Opening up regional play in the sweltering Texas heat, sophomore first baseman Logan Wyatt’s career day helped the #21 Louisville Cardinals storm past Joey Murray and the Kent State Golden Flashes, 13-6. His two home run, 7 RBI day was the ninth time in school history that a Cardinal hit multiple home runs in an NCAA postseason game, and his 7 RBI tied a school record for most in an NCAA postseason game (Chris Dominguez vs. Missouri, June 4th, 2007).
The Golden Flashes might have scored first with a run in the top of the first, but Louisville would respond in a big way against Kent State’s starting pitcher Joey Murray. They would send 10 runners to the plate and bring home a whopping 6 runs in just the first inning, rattling the two-time MAC Pitcher of the Year. The opening frame would be highlighted by Logan Wyatt’s second grand slam of the season, and his fifth long ball overall. An RBI triple from sophomore outfielder Drew Campbell and sacrifice fly from sophomore designated hitter Danny Oriente would complete the first inning and give the Cards an early five run advantage.
A Kent State home run to leadoff the second would cut their deficit to 4, but the Louisville advantage would grow right back in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of Logan Wyatt yet again. The on base machine would continue his breakout season with yet another home run, this time bringing home three runs to give him 7 RBI through two innings. Capping off the second inning, emerging catcher Zach Britton would groundout with Drew Campbell on third to give Louisville 10 runs through the first two innings.
Starting pitcher junior left-hander Adam Wolf had a bend but not break attitude through the first four innings, only striking out a pair of batters yet holding Kent State to just a pair of runs. However, the 103-degree Texas weather would finally start to catch up to him in the fifth inning. He would struggle to find his release point, inevitably leading to him giving up a 3 run home run to cut the Cards’ lead back to 5 through five innings.
Fortunately for the Cardinal Nine, their red-hot offense would continue to put space in between them and Kent State. Two out doubles in both the sixth and seventh innings courtesy of sophomore outfielder Jake Snider and Zach Britton would bring home another 3 runs and give Louisville 13 runs for the game, good for an eight run lead.
Despite setting a new career high in earned runs with 6, Adam Wolf was determined to finish strong. He would regain his composure, and face the minimum amount of batters in the sixth and seventh inning. But when his pitch count creeped into the 100s in the eighth inning and he would give up a leadoff triple, his day would be done.
Junior right-hander Riley Thompson would enter the game in relief of Wolf, and a groundout would allow the runner on third to advance for Kent State’s sixth run, but a pair of strikeouts would deny the Golden Flashes any more runs in the inning. They would threaten with more runs in the ninth, but Thompson would shut them down and secure Louisville’s 16th straight regional victory.
Up next, the Cardinal Nine will advance in the winners bracket and take on the hosting #9 Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 1-0 game on Saturday, June 2nd at 8pm.
W: Adam Wolf (8-2), L: Joey Murray (9-2)