The first Houston hit is a ball bouncing straight up in the air after hitting the third base bag. The second, immediately following, is a bunt that finds no one from Louisville covering first base.

The UofL baseball team will escape the inning with Houston pushing only one runner across the plate.  A horrible start, however, a harbinger of things to come. Looking back, it would have been a good time to turn the channel.

Houston would win the championship game 10-4, denying Louisville’s seniors the satisfaction of winning a conference tournament title during their college career.

That would include Jeff Gardner, Alex Chittenden, Cole Sturgeon, Kyle Gibson and Shane Crain.

A frustrating day for the Cardinals as they were out-hit 16-11, committing a pair of fielding errors and grounding into three double-plays in the first four innings.

The last game in the American Athletic Conference for UofL. At long last.

The Cardinals (45-15) will now await their NCAA postseason fate when the field of 64 teams and regional pairings for the 2014 NCAA Championship are announced on Monday at noon on ESPNU.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.