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Aggies drop Irish behind ace righty

by Tom Murphy | June 22, 2022 at 2:25 a.m.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Texas A&M's pitching ace showed up just in time to keep the Aggies alive at the College World Series.

Sophomore Nathan Dettmer rebounded from a series of rough outings to throttle Notre Dame in a 5-1 elimination game win Tuesday afternoon that moved the Aggies into the Bracket 1 finals.

Dettmer (6-3), pitching on three days rest after being knocked around in a loss to Oklahoma, threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks in his best start since April 28.

Texas A&M (44-19), the sixth seed and highest-ranked team remaining in Omaha, will face Oklahoma at 1 p.m. today in the bracket finals. The Sooners (44-22) beat Dettmer and the Aggies 13-8 in an opening round game on Friday. Texas A&M will have to beat the Sooners twice to advance to the CWS finals.

A&M's win assured that there will be three SEC West teams in the final four in Omaha.

Dettmer lasted just 12/3 innings on Friday and was tagged for 7 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks to extend a streak of starts of less than 5 innings to 7 in a row. His postseason ERA had been 14.65 in four starts heading into Tuesday.

"It was tough for sure, I'm not going to lie to you," Dettmer said of the start against the Sooners. "After Friday, I felt just terrible, like I let my team down. ... I went into my hotel room and I cried. I didn't know what to do. I felt lost."

The 6-4 right-hander regained his early season form against the Irish in his first start of seven innings since holding Vanderbilt to two hits in late April.

"To come back and have Coach [Jim Schlossnagle] give me the ball just two games later, all that confidence just flowed through me, and to know they trust me and that the players trust me," Dettmer said. ... That's what happened and [we] had some success today."

Notre Dame Coach Link Jarrett and his players gave a tip of the cap to Dettmer.

"He had four pitches in play," Jarrett said. "His fastball had good movement. We never could square it up. We tried some adjustments in the box but clearly not enough to figure it out."

Said Notre Dame outfielder Brooks Coetzee, "He had the fastball's run going, had the change-up going. Like it was nothing was going straight."

The Aggies broke on top for good with a three-run third inning against Liam Simon (2-1) and Jack Findlay.

With the bases loaded, third baseman Jack Brannigan had a throwing error to first on a sharp ground ball by Dylan Rock that allowed two runs to score. Ryan Targac followed with a sacrifice fly to end the scoring.

Texas A&M padded its lead in the fifth against Findlay.

Trevor Werner hit a leadoff home run in the inning and Rock singled home Jack Moss, who had doubled, to make it 5-0.

Werner and Austin Bost had two hits each for the Aggies.

Jared Miller went 3 for 4 for Notre Dame (41-16).

The Irish scored in the eighth inning on Coetzee's home run off Brad Rudis, his 12th of the season.

Print Headline: Aggies drop Irish behind ace righty

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