The University of Louisville Baseball team advanced to their 1st Super Regional action since 2009 after winning 3 straight games at Jim Patterson Stadium over Bowling Green, Miami, and Oklahoma State. The Cards advance to play the winner of the Nashville Regional in a best of 3 series, the dates & times will be announced on Monday evening.
2013 marks the 3rd Super Regional Appearance for the Cardinals in their history, all with Dan McDonnell. The Cards were able to reach the College World Series in Omaha in their first appearance both in the CWS and a Super Regional in 2007, while Louisville fell to Cal State Fullerton in their 2nd appearance in a Super Regional.
4374 folks came to see the finale, the 3rd largest crowd in Jim Patterson history (2013 Kentucky, 2013 Elon). The Cards got things going in the 3rd inning scoring 3 runs with 2 outs. Nick Ratajczak singled up the middle allowing Sutton Whiting to score from 3rd, two batters later CoCo Johnson singled through the left side scoring the final two runs of the inning.
The 4th & 5th innings were also productive for the Cards. In the 4th Adam Engel had the oddest triple on record that scored Zak Wasserman & Cole Sturgeon, and in the 5th Ty Young emerged from his slump with a single to get on base for Jeff Gardner to double and drive him home. Also in the 5th starting pitcher Dace Kime was replaced after 4.2, 4 Ks, 3 runs (2 earned), 4 BBs, and 8 hits by Joe Filomeno. Kime was more effective than his stats might suggest, but Filomeno was NASTY in his 3.1 innings of work. And the party really got started for UofL in the 8th inning……
In the 8th inning the Cards scored 6 runs, including 5 runs with 2 outs. The best sign of the inning was definitely Ty Young’s 3-run (2 RBI, throwing error allowed 3rd run home) single to center. Young had been struggling since the beginning of the Big East Tournament and is arguably Louisville’s best hitter. When Young is hitting the Cards can go far, so seeing him go 2 for 4 today was big time for the Cards heading into the Super Regional.
It was a fantastic weekend for Cardinal Baseball. The weather held off, the Cards went 3-0 and never faced elimination, players got some confidence back, and the bullpen didn’t get overly worked. Now the Cards will face a bigger challenge next weekend either against Vanderbilt or Georgia Tech, and in Nashville, Louisville, or possibly even Atlanta. Dan McDonnell said in post-game that he felt ‘fortunate’ to coach this group of young men. While Jeff Gardner wanted the fans to know that the team, “isn’t finished, we want to get to Omaha.” Gardner added, “Since the final buzzer of the National Championship (basketball) I’ve felt like it is on us, to make this the ‘Year of the Cardinal’.”
After a Sugar Bowl win, a National Championship in Men’s Basketball, National Runner-Up in Women’s Basketball, a swimming national champion, all of the Conference Championships in 2012-13, and now a Super Regional for the 3rd time in school history this athletic season already is the “Year of the Cardinal”. But maybe there is more magic left in the lamp.
2013 NCAA REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM-LOUISVILLE
Pitcher: Jeff Thompson, Louisville
Pitcher: Christian Diaz, Miami
Catcher: Garrett Kennedy, Miami
1st Base: Jeremy Shay, Bowling Green
2nd Base: Nick Ratajczak, Louisville
3rd Base: David Thompson, Miami
Shortstop: Randy McCurry, Oklahoma State
Outfield: Coco Johnson, Louisville
Outfield: Tyler Palmer, Miami
Outfield: Gage Green, Oklahoma State
Designated Hitter: Jeff Gardner, Louisville
Most Outstanding Player: Coco Johnson, Louisville