Tracking Orioles prospect and Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton throughout March Madness
Orioles prospect Pat Connaughton has a mid-90s fastball. He also has a pretty good three-point shot for Notre Dame's men's basketball team.
Yes, the 22-year-old has a Minor League contract with the O's and started for the Irish during their NCAA Tournament run. Because for some people, excelling at one sport simply isn't enough.
While Connaughton's March Madness trip is now over after Notre Dame lost to the University of Kentucky in the Elite Eight on Saturday night, hey, Spring Training isn't a bad consolation prize. Here's how the lanky right-hander did over the last two weeks:
March 17: Notre Dame defeats Northeastern, 69-65
40 minutes, 9 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 turnover
MLB translation: Connaughton put in a solid, if unflashy performance. In pitching terms, that'd be like tossing a complete game with two strikeouts, one walk and a few earned runs.
March 21: Notre Dame defeats Butler, 67-64, in overtime.
7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals, 5 blocks (including one with two seconds left in regulation)
MLB translation: While not the prettiest of games, Connaughton was like a pitcher who didn't have his best stuff or command, but who gutted it through 6 1/3 innings while scattering eight hits -- escaping two bases-loaded jams.
March 26: Notre Dame defeats Wichita State, 81-70
16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
MLB translation: Connaughton put in the very definition of a quality start: He ate up innings, kept hitters off base while racking up a double-digit strikeout total and held the opposing team to a single run.
March 28: Notre Dame loses to University of Kentucky, 68-66
8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
MLB translation: Connaughton turned in another quality start, but against tougher competition, it wasn't enough. He struck out plenty of batters and kept runners out of scoring position, helping his team stay in it until the bottom of the ninth. There's not a whole lot more you can ask of a hurler -- or a basketball player.
What's next: With Notre Dame now out of the tournament, the Orioles will be looking forward to getting him into camp and back to playing baseball.