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.

Allergy relief — and a UofL win — at Jim Patterson

Pastels prevail at Jim Patterson (Click to Enlarge).
Pastels prevailed Tuesday at Jim Patterson (Click to Enlarge).

Jim Patterson Stadium has always provided the perfect setting for watching University of Louisville baseball, along with a lot of wins and a growing tradition over the years.

The observer discovered another reason to be there Tuesday, following a week of a non-stop fight with the enormous army of pollens that make the Louisville area the worst among American cities for allergy problems.

You see, at Jim Patterson, there are no blooming trees, no flowering plants, no freshly mowed grass or blowing dandelion seeds. Just beautiful synthetic turf as far as the eye can see.

No sneezing, no itchy nose, no deep-throated coughing — at least for three hours at Third and Central. What a relief.

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Also a great day at the ballpark for Josh Rogers, a left handed freshman pitcher from New Albany, who won his first game at Louisville in a 3-1 win over Western Kentucky University.

Josh Rogers
Josh Rogers

Rogers, it should be noted, was selected by Dan McDonnell as the starter in both games against the University of Kentucky this season — the losing pitcher in both games.

McDonnell knowing Rogers has great potential, continuing to develop the freshman.

Rogers would go seven innings Tuesday, rare for a college pitcher these days, while allowing up three hits and striking out five batters.

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UofL faces Morehead State at 6 p.m. Wednesday if you need a respite from nature’s toxins.