With a record crowd for the second straight day in a row and a trip to the College World Series on the line, the Cardinal Nine handled the pressure with ease and defeated archrival Kentucky for the Super Regional sweep, 6-2 and punched their ticket to Omaha.
After finally breaking out of his postseason slump in game 1 of the Louisville Super Regional, Drew Ellis got back to his All-American form in game 2. He hit his 19th and 20th home runs of the season for his 60th and 61st RBIs of the season, one of which was a no-doubter to deep left-center field that bounced off the light post. Colby Fitch also broke out of his postseason slump, batting 3-5 after going 1-16 (.063) in NCAA Championship play. Following Ellis and Fitch’s footsteps, shortstop Devin Hairston would also collect three hits on the day, batting 3-4.
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.
As you can see, the fans were chomping at the bit to get in the stadium for the possible series clinching game 2 from Jim Patterson Saturday night versus the Kennesaw State Owls. We set the record last night with 5,351 people in attendance in what was one of the more raucous games I have ever been to. What more could we do? How bout putting another 656 people in the house! The CardNation broke the long-standing attendance record, ha, and were even rowdier tonight with a total of 6,007! I wanted to put together a post with some pictures and include the last minutes of the game plus the dog-pile celebration as the Cards win the game 7-4 and win the Louisville Super Regional and advance to the College World Series. I hope you enjoy!
As you guys may know, I do a feature during the Basketball Tournament called Meet the Opponents. The idea popped into my head today to do one for our opponents and visitors to Patterson Stadium this weekend, The Kennesaw State Owls. Many reasons came to mind. A lot of us don’t know much about them. They are not a huge name. Most importantly, this is my story and I will write about whatever I want. Ok, the last reason had zero affect on why, but it’s my story and I can just make up a reason if I want. On a serious note, I hope you enjoy the tidbits and facts also known as Meet The Opponents.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Matched against long-time rival Kentucky for the first time outside the regular season, the top-seeded Louisville baseball team continued its trend of postseason success with a 4-1 win in Sunday night’s NCAA Regional title game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In a game delayed nearly four hours due to lightning and rain, the Cardinals (48-15) plated three runs in a pivotal seventh inning to win its fourth NCAA Regional in the last eight years under the direction of head coach Dan McDonnell. With the victory, Louisville will host an NCAA Super Regional for the second time in school history when the winner of the Alabama-Kennesaw State matchup in Monday’s finale at the Tallahassee Regional (noon ET) visits Jim Patterson Stadium. The best-of-three series will begin either Friday or Saturday with the complete schedule to be released by the NCAA on Tuesday.