The Louisville Cardinals baseball team is just 1 win away from reaching the College World Series for the second year in a row. In front of a record crowd of 5,351 at Jim Patterson Stadium, the Cards used a 3-run 8th inning to take control of game 5-3 and hand it over to Nick Burdi for the save. After striking out the first two batters of the 9th, the new Minnesota Twin gave up a single before getting a pop out to 3rd to end the game.
Louisville struck first in the 3rd inning on a Nick Solak single. The freshman wasn’t done just yet though. Kennesaw State scored 2 runs in the 4th to take a 2-1 lead. One of the runs came on a bang-bang play at 1st that was very close. The runner was called safe and a run scored on what would have been the 3rd out of the inning. The Owls would end up taking a 3-1 lead in the 5th.
In the 7th inning, Louisville was finally able to bring in another run when Alex Chittenden singled to drive in Nick Solak from 2nd base. Then in the 8th inning with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out for the Cards, Kennesaw State went to the bullpen to bring in their closer, Justin McCalvin. As correctly predicted by Sean Moth, who was calling the game on radio, Kyle Gibson laid down the bunt for the squeeze play and tied the game at 3. With a runner already at first and Gibson safe on the bunt, Nick Solak delivered the biggest hit of the game with a 2-run double to right field and Louisville took the 5-3 lead into the 9th, where of course it was Burdi time, and we know how that ended up!
Here are the pitching stats for Louisville:
On the Mound: Kyle McGrath (W, 2-1. 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 1K). Kyle Funkhouser (7.0IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 5BB, 7K). Nick Burdi (S,17. 1.0IP, 1H, 2K).
— Louisville Baseball (@UofLBaseball) June 7, 2014
Game 2 of the best of 3 series is Saturday at 7 pm ET. The game can be seen on ESPNU.