Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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48 APRIL 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TODD D. BURLAGE C oming off the most magical season of his budding baseball career — while presumably still savoring his time on cloud nine following it — Fighting Irish pitcher Jack Findlay unexpectedly found himself back on earth and facing a difficult decision last July. Less than a month after Findlay, then a true freshman, recorded the win over No. 1 Tennessee last June that sent Notre Dame to its first College World Series appearance in 20 years (and third ever), Irish head coach Link Jarrett left for Florida State. Jarrett's abrupt departure brought deep despair within the Irish baseball program, and an exodus of returning Irish players to the transfer portal, in- cluding Findlay. Motivated mainly by keeping his op- tions open while Notre Dame searched for Jarrett's replacement, Findlay stayed in the portal for only about a week be- fore Shawn Stiffler was named the new Fighting Irish skipper. "I really liked what Coach Stiffler's message was, and I liked what he is all about," explained Findlay, admitting that Notre Dame was his dream school all way back to grade school, and he wasn't much interested in moving away from it. In total last season, Findlay earned Freshman All-America honors after posting a 6-2 record and 3 saves with a 1.99 ERA in 45 1 ⁄3 innings pitched over 18 appearances (8 starts). And talk about a magical finish to an already solid rookie year. Findlay not only recorded multiple saves during the NCAA Tournament, but also — and most memorably — the hard-throwing lefty tossed five score- less innings in the Knoxville Super Re- gional elimination game against the top-ranked Volunteers to earn the win over what was considered the best of- fensive team in the country. "When you get an opportunity, be ready to go and be ready to go right away, just have confidence in yourself," Findlay said of the experience. "And then to see teams like Tennes- see, and finding out that you're good enough in those spots to get the job done, it helps keep the confidence high." Baseball Pitcher Jack Findlay Remains Where He Belongs Findlay compiled a 6-2 record with 3 saves and a 1.99 ERA in 18 appearances as a freshman in 2022, while helping the Fighting Irish to their first College World Series appearance in 20 years. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS ND SPORTS

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