BOZICH | Louisville falls to Florida, 5-1, in College World Seri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Louisville falls to Florida, 5-1, in College World Series

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After losing to Florida Tuesday night, Louisville must win three straight games to advance in the College World Series. After losing to Florida Tuesday night, Louisville must win three straight games to advance in the College World Series.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Now the assignment for the University of Louisville baseball team is clear. Difficult, but clear:

The Cardinals must win three consecutive games at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., or their 2017 season is over. 

Louisville’s six-game winning streak in the NCAA Tournament ended Tuesday night at TD Ameritrade Park. Blame Florida.

The Gators beat the Cardinals, 5-1, dominating the game with the long ball — home runs in the third and fourth innings — and powerful pitching.

Louisville (53-11) plays an elimination game at 8 p.m. Thursday against TCU. If the Cardinals defeat the Horned Frogs, they must defeat the Gators in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday to advance to the World Series finals next Monday.

Louisville starting pitcher Kade McClure overpowered the Gators’ first seven hitters, striking out three. 

But Florida left-fielder Austin Langworthy banged McClure’s 29th pitch, a 92 mph fast ball, off the left-field foul pole to bump the Gators ahead, 1-0, in the third.

McClure found more trouble in the fourth. After retiring the first two hitters, McClure allowed a walk and a single. He got ahead of Deacon Liput with two strikes and a ball. 

But Liput, the Gators’ No. 6, hitter, was ready for a 90 mph fastball and drove it over Cards’ right fielder Colin Lyman for a three-run homer.

Strange game, baseball. Langworthy and Liput have been two of the Gators’ least effective hitters this season. Langworthy started the game with a .236 batting average, Liput .226.

It was only Langworthy’s fourth home run, second since March 3. For Liput, it was his third home run, second since Feb. 19.

Louisville’s offense was unable to solve Florida starter Brady Singer, a hard-throwing right-hander who was drafted in the second round by Toronto  in 2015. Singer earned the win, striking out nine while allowing six hits over seven innings.

Devin Hairston singled in the second for the Cards’ first hit. Louisville did not have another baserunner until the sixth inning when Jake Snider and Colby Fitch singled. Devin Mann struck out looking with runners on first and third to end the threat.

After Florida added a run in the seventh, Louisville finally responded.

Brandon McKay opened the inning with a double to right. He scored on a two-out single by Lyman. It was the first run Florida has allowed in its last three NCAA Tournament games, ending a streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings. 

A single by Josh Stowers and a walk by Snider loaded the bases. The rally ended when Logan Taylor rolled into a force out at second.

McKay doubled again with two outs in the eighth but Drew Ellis popped out. The Cards did not have a baserunner in the ninth.

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