Logan Taylor used three RBIs — both the game-tying and go-ahead runs — as U of L scored ten runs in the final two innings to run away with an 11-1 victory over Oklahoma.
It took a while for the Louisville bats to get going, as the Cards only mustered one hit and one run in the first seven innings. U of L would lower the boom on Boomer Sooner in the final two innings, though.
Despite Devin Hairston being thrown out at home earlier in the eighth inning, U of L capitalized on loading the bases not once, but twice. Logan Taylor would drive in the go-ahead runs on a two-RBI single, followed by Colby Fitch’s RBI triple to score two more. After U of L loaded the bases again, Hairston’s hit-by-pitch would draw another run, followed by a two-RBI single from Colin Lyman.
In the ninth, Brendan McKay added a two-RBI single, while Drew Ellis capped the Louisville scoring with an RBI single to score Ryan Summers. The victories over Radford and Oklahoma marked the first time since late April that the Cardinals scored 10+ runs in back-to-back games.
After Kade McClure was moved to open the regional last night, McKay started Saturday against Oklahoma’s Jake Irvin. McKay finished the game with 6.1 innings, seven strikeouts, one earned run and tied Kyle Funkhouser’s career record of 376 strikeouts. At the plate, he finished 1-for-4, the lone hit on a two-RBI single in the ninth inning.
Jake Sparger was credited with the win tonight, improving his record to 5-1 on the season. Sparger’s at-bat against Kyle Mendenhall arguably changed the complexion of the game; despite being drawn to 11 tries at the plate and numerous checks to first base, the reliever got a critical strikeout, later closing the inning on a groundout. Adam Wolf finished the game with two innings, only allowing a double in the eighth.
After going through half the game without a scored run, Oklahoma broke through on an RBI double from Kyle Mendenhall. U of L would tie the game the following inning via an RBI sacrifice from Logan Taylor to score the diving Josh Stowers. Taylor finished 1-of-3 with three RBI, with the first two being a game-tying and go-ahead run, respectively. Colin Lyman finished as the only Louisville batter with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI. Fitch and McKay each had two RBI, with the Cards scoring six of their runs in a two-out situation.
Jake Irvin (6-3) would finish with seven innings of work, allowing three earned runs on three hits and delivering four strikeouts for the Sooners. Oklahoma would cycle through six different pitchers before finishing the game.
Oklahoma (35-23) will play Xavier (32-25) in a rematch at 1 p.m. tomorrow, with the winner playing Louisville at 7 p.m. later that day. Should Louisville win tomorrow, the Cards would advance to their fifth straight Super Regional, hosting whoever comes out of the Lexington Regional between Kentucky, Indiana and NC State.