Louisville drubs Michigan, off to another Super Regional

Happy days are here again.

The University of Louisville is off to its third consecutive Super Regional, totally dominating Michigan 13-4 in a game in which the Cardinals had 14 hits and seven innings of masterful pitching from Josh Rogers.

Rogers, a sophomore left-hander from New Albany, was making his second start in an NCAA Regional, a little nervous he admitted after the game. Reality struck quickly in the first inning when Carmen Benedetti clocked him for a two-run home run, jump starting Michigan with a two-run lead.

Devin Hairston earns outstanding player award in Louisville Regional. (UofL photo)
Devin Hairston earns outstanding player award in Louisville Regional. (UofL photo)

Rogers shakes it off, settles down and gives up only four hits while striking out five batters the rest of the way.

“I was nervous,” said Rogers during the post-game press conference. “If anybody says they’re not nervous before a game like this, they’re lying to you. I had some nerves going, but I got calmed down, settled in there and, after that home run, I just gave my team a chance to win.”

Nick Solak breaks the ice for UofL the next inning with  his third home run of season. He would followup the next inning sending a runner home on a sacrifice to tie the game at 2-2, and still another runner on a single in a three-run sixth inning. By then, UofL owned a 8-3 advantage.

“We were very consistent all weekend — never really panicked,” Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell said. “We handled everybody’s best punch.”

Sutton Whiting, Zach Lucas and Logan Taylor added two hits each for UofL, improving its season record to 46-16.

Coach Dan McDonnell had some special praise for Devin Hairston who was named the Regional’s Most Outstanding Player after going five-for-ten at the plate and scoring four runs over the weekend.

“He’s the epitome of a great week of practice,” McDonnell said. “He and (assistant) coach (Eric) Snider just tweaked the swing a little bit, got him right.”

McDonnell can’t wait for a few more days of practice. Tweaking, tweaking, always tweaking.

Hairston again, Louisville baseball edges Michigan

Corey Ray would fly out to left field in the seventh inning but his teammate Danny Rosenbaum would come through with a two-run home run.
Corey Ray connects for a single in the eighth inning, driving in a run. (Card Game photo)

Left-handed pitchers continue to pose a challenge for University of Louisville hitters, the Cardinals scoreless through the first six innings. Give them time and they will eventually solve Michigan’s Brett Adcock, sidelining him for the remainder of the regional.

Devin Hairston couldn’t match the four-for-four hitting from the night before. But he still found a way to push the winning run across in the 4-3 win over Michigan, possibly putting his University of Louisville baseball team one game away from another NCAA Super Regional.

It was Hairston’s foul ball to right field in the top of the ninth and a running and diving catch by Michigan’s Johnny Slater doing the damage. Slater should have let the ball go. All Colin Lyman, running for Danny Rosembaum, had to do was tag up at third and head for home.

As a result, the Cardinals will play the winner of the Michigan-Bradley game, scheduled for noon, at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Josh Rogers will be on the mound for UofL.

Freshman Brendan McKay came within one out of completing eight innings, being lifted for reliever Drew Harrington after giving up his only walk of the game. He would allow only five base runners while giving up four hits, one of them a home run by Carmen Benedetti in the fourth inning. One runner reached on an error in the eighth when Michigan scored two runs to tie the game at 3-3 going into the ninth.

Adcock, Michigan’s starting pitcher, would allow only three hits and three walks before handing the ball over to Bryan Pall in the eighth inning. The big blow off Adcock was a two-run home run in the seventh by Danny Rosenbaum, scoring Zach Lucas who had walked.

Big game for Rosebaum, with two hits, two runs batted in and scoring another.