Press: Corbin, Minor & Loftus |
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Ryan Wright's three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning sparked Louisville to a 5-3 win over Vanderbilt in the NCAA Louisville Regional championship game.
The Cardinals (47-16) advance to the Super Regionals where they will take on No. 2 national seed Cal State Fullerton.
The Commodores season ends with a 37-27 record.
"There really is not much to say, I mean we lost 5-3 in a elimination game to end the season," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "I want to congratulate Louisville for advancing. They played a good game tonight and held us down."
Aaron Westlake's solo homer off the batter's eye in centerfield in the second gave the Commodores an early 1-0 lead.
The big blow came in the fourth inning when Andrew Clark singled with one out and after Minor struck out Chris Dominguez, Phil Wunderlich walked with two outs. The runners advanced on a wild pitch and then Wright hit a blast over the wall in centerfield, his fifth of the year, to give the Cardinals its first lead over the Commodores on the weekend.
Minor, pitching on two days rest, gave up three runs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work with four strikeouts and two walks. He dropped his second contest of the regional to fall to 6-6 on the year.
"It was going good for a while and then I struggled a little bit with control," said Minor. "My breaking pitches were a little off so I stayed mostly with my changeup. I made a mistake and left a slider up and that cost us, but other than that I thought Giobbi and I were on the same page."
Joe Loftus' solo homer in the fifth cut the Louisville lead to 3-2. It was his fourth homer of the year and the first since hitting one against Auburn on March 29.
Louisville tacked on another run in the seventh when Phil Wunderlich singled and scored on a RBI triple by John Dao off of Russell Brewer with two outs in the frame.
Brewer, who came on in the fourth, allowed one run on two hits in three innings of work with three strikeouts.
The Commodores squandered an opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh with runners at second and third and one out, but Joe Loftus and Brian Harris struck out to end the threat.
The Cardinals tacked on another run in the eighth, taking advantage of two errors in the inning, with the run scoring on a throwing error by Jason Esposito on a grounder to third by Chris Dominguez with runners at the corners and one out.
VU chipped away in the eighth when Jonathan White doubled to left center and scored on a RBI single by Curt Casali. The inning ended when Westlake grounded into a double play.
Chase Reid gave up an unearned run on a hit, a double lost in the lights in left in the eighth, in 0.2 innings with a strikeout. Sonny Gray closed out the game with 1.2 innings of one hit relief with three strikeouts.
Louisville starter Tony Zych gave up two runs on four hits in six innings with two strikeouts and a walk to improve to 6-2 on the year. Justin Marks, the Cardinals ace, closed out the game in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
The Commodores will say goodbye to seniors Nick Christiani and Jonathan White, with several draft eligible players potentially seeing their collegiate careers come to an end.
White ended his collegiate career in style, finishing with three hits on the night, while Christiani picked up his 20th collegiate win in his final outing Sunday night.
Louisville 000 300 110 - 5 8 0
Vanderbilt 010 010 000 - 3 7 3
Zych, Shaw (7), Logsdon (8), Marks (9) and Arnold. Minor, Brewer (4), Reid (7), Gray (8) and Giobbi. W- Zych 6-2, L- Minor 6-6. Sv- HR: UL: Wright (5) VU: Westlake (10), Loftus (5)