OMAHA-BOUND: Brannigan, LaManna power Irish past #1 Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WNDU) - The Irish are going to Omaha.
For the first time since 2002, Notre Dame’s baseball team has clinched a spot in the College World Series after toppling the nation’s #1-ranked team in the Knoxville Super Regional.
Notre Dame punched first with a game 1 win, but Tennessee responded with a resounding victory in game 2. They looked to be riding that momentum early in game 3, scoring in the first inning, and carrying a 2-run lead into the seventh.
But that’s when veteran catcher David LaManna blasted a two-run homer to right field to even the score. Not long after, Jack Brannigan joined in on the fun with a solo blast that would eventually represent the game-winning run.
The Irish added a trio of insurance runs in the 8th inning, and kept one of the nation’s top offenses quiet over the final four frames to eliminate the Volunteers in their own stadium.
“I remember when I first committed to Notre Dame, there were people who actually said to me, ‘you’d better hope you win a ring in high school, because you’re never going to win one in college,’” Brannigan said following the game. “That’s just the kind of program that it was, and I’m just so proud to be a part of the team that rebuilt it.”
“I told them today that there’s no team that I’ve ever coached that’s more built for this moment than these guys,” said head coach Link Jarrett. In his first two full seasons with the program, Jarrett has coached the Irish to back-to-back super regional appearances -- a first for the program.
“The way they engage in anything they feel like may need to be done to win a game -- (I’ve) never seen anything like it.”
Notre Dame will start their CWS journey against the winner of Sunday night’s Texas vs. East Carolina game. Date and time have yet to be announced.
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