Yes, it’s happening. The Cardinals and Wildcats will settle the score in 2017 this weekend, with a trip to the College World Series on the line at the sold-out Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals are looking for their first College World Series since 2014, while Kentucky is seeking its first ever trip to Omaha. U of L went 3-0 in their stretch, while Kentucky rebounded from a loss against NC State to top the Hoosiers and Wolfpack (twice).
In a game that featured five lead changes, 21 combined hits and four errors, the nearly four-hour broadway at Jim Patterson Stadium produced a lot of drama. But for Louisville baseball, this story would not end in tragedy again.
Stowers’ four RBI day, including scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, propelled Louisville to an 8-7 victory over Xavier.
Louisville’s victory marked the fifth straight regional title for the Cardinals, with U of L also hosting its fourth straight Super Regional next weekend. The win also marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that head coach Dan McDonnell has won 50 games in a season.
It was a game that featured many moments, both dramatic and bizarre. Xavier broke a scoreless tie after three innings with a two RBI single from Nick Soria in the fourth. Stowers would follow it up in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer to right center.
Xavier and Louisville would trade leads four times after that. Ethan Schmidt led off the fifth inning with a home run to tie the game. The Cardinals would rebound with a three-run sixth inning. Jake Snider and Logan Taylor added RBI singles to left field, while Brendan McKay had a high-arching infield single that would score Snider later in the inning.
But as was the theme throughout, Xavier answered the bell almost every time. Percy Fallon’s sacrifice bunt with two outs in the sixth gave the Musketeers a 4-3 lead. The Musketeers added three more runs in the seventh on a Rylin Bannon RBI single, and LaRue’s fielder’s choice plus an error to hold a 7-6 lead into the bottom seventh inning.
Stowers would add an RBI double to tie the game, and later score the go-ahead run in the seventh from Logan Taylor’s RBI single down the left field line. It was the third time in as many games that the Cardinals rallied to win in their regional; the Cards needed runs late to break a 6-6 tie against Radford on Friday, and then busted out ten runs in the final two innings to beat Oklahoma on Saturday. At the plate, Stowers (2-for-3), Taylor (2-for-4, two RBI) and Jake Snider (3-for-4) were the only Cardinals with a multihit game.
With Louisville’s usually stout bullpen struggling after Bennett left, McDonnell opted to put All-American closer Lincoln Henzman at the mound. Though Henzman did not record the save, the closer improved his record to 3-0 on the season with 2.2 innings of perfect pitching. Nick Bennett earned his first start since early May, pitching five innings while U of L used three relievers before settling on Henzman.
The Cardinals (50-10) now await the winner of tomorrow night’s regional final between Kentucky and NC State, with Super Regional times and dates announced on Tuesday.
Another week in the office for Louisville, as they went 4-0 during the week against Eastern Kentucky and Nebraska-Omaha. The four-game stretch pushed Louisville’s record at home to 40-3 in their last 43 games. For more information on last week’s games, be sure to check out the postgame recap on CSZ.
Up next, the Cardinals will finish their eight-game home stand against another in-state foe in Morehead State, then a weekend series against Eastern Michigan.
In one of the most anticipated days in Louisville baseball history after the Ali funeral service on Friday, Louisville could not be blessed. Untimely hits allowed and multiple runners left on base doomed the Cardinals (50-13), resulting in a 4-2 win for UC-Santa Barbara.
The loss for Louisville is only the Cardinals’ second at home all-season, after going 36-1 prior to today’s loss. The other loss was 6-3 against Virginia on March 25th, with third-round pick Connor Jones pitching for the Cavaliers.
Information about parking, single game tickets, and will call for this weekend’s baseball action at Jim Patterson Stadium. From UofL:
Parking / Shuttle
Ample free parking will be available throughout the Louisville Regional at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (PJCS), home of the UofL football team. Fans should park in the Bronze Lot, entering at lot D off Floyd Street on the south end of the stadium.
Located just a short walk from Jim Patterson Stadium, fans can also utilize the free shuttle from PJCS with pick-up located near Gate 4. Drop-off at the ballpark will be outside the main gates of Jim Patterson Stadium.
For the second year in a row, the Louisville Cardinals have made it to Omaha for the College World Series. They will take on Vanderbilt this Saturday at 8 p.m., ET on ESPN2. The Cards and Commodores are building quite the rivalry in baseball, and this will only fuel that. If you remember, Louisville went down to Nashville last year and beat Vanderbilt, who was the 2nd overall seed, to advance to Omaha.
The way the College World Series works is similar to having two separate Regionals. There are two brackets of 4 teams each, and the two winners of those “pods” will play in a best of 3 series for the championship. So in one bracket you have Louisville, Vanderbilt, Texas, and UC Irvine. In the other, you have Texas Tech and the winners of TCU/Pepperdine, Maryland/Virginia, and Mississippi, Louisianna-Lafayette. Those games will be played today so the field will be set after that. Here is the schedule for this year’s College World Series:
Saturday June 14
3:00 p.m., ET – Texas vs UC Irvine
8:00 p.m., ET – Louisville vs Vanderbilt