Louisville was eliminated from the College World Series Monday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville baseball program is the only one to compete in the last two College World Series.
The rest of the story is not as uplifting -- or memorable. For the second consecutive season the Cards left Omaha, Nebraska without winning a game – or leading for a single inning.
Beaten 5-3 by Vanderbilt Saturday night, the Cards lost to Texas, 4-1, Monday afternoon at T.D. Ameritrade Stadium. Louisville avoided its first shutout of the season with a run in the eighth inning.
Against Vandy it was walks and passed balls that beat Louisville. Against Texas, the Cardinals couldn’t hit and couldn’t catch the ball. They had as many errors (four) as hits (four). The eighth-inning run came without a Louisville hit.
That’s not a winning combination – and the Longhorns took advantage of Louisville’s inconsistent play.
Texas scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The fourth-inning run scored on an error by Louisville shortstop Sutton Whiting. An error by second baseman Zach Lucas enabled the Longhorns’ third run to score in the fifth inning.
Like last season, the Cardinals were reminded how difficult it is to score runs at T.D. Ameritrade Park. No home runs have been hit during the first five games of this CWS.
Louisville’s four hits were all singles – by Kyle Gibson, Alex Chittenden, Sutton Whiting and Zach Lucas.
Louisville’s best opportunity for a big inning was the eighth. Whiting walked and quickly moved to second when Lucas was hit by a pitch. Gibson sacrificed the runners to second and third.
Texas summoned Travis Duke, the Longhorns' left-handed relief specialist, to pitch to Cole Sturgeon, a left-handed hitter. Sturgeon jumped ahead in the count, three balls, one strike – and then grounded out to second. Whiting scored.
But Nick Solak, the Cards’ best hitter in the Super Regional, struck out to end the inning.
Louisville exited quietly in the ninth inning – Jeff Gardner struck out, Alex Chittenden grounded out to short as did pinch hitter Shane Crain.
The loss went to Anthony Kidston, who won his first nine decisions this season. Kidston pitched eight solid inning, striking out five and allowing six hits. Closer Nick Burdi worked the ninth, allowing an unearned run because of his throwing error.
It was Burdi's final performance as a Cardinal. He is expected to sign with the Minnesota Twins and start pitching professionally soon, earning a signing bonus of $1.2 million. Senior cleanup hitter Jeff Gardner (Nationals) and Sturgeon (Red Sox) will also begin their professional careers in the minor leagues.
The Cards finished with a 50-17 record as the program transitions into the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2015 season.