"We will try to force the defense's hand and make them make plays," said Irish coach Patrick Marozzi. "We like to bunt and run, hit and run, steal, double steal. We will do just about anything to get runners in scoring position."
Marozzi, in his fourth season coaching baseball at Notre Dame, is in the state tournament for the first time, and the starting nine for the Irish (23-10) consists of two freshmen, three sophomores, and four juniors.
"It isn't going to hurt us," said Marozzi about the lack of seniors. "The juniors play like seniors. These kids have started every game for me."
One of those juniors is pitcher T.J. McKinsey, who is 5-1 with a 1.26 ERA in seven starts. His eighth start comes today.
"[In] his last four or five games, he has been phenomenal," said Marozzi. "He threw six innings against East Hardy in the regional final on Friday that really kept us in the game. He is definitely our ace."
The last Notre Dame ace to lead the Irish to the state tournament was Harrison Musgrave, the current West Virginia University standout and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, who took the loss in the 2008 state semifinals.
Notre Dame is hoping its current hot streak will be able to prevent another tournament letdown and win the school its first state championship.
"We have been ranked in the top 10 all year," added Marozzi. "We are playing our best baseball exactly when you want to."