In a game that took over four and a half hours, the Aggies borrowed a page from the Cardinals book, using late inning heroics to take the first game of the Super Regional.
Although it did not go the Cardinals way, this was one heck of a college baseball game. Louisville had plenty of opportunities to add to their lead through the middle innings, but so did Texas A&M. The Aggies left 17 runners on base, which is a huge credit to the Louisville pitching staff.
Jared Poland got the start and turned it yet another gritty performance. He did not have his best stuff and was a little wild at times, but he gave everything he had in 4.2 innings of work, striking out seven batters in 109 pitches. That is no small feat in the temperatures the Cards were welcomed to in College Station this weekend.
From there, Coach McDonnell used five additional pitchers, ultimately handing the ball to Michael Prosecky (L, 2-1) in the 8th inning.
Prosecky walked the leadoff batter to start the 9th inning, but followed that up with two consecutive outs. It looked like the game would head into extras, but the Aggies had other plans. A single, HBP, and walk-off single were the final three plate appearances for Texas A&M.
Louisville pitchers issued 10 walks (plus four HBP), one of which was the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.
The offense pounded out 10 hits, three apiece by Cameron Masterman and Ben Metzinger. Logan Beard chipped in with 2 RBI.
The Cardinals carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning before the Aggies used a two-run home run to tie the game. Up until that point, their fans did not have much to cheer for, but they were juiced after that. They definitely impacted the game this evening and will show up in masses tomorrow.
Louisville will now have to win two games in a row in College Station in order to advance to the College World Series. Teams that lose the first game of their Super Regional advance to the CWS just 20% of the time.
Based on the bullpen activity tonight, I would assume that Riley Phillips (5-1, 4.25 ERA) will start for the Cards on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM and will be televised on ESPN2.
Let’s go be apart of the 20%.