over Virginia Tech to sweep the last ACC series of the year.
- The Irish pitching staff put together another stellar performance on the mound, limiting the Hokies to just one run.
- The trio of Joe Sheridan, Alex Rao and Will Mercer combined for the one-run outing with Rao earning his second win and Mercer getting his second save.
- At the plate, two-three run innings propelled the Irish to the win.
- In the fifth trailing 1-0, Notre Dame took the lead after a two RBI double from Spencer Myers and an RBI single from Niko Kavadas.
- In the ninth, David LaManna hit a solo home run and Kavadas hit a two run blast to put the game out of reach.
- For Kavadas, it was his 16th home run of the season and the most by an Irish player in a single season since 1999 when Brant Ust hit 17 that year.
- With the win, the Irish finished with a 25-10 record in ACC play which tied for the most conference wins ever in a season. The Irish had 25 wins back in the 1990 season when they were a part of the Mid-Western Collegiate Conference.
Irish Shut Out Hokies to Clinch Series
- The Irish put together another complete performance on the mound in the 4-0 shutout win over Virginia Tech.
- Aidan Tyrell got the Irish rolling with 5.2 innings of scoreless work while just allowing two hits and three base runners.
- At the plate, Ryan Cole got the Irish going with a two-run home run in the third inning, his fifth of the season, to put the Irish up 2-0.
- Tanner Kohlhepp followed up with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief while getting out of jams in the seventh and eighth inning.
- The Irish added an insurance run in the sixth and ninth inning to increase their lead.
- In the ninth with two runners on, Jack Brannigan moved from third to the mound to finish off the game.
- He struck out all three batters he faced to finish off Notre Dame’s fourth shutout of the season and earn his third save of the season.
- The win clinched Notre Dame’s 10th ACC series win of the season, the most conference series wins in a season in program history.
- The Irish finished the 2021 regular season 10-1-1 in ACC series with three sweeps on the year.
Bertrand Tosses Second Complete Game in 8-2 over Virginia Tech
- The most consistent starter for the Irish was at it again in the 8-2 win over Virginia Tech to win the series opener.
- He was dialed in early against the Hokies, allowing only one hit through the first four innings while striking out six.
- The bats opened the game up in the fifth inning when they scored six runs in the frame.
- Two runs scored on consecutive wild pitches and then another came in on an RBI single by Carter Putz.
- Jared Miller had the bases loaded and on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, he cleared the bases with a triple into the gap in right center to put the Irish up 7-0.
- That was more than enough offense as Bertrand went the distance for the second time this season and the third time in his career.
- He finished with eight strikeouts on the night, one earned run and did not walk a batter the entire outing.
- He is just one of two pitchers in the ACC to throw two complete games this season and is tied for the conference lead with seven wins this season.
- He is the first Irish pitcher to throw two complete games in a season since Tommy Sheehan had two in 2019.
Road Less Traveled
- With the 4-0 series-clinching win over Virginia Tech on May 21, the Irish won their seventh-consecutive ACC road series dating back to the 2020 season.
- The Irish finished the 2021 regular season undefeated in road ACC series after winning all six of them, including two sweeps.
- The Irish recorded a 15-4 record on the road in the 2021 regular season, the most road wins in a season since 1993 when they won 20.
- It is the longest road series winning streak for the Irish since they joined the ACC back in 2014.
- The last time the Irish won seven straight conference road series was back in the 1991-93 seasons when they won seven straight conference road series over Butler, Dayton, Xavier, Detroit Mercy Xavier, Butler and Duquesne.
- The Irish have been dubbed the road warriors as they have won 10 of their last 12 ACC road series dating back to the 2019 season.
- During his two-year tenure as head coach for the Irish, Link Jarrett’s squad has a 24-5 record on the road.
Top-25, Here Come The Irish
- Following 10 ACC series wins and six of those coming on the road, everyone is taking note of the Irish.
- The Irish are ranked as high as No. 3 in the Baseball America poll, the third time this season the Irish cracked the Top-3.
- The Irish are also ranked in the Top-5 in Perfect Game’s poll as they hold at the fifth spot for the second straight week
- Notre Dame is a consensus Top-10 team as they rank #7 in D1Baseball and Collegiate Baseball poll and #8 in the USA Today Coaches poll and NCBWA poll.
- A week after cracking two of the polls after the series win against Clemson, the Irish appeared in all six polls after the road sweep of Virginia.
- In the final week of the 2020 regular season, Notre Dame made their first appearance in the Top-25 when they were selected No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball News.
- It was the first time the Irish were ranked in the Top-25 since the 2015 season, the last time Notre Dame made an NCAA Regional.