The longer the game, the better for A&M’s chances against Notre Dame

OMAHA, Neb. — A Texas A&M victory in the third game of the College World Series is just a matter of time.

At least 3 1/2 hours to be exact.

Since an April surge, the Aggies are 7-2 in the third games of a conference series or postseason tournament. They are 5-1 in third games that lasted more than 3 1/2 hours.

That includes a 5:02 15-9 regional victory over TCU, a 4:01 12-5 victory over Ole Miss, a 4:22 victory over Georgia and an 11-10 victory over Arkansas that took 3:54.

Therefore, the Aggies (43-19) likely welcome working overtime when they face Notre Dame (41-16) on Tuesday at 1 pm CT at Charles Schwab Field. The longer the game, the better their chances.

“It kind of seems like it at this point. I guess we have the stamina and endurance of doing it all season long. Maybe it is something. Maybe it’s not. But that is kind of what we’ve been doing all season.”

– Texas A&M 3B Trevor Werner

“It kind of seems like it at this point,” Aggie third baseman Trevor Werner said on Monday. “I guess we have the stamina and endurance of doing it all season long. Maybe it is something. Maybe it’s not. But that is kind of what we’ve been doing all season.”

Not coincidentally, the Aggies have scored at least eight runs in all of those third-game victories. A&M’s heavy-hitting lineup frequently feasts on No. 3 pitchers and taxed bullpens.

However, A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle warns not to take scoring outbursts for granted against the Irish, who are No. 10 in the country with a 3.94 team earned run average.

“It’s a different scenario (in Omaha), especially with the off days,” Schlossnagle said. “You can bring (pitchers) back. Notre Dame, specifically, has super deep pitching. Maybe the best depth of pitching we’ve seen all season in the bullpen and on the mound.”

To Schlossnagle’s point, consider Tennessee — which scored a nation-best 613 runs and was limited to just five hits in a 7-3 loss to Notre Dame in the third game of the Knoxville Super Regional.

Relief pitcher Jack Findlay allowed just one hit over five scoreless innings to close that win.

Yet, Schlossnagle is even more concerned about the Aggies’ pitching than he is Notre Dame’s.

Micah Dallas, Jacob Palisch and Brad Rudis were all sharp in a 10-2 victory over Texas on Sunday, but A&M gave up 10 walks and hit three batters in an opening 13-8 loss to Oklahoma.

Schlossnagle hasn’t announced a starting pitcher for tomorrow, though left-hander Ryan Prager is typically a third-day starter.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs

Dallas, Palisch and Rudis allowed just one earned run in Sunday’s win over Texas.

Regardless of who pitches, Schlossnagle figures to have a quick hook. He’ll also have the same message.

“We cannot keep giving up free bases. We just can’t,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s wretched. It’s hard to watch. You get momentum and you go out and say, ‘Hey man, let’s get three quick outs and get back in here.’ That’s how a good offense can steamroll.

“We’ve done it at times, but we just haven’t done it enough. We’re going to have to if we’re going to win this thing.”

Notre Dame has averaged 4.5 runs in 11 postseason games. Keeping them around that average would significantly enhance the Aggies’ chances to advance because of A&M’s offensive prowess.

“We’re extremely confident,” designated hitter Austin Bost said. “We’ve played good on Sundays (third days). Notre Dame is one of the best teams in the country. That’s why they’re here. We’re just going to stick to the approach that we have been, and hopefully, that works out for us.”

It’s worked so far.

“Our offense has been, for the most part, pretty steady,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s just a matter of can we get off to a good start pitching-wise. That was the key in the game (against Texas) yesterday.”

He added: “Everybody here is good, hot and talented. It comes down to just playing clean baseball.”

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