Facing #9 Texas Tech for the second time in as many days, the #21 Louisville Cardinals’ late inning comeback rally fell just short, as their early game hitting woes against the regional hosts put them in an almost impossible hole to climb out of. Their 11-6 loss eliminates them from the Lubbock Regional, ending the season with a record 45-19, the ninth time head coach Dan McDonnell has fielded a 45 win team. The loss also snaps their five year streak of making it to the Super Regional round.
Texas Tech wasted very little time proving that they are one of the most offensively potent teams in the country. They would plate 5 runs in the first two innings of the game, including two home runs, one of which was a 3 run blast. The Red Raiders would chase off starting pitcher Reid Detmers after just 2.0 innings of work, prompting junior Bryan Hoeing to relieve him in the start of the fourth.
Like in their game against Tech the day before, Louisville continued to struggle at the plate. They had plenty of opportunities to bring home runs and prevent the game from getting out of hand, however they would not get a base hit with a runner on base until the fourth inning, going 0-6 with runners on base in the first three innings of the game, including 0-3 with runners in scoring position.
While Hoeing did a better job against Texas Tech than Detmers did, the Red Raiders’ offense still found a way to break through. In his 3.0 innings of relief, he would only allow 3 hits and 0 walks, but Tech would find a way to add two more runs to their already sizable lead.
The Cards would finally crack the scoreboard in the fifth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from junior second baseman Devin Mann, but Texas Tech would keep on trucking. Sophomore right-hander Michael McAvene would relieve Hoeing in the sixth, and the Red Raiders would jump all over the pitching change, adding two more runs in the sixth for a 9-1 lead through the middle innings.
But Louisville was not going to go down without a fight. A sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Justin Lavey in the sixth and an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Drew Campbell in the seventh would give them life, but the eighth inning would make it a game again. Outfielder Jake Snider would smack a 2 run home run for his second long ball of the year, and an RBI single from All-American first baseman Logan Wyatt would cut their deficit to just three runs through eight innings.
Unfortunately, their comeback rally would get buried in the ninth inning. Tech would plate two more runs in the top of the inning to give them double digits runs for the contest. Facing a a five run deficit in the bottom of the ninth, Louisville couldn’t generate any offense when they needed it the most, and their 2018 season came to and end.
|#9 Texas Tech||11||14||1|
W: Davis Martin (7-5), L: Reid Detmers (4-2)