The Notre Dame Fighting Irish couldn’t be considerred underdogs going onto the College World Series — but they certainly weren’t the favorites when they went up against the Texas Longhorns in the opening game of championship event in Omaha, Nebraska.
Jared Miller set the tone early with a solo home run in the 1st inning off of Texas starter, Pete Hansen. Notre Dame lefty, John Michael Bertrand was in control early and kept traffic along the basepaths light and felt little pressue in the first five innings.
After Miller’s home run, the Irish played some small ball to add a run at a time. Carson Putz reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Ryan Cole to score from third base in the 3rd inning. In the 4th inning, Spencer Myers laid down a squeeze bunt that allowed Jack Branigan to score. Branigan was initially called out, but replay overturned the decision and the Irish go up 3-1 at that point.
It was in the fifth inning when the Irish really broke the game open with 3 runs scored. Zack Prajzner singled to score David LaManna, and Jack Brannigan advanced to third. The Horns made a pitching change right after the play, and the first thing Tristan Stevens does is commit a balk to score Brannigan from third. A few batters later, Spencer Myers singled to right to knock in Prajzner to make it a 6-1 game.
Bertrand finally started to falter around the century mark of his pitch count in the fifth inning, and was relieved by Alex Rao. John Michael in 5.1 innings gave up 6 hits and 3 runs (all earned) while punching out four. In the sixth inning, Rao threw a wild pitch that allowed a run and it was a 6-3 game.
Freshman Jack Findlay relieved Rao in the 7th inning and was lights out for the Irish pitching 2.1 innings with no hits, no walks, and striking out two batters — earning a save for the John Michael Bertrand win. In the top of the 9th, Carter Putz blasted a solo shot to make the game 7-3.
⚾️UPDATED College World Series Win Probabilities:— parker (@statsowar) June 18, 2022
1. Notre Dame (1-0) 20.3%
2. Ole Miss 19.1%
3. Stanford 16.5%
4. Oklahoma (1-0) 13.4%
5. Arkansas 12.1%
6. Auburn 10.1%
7. Texas (0-1) 5.5%
8. Texas A&M (0-1) 3.0%