For the fifth time in program history, the Louisville baseball team is headed to the College World Series, as the Cardinals captured the Louisville Super Regional with a 12-0 victory over East Carolina on Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville (49-16) swept its way through the Super Regional in dominant fashion, outscoring ECU 26-1 over the two games. The Cardinals will be making their fifth College World Series appearance (2007, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019) and will take on the winner of Vanderbilt and Duke in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I’m super proud of my guys,” head coach Dan McDonnell said. “They showed a lot of toughness and competed. This journey has been a lot of fun, and we made it clear out in the outfield that we aren’t finished yet.”
Following a 14-1 victory in game one on Friday, Louisville carried the momentum into Saturday’s second game. The Cardinals put multiple runs up in four innings on Friday and did it once again in the series-clinching win.
After both teams failed to score in the first, the Cardinals got the fun started in the second. Jake Snider drew a leadoff walk and Danny Oriente reached on a bunt single to give UofL a pair of baserunners. Drew Campbell then kicked off his big day with a triple down the left field line that scored both runners and gave Louisville an early 2-0 advantage. Campbell later scored on a wild pitch for the third run of the inning, which proved to be a theme for the day.
Bobby Miller handled his business in the bottom half of the inning, and Louisville went back to work at the plate in the third. Alex Binelas walked to lead off the inning, but the next two hitters were retired. Campbell kept the inning alive with a double into right, and Justin Lavey cashed in the scoring opportunity with a double of his own that scored both runners. Henry Davis followed with a run-scoring single of his own and Louisville held a 6-0 lead in the third.
Miller (7-1) took care of the rest on the mound, turning in his best start of the season. The sophomore faced the minimum through six innings, allowing just a walk in the third that was erased by a double play. Miller’s special outing continued into the final frame, as he completed eight hitless innings.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals tacked on three more runs in the fifth with RBIs from Davis, Lucas Dunn and Logan Wyatt. They then added three more for good measure in the ninth on hits by Lavey, Zeke Pinkham and Dunn.
Miller’s no-hit bid came to an end with nobody out in the ninth before he exited to a standing ovation and a curtain call from the nearly 4,500 in attendance at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday. Michael Kirian handled the rest, getting a double play and a fly out to send the Cardinals to Omaha.
Campbell and Lavey led the Louisville offense on Saturday, as the bottom four in the lineup combined to go 10-for-16 with eight runs scored and seven driven in. Campbell finished just a home run shy of the cycle, while Lavey was 3-for-3 and reached in all five plate appearances.
|Stephen WilliamsAssistant Sports Information DirectorUniversity of Louisville Athletics|