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Don’t call Our Lady Cinderella.
The Fighting Irish knocked out No. 9 seed Texas 7-3 on Friday night at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, after knocking out No. 1 seed Tennessee last week in the Super Regional of Knoxville.
Maybe Notre Dame (41-15) should be called Favorite.
The Irish take on Oklahoma (43-22) at 7:00 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2. Future SEC member Oklahoma defeated No. 5 seed and SEC champion West Texas A&M, 13-8, in Friday afternoon’s CWS opener. Texas A&M (42-19) meets future opponent SEC Texas (47-21) at 2 p.m. Sunday on ESPN. Texas and Oklahoma are expected to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025.
NOTRE DAME upsets No. 1 TENNESSEE as college World Series image hits the scene
The CWS double-elimination opening rounds continue Saturday with three more SEC West teams in action. Arkansas (43-19) takes on second seed overall Stanford (47-16) at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Auburn (42-20) and Ole Miss (37-22) play at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
Ole Miss should be considered more Cinderella than Notre Dame after receiving the last overall nomination for the NCAA Tournament.
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“I think a big part of the underdog story is that we don’t really feel that internally in the team,” said Notre Dame second goalkeeper Jared Miller, who went 2-for-3 and put his team leading 1-0. the first with a home run as his team beat Texas, 11-6, and led 6-1 in fifth.
“It doesn’t really matter to us whether we’re underdogs or projected to win,” Notre Dame starting pitcher John Michael Bertrand said. “I don’t know if that really matters to us.”
Bertrand (10-3) allowed six hits and three runs in five and a third innings for the win with four strikeouts and one walk. Relievers Alex Rao and Jack Findlay haven’t touched Texas in the last three and two-thirds innings. Findlay made his fourth save after two and a third innings. Carter Putz added a solo home run in the ninth.
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“I couldn’t be happier with the guys,” Notre Dame coach Link Jarrett said. “I’m very proud of them for stepping into this atmosphere and playing such a complete game for the first time against a clearly phenomenal program.”
Notre Dame won its first College World Series game in 20 years, as it last appeared in Omaha in 2002 under coach Paul Mainieri. Notre Dame’s only other CWS appearance came in 1957. The Irish went 1-2 at the 2002 CWS with a 5-3 victory over Rice around a loss to Stanford.
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Mainieri is in Omaha to cheer on Notre Dame. He left Notre Dame after the 2006 season to coach LSU, which he led to the 2009 national title and five more trips to Omaha through 2017 before retiring after last season following a loss at the Super Regional in Tennessee.
Jarrett was considered for the LSU job with Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco after last season before LSU hired Arizona coach Jay Johnson.