The Ville is headed to Omaha!
June 10, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With a 20-2 romp over Oklahoma State in game three of the NCAA Super Regional Sunday, the University of Louisville baseball team clinched a berth into the College World Series in Omaha, for the first time in school history.
The Cards will face Rice Friday in famed Rosenblatt Stadium at 2 p.m. ET.
"It is such a great win for this University. The coaches, the players and the guys I have been leaning on all year did great," said Head Coach Dan McDonnell.
"Last week we had all ten seniors on stage, I guess there wasn't enough room this time but I am sitting here because of those ten seniors as well as all the players. This is a great day for Louisville baseball."
In the Cardinal (46-22) first, Boomer Whiting drew a leadoff walk and easily stole his NCAA-leading 73rd base on the season. An out later, Daniel Burton drilled a single to left center for a 1-0 Cardinal lead.
Louisville exploded for five runs in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead. Chris Dominguez singled and Pete Rodriguez drilled his second home run of the weekend, a shot to right center, to make it 3-0 Cardinals.
Chris Cates and Whiting hit consecutive singles and Logan Johnson singled home Cates. Burton was hit by a pitch and an out later Jorge Castillo bounced his 14th double of the season down the first base line, scoring two more. Castillo has now hit safely in all 12 postseason games, a career-long hit streak.
The Cowboys(42-21) cut into the lead with one away in the third on a solo home run by Ty Wright, making it 6-1 Cards, but U of L answered in the bottom of the frame.
Rodriguez, who would go on to notch his first career four hit game on a 4 for 4 afternoon, singled and moved to second on a balk, before Derrick Alfonso's sac bunt sent him to third. Cates' RBI groundout put the lead back to six.
OSU countered on a solo home run by Rebel Ridling in the fourth, but that was all the ninth-ranked scoring offense in the nation could muster against the Cardinal arms.
Colby Wark started for the Cards and went 3.1 innings, allowing the two runs on five hits and two walks, fanning two. He was replaced by fifth-year senior Skylar Meade (9-4), who tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, striking out two to earn the win. The fifth-year senior from Louisville Ballard High School is now tied for 10th in career wins and is alone in fourth on the single season list with nine.
"I have been here for what feels like ten years, personally it is the most amazing thing I have been around. Everyone respects the game and knows it is a chance of the lifetime and is living in the moment. We played like it was our last game but luckily it is not," Meade said.
The offense kept pounding away in the fourth with another five spot. After Johnson walked, Burton hit what appeared to be his eighth home run of the season, but after he rounded the bases, a protest from the OSU coaches and players forced a meeting with the umpires and they reversed the call.
Burton then grounded into a tailor-made double play, but it was bobbled by Tyler Mach and everyone was safe. Isaiah Howes then singled home a run and Castillo two more. Rodriguez and Alfonso singled, an Whiting singled home two more, for a 12-2 advantage.
In the fifth, Johnson, Burton and Howes strung together consecutive singles for a run, Dominguez singled home another, and a sac fly by Rodriguez and wild pitch brought in two more to make it 16-2.
The Cardinals capped the scoring in style in the eighth.
Cates drilled his 13th double of the season, Whiting walked and Johnson was hit by a pitch. After Burton popped up, Howes crushed the first pitch he saw onto a crowded berm in left for his 18th home run of the season and second grand slam, bringing a stadium record and overflow crowd of 4,211 to their feet.
James Belanger gave up a single, but induced a double-play ground ball to face the minimum in three tidy innings.
Andrew Salguiero tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, capping the game with a called third strike to pinch hitter Dylan Brown, putting the fans and players into a frenzied celebration. The Cardinal bullpen retired the final 11 batters of the game in order.
OSU starter Joe Kent was saddled with the loss, falling to 4-3 after surrendering three runs on three hits and a walk, striking out one in an inning plus. Seven more Cowboy pitchers marched out of the pen, with only Andrew Oliver(3.2 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K) working more than an inning on the afternoon.
U of L pounded out 21 hits, equalling their season-high from the Regional-clinching win over Missouri last Monday.
The vaunted OSU offense was limited to five runs on 17 hits in 30.0 innings on the weekend.
Howes finished with six RBI, while Castillo plated four more, bringing his NCAA total to an impressive 17 in eight games. Eight of the nine starters collected two or more hits.
U of L officials have planned a celebration at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 in downtown Louisville at Fourth Street Live. It is free and open to the public.
A limited number of tickets are available for the College World Series.
Phone orders for tickets, priced at $18 each, will be taken beginning Monday June 11 at 9:00 am by calling (502) 852-5151 or (502) 852-5863. Tickets orders are being taken immediately by downloading a ticket order form from the UofL website at www.uoflsports.com. Cardinal Athletic Fund members who place their orders by 5:00 pm on Monday, June 11 will receive priority status. Visa or MasterCard will be accepted for payment with all phone and fax orders.
Ticket distribution for each UofL game at the College World Series will take place two hours prior to the first game of each session at the Rosenblatt Stadium ticket office. Tickets will be sold for UofL games only in the event. All session tickets for the College World Series are not available.