Louisville Season Comes To Close in World Series
Published on June 18 2013 11:11 am
Last Updated on June 18 2013 12:06 pm
Written by Millie Lange
OMAHA, Neb. -- The fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team had its record-breaking 2013 season ended on Monday afternoon with an 11-4 loss to No. 3 national seed Oregon State in a College World Series elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
With their 0-2 finish at the 2013 CWS, the Cardinals close the season with a 51-14 record overall, while the Beavers improved to 51-12 and advance to another elimination contest against either Indiana or Mississippi State on Wednesday night.
Despite the season-ending loss, Louisville set a new school record for wins (51) in 2013 surpassing the previous record of 50 set in 2010. Advancing to the College World Series for the second time in school history and for the first time since 2007, the Cardinals won their fourth BIG EAST regular season title in the last five years and hosted an NCAA Regional for the third time in the last five seasons. The 2013 season also included career win No. 300 for head coach Dan McDonnell, who is now 309-142 (.685 winning percentage) in his tenure with the Cardinals.
A two-inning scoring outburst proved to be the difference as Oregon State plated 10 runs in the third and fourth innings to take command on the third day of the CWS. The 11 runs for the Beavers were the most allowed in a game by Louisville this season, though only four of those were earned. The Cardinals assisted in the big offensive day for OSU matching a season high with four errors.
"I'm sure our guys are very disappointed. They didn't play well and we didn't play clean baseball in the third and fourth innings," McDonnell said. "Unfortunately, that happens when you're playing a very good opponent. It's very tough at this moment, but I don't want this game to define them or their season."
Offensively, junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) led the Cardinals with three hits on Monday to finish with five hits in two CWS games. Overall, Sturgeon closed the season as Louisville's top hitter with a .339 average. Junior infielder Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) chipped in with two hits and a RBI, while junior outfielder Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS) added a double, two RBI and a run scored.
On the mound, junior righthander Jeff Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) suffered just his second loss of the season after allowing three earned runs and seven total runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings to fall to 11-2 overall. Freshman righty Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest HS) pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts, while sophomore righthander Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) added one shutout inning of relief.
The Beavers struck first on Monday plating three runs, including two unearned, in the third against Thompson. After centerfielder Max Gordon was hit by a pitch to open the inning, shortstop Tyler Smith connected for a RBI double down the left field line for the first run of the game. Following an error on junior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky./Henderson County HS) on a dropped foul popup, which allowed the Beavers to later load the bases, a throwing error by sophomore Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) on a slow roller to second pushed across two more runs for a 3-0 cushion after three innings.
An inning later, Oregon State blew the game open plating seven runs fueled by five hits, one Louisville error and one missed call on a close play at first base. After loading the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, the Beavers plated two runs on a slow rolling infield single down the third base line by rightfielder Dylan Davis. Young quickly charged, gloved the ball and threw a one-hopper that senior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) gloved. Though Davis was called safe allowing two runs to score, ESPN replays indicated the throw narrowly beat the runner and should have ended the inning. Instead, the Beavers added five more runs, all of which were unearned following a throwing error by sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) on another play that should have ended the inning.
The Cardinals broke through for their first run of the College World Series in the fifth when Lucas connected for a RBI single to right field to score Gibson to cut the deficit to 10-1. Gibson led off the inning with a single to right and moved to second on a walk to Wasserman before scoring on the single by Lucas.
Louisville drew closer in the seventh inning when Engel delivered a two-run double down the left field line to score Wasserman and junior infielder Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS), while Young added a RBI single to left to plate Engel to cut the deficit to 10-4. However, Oregon State added the final run of the day in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI double to right by outfielder Michael Conforto.
For OSU, lefty starter Ben Wetzler improved to 10-1 overall after allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Scott Schultz closed the game for the Beavers allowing one run on four hits in 2.2 innings of relief. At the plate, second baseman Andy Peterson was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Gordon was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs.
Effingham High School graduate Chad Green finished his season with Louisville with a 10-4 record, 2.42 ERA, 104.1 innings pitched, allowing 97 hits, 36 runs, 28 of those earned, 27 walks and 74 strikeouts.
Mississippi State 5, Indiana 4
Trey Porter hit the tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the eighth inning as Mississippi State held on for a 5-4 victory over Indiana in NCAA men's College World Series action Monday.
Mississippi State trailed 3-2 heading into the eighth and tied the game on Demarcus Henderson's single to right, scoring Brett Pirtle. After a ground out put runners on second and third with two outs, Indiana's Brian Korte took the hill and served up Porter's clutch single to the right-center gap.
Indiana will now face Oregon State in an elimination contest Wednesday while Mississippi State won't play again until Friday and needs just one win to advance to the best-of-three championship series.