In a clash of two of the best teams in the country, Louisville (9-1) picked up their second win in as many days over teams from Texas ranked in the top 15. Although TCU (6-4) did not go away quietly, the Louisville offense did not have to provide many fireworks due to the performance of Greg Farone (W, 1-0) in his first career start for Louisville.
With Riley Phillips struggling in his first two outings, Farone, the JUCO transfer, earned a spot in the weekend rotation after just three appearances in this young season. It was a tall task against a Horned Frogs offense that scored 11 runs against Vanderbilt and 18 against Arkansas, but he did not back down from the challenge.
Farone (7 IP, 9 K, 2 H, 1 ER) kept TCU guessing for 7 innings, retiring 18 straight batters at one point in the game. He gave up a hit to begin the 8th inning which resulted in a Dan McDonnell mound visit and pitching change.
Tate Kuehner (S, 1) would take over on the mound, giving up a home run later in the inning. Farone was credited for the runner that was on base when he exited the game.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Horned Frogs made it interesting until the final pitch. With two outs and two runners on base, Isaac Humphrey caught a fly ball at the warning track in right field to secure the 3-2 victory.
The highlight at the dish was Jack Payton (2-5, HR, 2 RBI) who belted his 4th home run of the season to right field in the top of the 3rd inning. In just 10 games, Payton has now hit as many home runs this year as he did in all of 2022.
Freshman Gavin Kilen (3-4, R) led the Cards with 3 hits and scored a run off the bat of Matt Klein.
If you look at the box score and notice the 13 hits Louisville tallied on the afternoon, you would think they would have scored more than 3 runs, but they caught a few bad breaks. For example, with the bases loaded and no outs in the 6th inning, they were not able to push a run across.
Klein hit a ball up the middle that would have scored two runs, but the umpire called runners interference as Gavin Kilen was headed to third base. Coach McDonnell would argue the call, but it is not reviewable and was upheld.
Even with the bad breaks, this is a massive win for Louisville. Going down to Texas and beating two top-caliber teams like Texas A&M and TCU in back-to-back days in mighty impressive and will pay huge dividends on Selection Monday. This team just keeps finding different ways to win games.
The Shriners Children’s College Classic will come to an end tomorrow. Louisville will take on Michigan in a rematch from last years NCAA Regional Championship. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM. Carson Liggett (2-0, 2.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Cards.
Let’s make it 3-0 in the Lone Star State tomorrow.