The Texas A&M Aggies will play another day in Omaha at the College World Series, thanks in large part to San Antonio’s Nathan Dettmer.
Dettmer started and pitched seven scoreless innings Tuesday as A&M eliminated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 5-1.
As a result, the Aggies will move into the semifinals of the CWS to meet the Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners and Aggies will play at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
OU can advance to the championship round with a victory. The Aggies will need to win twice against the Sooners to play for the national title.
The Sooners (2-0 in the CWS) beat the Aggies (2-1) by a 13-8 score last Friday in the tournament opener.
Against OU, Dettmer started but didn’t make it through the second inning.
Even though he has struggled over the past five weeks, he settled down and pitched his best game of the season against the Irish.
The 6-foot-4, righthander, who played in high school at San Antonio Johnson, allowed only three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six.
“I’m feeling great right now,” Dettmer told Michella Chester, a reporter for NCAA Digital. “It’s a great relief to have such success on … one of the greatest baseball stages in the world. It felt great.”
For Dettmer, it was quite a change of fortune. Over his last seven starts, he had pitched 20 innnings, yielding 33 hits and 28 earned runs.
Against OU, Dettmer was pulled after 1 and 2/3 innings. The Sooners had roughed him up badly. He was charged with giving up seven earned runs.
Chester asked Dettmer, “What turned it around?”
“I trusted myself,” he said. “All I had to do was believe in myself. My teammates believed in me. My coaches believed in me. I just had to believe in myself.
“It was all up here,” he added, pointing to his head.
“I just did it today. It was me and (catcher) Troy (Claunch) working the whole time. It felt great.”
What was working for him?
“Honestly, everything. I don’t want to seem cocky. But I felt like I could throw any pitch in any count. Just to have that confidence and to have my catcher working with me, it felt amazing.”
Dettmer said it felt good that coach Jim Schlossnagle would turn to him at such an important juncture in the season.
“To feel that confidence — I really felt it,” he said. “It showed up. It worked.”
Chester asked Dettmer about the days in the aftermath of his last start and what he was experiencing.
“It felt like forever,” he said. “That one game, when I got pulled, it felt like a 20-inning game. I felt so small. But (for the coach) to have that confidence (in me) it felt amazing.”
The Aggies have won multiple games at a College World Series for the first time in seven trips, according to the school’s website. Their two victories (over Texas and Notre Dame) matches their total from the program’s previous six trips to Omaha.
A&M capitalized on Notre Dame mistakes, including a balk and a throwing error, to take a 3-0 lead in the third inning. In the fifth inning, a Trevor Werner leadoff homer highlighted a two-run rally as the Aggies opened a 5-0 lead.
Jordan Thompson, a Texas A&M junior from Boerne Champion, reached base twice on a walk and a hit against the Irish, increasing his on-base total in three CWS games to nine.
Against Notre Dame, he went 1 for 3 and scored a run. He was 2 for 2 and scored twice and drove in two runs in a 10-2 victory over Texas on Sunday. Thompson was 1 for 2 and clubbed a three-run homer in the Aggies’ 13-8 loss to OU last Friday.
Wednesday — (CWS semifinals) Texas A&M (2-1) vs. Oklahoma (2-0). Also, Arkansas (2-1) vs. Ole Miss (2-0). To advance to the title round, both Oklahoma and Ole Miss can advance with a single victory, while both A&M and Arkansas need to win twice.