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ACC Midterm Grades: Notre Dame


Photo Credit: @NDBaseball on X


It is past the halfway mark in the ACC conference slate which means it's time for midterm grades to go out on all 14 ACC teams. Next up is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


Notre Dame currently has the worst record in ACC play. The Fighting Irish sit at 17-18 overall with a 2-16 ACC record. Looking at that record, the Irish are 15-2 out of conference which is pretty impressive and shows the strength of the ACC. Their RPI is 46th which sits higher than such projected tournament teams as Maryland, Southern Miss, and defending national champion LSU. However, Notre Dame has been swept in every ACC series except for Miami series in the third weekend of conference play, where they took two of three at home.

 

Offense: D

To say the Fighting Irish have struggled offensively is an understatement. Notre Dame currently ranks last in average, OBP, slugging, and runs scored in ACC play. Even when you factor in the non-conference numbers the Irish are still in last for average and OBP. Some positives for Notre Dame include being third in the ACC in both triples and doubles. The biggest problem for them offensively has been their inability to draw walks and hit home runs, ranking last in the ACC in both categories. The good news is that Notre Dame puts the ball in play as only Boston College and Duke have struck out fewer times than the Irish.


Notre Dame is led by CBC Midseason All-Star second baseman Estevan Moreno and center fielder TJ Williams. Moreno, who has been about as good as you can be at the second base position, boasts a .330 average, a .691 slugging, and has 7 home runs. St. John's transfer David Glancy is the most underrated bat in this lineup as he leads the team with 34 RBIs and a .612 slugging and his batting average currently sits just below .300.

 

Rotation: D

 While this stat factors in both the bullpen and rotation, Notre Dame has the 2nd worst team ERA in conference play. Matt Bedford has been the only starter to go every single weekend and has a 6.06 ERA and just one win on the year. Freshman Jack Radel has come on strong lately and arguably has emerged as the ace of this Fighting Irish rotation. Radel boasts 25 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.44. The third rotation spot has seen a plug and place approach with Caden Spivey, Rory Fox, Jackson Dennies, and Tobey McDonough all getting opportunities. Spivey has had some impressive outings and some forgettable ones. His ERA is 4.76 and he has 22 strikeouts in 22.2 IP.

 

Bullpen: C-

Notre Dame’s bullpen has been better than expected to start the season. Nate Hardman leads the team in saves while only allowing 11 earned runs in 14 appearances. He also has 14 strikeouts versus just 6 walks so far this season. Will Jacobsen has held opponents to a .176 batting average against if he limits the walks, he could be a huge piece in the second half of the season. Some of the aforementioned names in the rotation piece have also been guys who have come in to throw quality innings, which has benefited this beleaguered Notre Dame team.

 

Overall: D+

Do I believe this Notre Dame team is better than their record? Yes. Do they deserve a passing grade to this point? No. If I was a teacher this would be a “needs improvement” note left at the bottom of the report card. I will be travelling up to South Bend this weekend to catch their series with Boston College . I am looking forward to being around the team and learning more about why this team has struggled so much in ACC play. I do expect Notre Dame to miss Charlotte as they have dug themselves a deep hole in the standings, but there is stiill hope for this Irish team to turn it around. Three of their four remaining ACC series feature teams near the bottom of the conference standings.

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