College World Series: 11 players from Illinois part of NCAA baseball championships

Wes Huett
Journal Star
Notre Dame's Jack Brannigan (9) throws to first during the first round of the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals between Tennessee and Notre Dame at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Friday, June 10, 2022.

The 2022 College World Series is dominated by teams from the south, but one midwestern interloper has made the field of eight — with help from some players from Illinois.

Notre Dame upset No. 1 seed Tennessee to advance to the Omaha tournament for the third time overall and first time since 2002. ND opens the CWS on Friday against Texas.

The Indiana-based Irish (40-15) have eight former high school players from Illinois, while three other finalists Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas have one player each. Auburn, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M have no players from Illinois rostered.

Here's a look at the 11 former Illinois high school players who are part of programs in the 2022 College World Series.

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Jack Brannigan, Notre Dame 

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior from Chicago Marist is the everyday third baseman for the Irish. The slugger hits .296 and leads the team in home runs (12), doubles (15) and RBIs (46).

Brooks Coetzee III, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior from Mahomet-Seymour is the everyday rightfielder for the Irish. He is third on the team with 11 home runs, to go with 42 RBIs and a .267 average.

Notre Dame's Brooks Coetzee III (42) celebrates a home run during the Notre Dame vs. Valparaiso vs. baseball game Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend.

Aidan Tyrell, Notre Dame

The 6-foot, 165-pound senior from Joliet Catholic is a key pitcher for the Irish. The left-hander is 5-1 with a team-high 25 appearances. He has a 3.60 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 15 walks in 45 innings.

Nick DeMarco, Notre Dame

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound freshman from St. Charles North is a reserve with three hits in nine at-bats across 12 games and a single one-inning pitching appearance.

Connor Hincks, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound infielder from Lisle Benet has two at-bats across three games. The Western Springs native transferred to Notre Dame from Virginia.

Notre Dame pitcher Aidan Tyrell throws a fastball against Mississippi State during ND's 9-1 victory in an NCAA baseball Super Regional game, Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Starkville, Miss.

Casey Kmet, Notre Dame

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior from Arlington Heights St. Viator has five at-bats across four games. He is the brother of Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet, who also attended Notre Dame.

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Zach Kempe, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound freshman pitcher from St. Charles North is rostered but did not play this season.

Aidan Krupp, Notre Dame

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound freshman pitcher from Oak Park-River Forest is rostered but did not play this season.

OU outfielder Kendall Pettis celebrates after scoring a run against Florida on June 4.

Kendall Pettis, Oklahoma

The sophomore is a 5-foot-11, 187-pound outfielder from Chicago Brother Rice. The starting outfielder is fifth on the Sooners with a .279 batting average and is third on the team with 22 stolen bases. He helped Oklahoma (42-22) to Omaha for the first time since 2010 and 11th time overall.

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Senior relief pitcher Max Cioffi delivered Ole Miss a save in their 5-3 win over Texas Tech on Sunday.

Max Cioffi, Mississippi

The senior is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior from Chicago St. Patrick. He pitched 2.2 innings across four appearances for Ole Miss (37-22), which is in the CWS for the first time since 2014 and the sixth time overall.

Evan Gray, Arkansas

The sophomore is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-handed pitcher from Belleville East. He pitched 1.2 innings across three appearances for the Razorbacks (43-19), who advanced to the College World Series for the third time in four seasons. 

Wes Huett is Journal Star sports editor. Email him at whuett@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesHuett.