OMAHA, Nebraska – Nathan Dettmer threw a three-stroke over seven rounds, and Texas A&M capitalized on Notre Dame errors to beat the Irish 5-1 in the College World knockout game on Tuesday.
Fifth seed Aggies (44-19) will play Oklahoma in the Bracket 1 final. They need to beat the Sooners on Wednesday and again on Thursday to reach the CWS Finals this weekend.
“At this time last year we didn’t even have a coaching staff,” said first-year coach Jim Schlossnagel. “A third of this team hasn’t even been from Texas A&M Agee yet. We were still recruiting from the transfer gate. You look a year later and you’re playing in the last four of college baseball.”
The Irish (41-17) finished the season with their biggest win since 2006 and their first Omaha debut since 2002.
Well, if there’s a place you want to finish, it’s obviously here,” said Notre Dame coach Link Garrett. “How we finished was difficult. It hurts. It was not indicative of how our team would play.”
Dettmer (6-3) was on a three-day break after giving up seven runs and was pulled into the second half of Texas A&M’s 13-8 loss to Oklahoma on Friday.
“I am not going to lie to you. After Friday, I was horrified, as if I had let my team down,” said Dettmer. “But to go back and have the coach give me the ball after only two games, all that confidence flowed through me and I know they trust me… All I had to do was believe in myself. That’s what happened and had some success today.”
He recovered with his best performance of the season. He made the Warriors of Notre Dame swing over a top of a barge and the latest 10 ground strikes.
“They clearly didn’t enjoy it,” said Trevor Werner, Aegis’ third baseman. “It’s fun to play behind that because you know you’re going to get a lot of extension. We know that when he plays, we’re going to get a lot of plays. The whole team feels good when Dettmer goes.”
The Irish got to base on a foul and hit hit but didn’t get their first hit until David Lamanna picked one on the fourth.
Dettmer, who crossed six goals and didn’t cut anything, had the longest outing since he fought seven rounds against Vanderbilt on April 28. He threw 99 throws, 68 for strikes.
His notes were deep,” said Brooks Coetzee of Notre Dame. “The diver pushed. Fastball was being run. The change was going on. Nothing was going right, and he was promoting everyone differently. He didn’t fall into tendencies.”
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The Aggies made a two-lane convert, a foul, two singles and a throwing foul to three runs in the third round, the first two rounds off Irish star Liam Simon (2-1).
Werner moved up to fifth against Jack Findlay, and later Dylan Rock earned an RBI single, finishing his spell 0 for 14 and making it 5-0.
Findlay, the Irish rookie star running on the left, allowed only one entry he earned during his 14 innings in the NCAA Championship before giving up both in the fifth inning.
Brad Rhodes took charge of Dettmer starting in eighth, and Coetzee led Rhodes’ second throw over 400 feet over the 12th homeowner’s left field fence.
After Rudis marched on the next hit, the Aggies brought in Joseph Minphy left, who allowed one hit in two rounds for his second save.
“We came here to win it all,” said Jared Miller of Notre Dame. “This whole podium was special. We admit we’ve been through some tough teams. Maybe the outsiders didn’t really give us a chance. But we wanted to win everything. So it’s tough now.”
The game was the ninth of the CWS, and all were decided by four runs or more. It was the first time in the event’s 75-year history.