The Louisville Cardinals are headed to the College World Series for the fifth time in program history.
For the second time in as many days, the Cardinals dropped the hammer on visiting East Carolina, sending the Pirates home with a 12-0 defeat that was never in question. In two super regional games, Louisville outscored ECU 26-1 and out-hit the Pirates 32-8.
The only drama at Jim Patterson Stadium for most of Saturday afternoon surrounded the question of whether or not Bobby Miller would complete the first no-hitter in the history of super regional play. Miller carried the no-no with him into the 9th inning, but hit the first batter he faced before allowing a single to ECU’s Thomas Francisco to break up the bid for history. Michael Kirian then came in to record the game’s final three outs.
Louisville got the scoring started in the top of the second, when Drew Campbell tripled home Jake Snider and Danny Oriente. Campbell, who finished the afternoon 3-for-5 and one home run short of the cycle, scored moments later on wild pitch.
U of L would go on to post three run frames in the third, fifth and ninth innings to solidify the lopsided final score. Justin Lavey finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with three runs driven in, and catcher Henry Davis and center fielder Lucas Dunn each knocked in a pair.
The task for the Cardinals now becomes sticking around in Omaha longer than they have in their four previous trips. U of L went 1-2 at the College World Series in both 2007 and 2017, and was the first team eliminated after going two and out in both 2013 and 2014. They’ll begin the quest to right those wrongs a week from today against either Vanderbilt or Duke (the Blue Devils lead the series, 1-0).
A week ago it looked like this season was destined to end on a sour note. Now, Louisville is headed to college baseball’s biggest stage as the hottest team in the country.
Let’s win this whole thing, boys.