--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals lost yesterday, which put them in the loser’s bracket- for one game. In order to fight for survival, the Cardinals would have to play two games on Sunday, and one on Monday.
Luckily, the top-seeded team in the Louisville regional would win both games, and will get an opportunity to play for a Super Regional berth tomorrow.
Here’s how game five and six of the Louisville regional went down:
Game Five- Cardinals survive late-game dramatics, soft ejection call
A four-run second helped propel the Cardinals to a 9-7 win over the Indiana Hoosiers; and an opportunity to play for another game against the Illinois State Redbirds. Indiana was in the loser’s bracket after losing to Illinois State on Friday in the first game of the regional. They were arguably the two-seed.
Bobby Miller got the start for the Cardinals, and delivered 5.1 innings, and surrendered four runs, all earned. All four of the runs were surrendered in the sixth inning.
Danny Oriente plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the second to open scoring. He doubled to right center field. Then, Justin Lavey scored Oriente and Drew Campbell on a single through the middle.
Alex Binelas homered to center in the third for another two runs. He also plated Tyler Fitzgerald on a groundout in the fifth.
Binelas recorded another RBI on a double to right center. Campbell drove in the freshman on a single to left.
With a 9-5 score in the ninth, the Hoosiers made it interesting. They scored two runs, but an argument about a pitch that resulted in Louisville closer Michael McAvene saying “That’s Terrible” led to an ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct, and four-game suspension, for the pitcher. The ejection did not face the offense, as McAvene said a totally normal statement under the circumstances.
To make matters better, ESPN's broadcast cut out during the incident.
Game Six- Cardinals dominate Redbirds at the plate, on the mound
Illinois State dominated Louisville Saturday night. The Cardinals returned the favor, forcing a Game seven. The Cardinals, playing as the road team, won 11-2.
Luke Smith started for the Cardinals in game two and pitched a gem. It was arguably his best outing in 2019. In 8.1 innings, Smith allowed just two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out seven batters in 129 pitches. He received the win, and rightly so.
Louisville opened scoring in the top of the second. Campbell hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, and sent freshman phenom Binelas home. Then, Justin Lavey drove in another run on a single through the left side of the infield.
Nick Zouras hit a sac fly to right center in the bottom of the inning.
Jake Snider hit an absolute moonshot to right in the top of the fourth. The ball cleared the wall easily, and went through the trees. Lucas Dunn received a gift from Aeilts in right. Aeilts couldn’t hang onto a softly hit ball down the line, and Dunn plated a two-run triple.
Louisville had a big eighth inning. Oriente hit a single through the left side, plating Snider. Then, Campbell singled to short right-center field, scoring Oriente from second. Zach Britton came on for a pinch-hit RBI single, replacing Lucas Dunn. Fitzgerald sacrificed a fly ball, tacking on another run. Snider added two more on a double to center.
With 114 innings, Smith entered the ninth inning. Joe Aeilts tripled to lead off the inning. Smith balked, scoring Aeilts. He struck the next batter out, and was pulled from the game.
Game seven, the championship game, has been scheduled for 1pm tomorrow. Due to TV obligations, the start could change. Regardless, it will determine who survives, and will face off in the Super Regional for a shot at the College World Series.
Mike Gilpatrick is the senior baseball correspondent for River City Cards... MORE