Breaking News
Home / Sports News / Louisville holds off Texas A & M in Baseball World Series

Louisville holds off Texas A & M in Baseball World Series

Louisville, the 7th seed, had to hold off unseeded  Texas A & M before prevailing 8-4 Sunday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Division I College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Cardinals gain Tuesday’s winner’s bracket against 3rd seeded Florida, which shut down 6th seeded Texas A & M, 3-0, in the nightcap before full house at Ameritrade Park

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN | June 19, 2017

For the third straight time at the 71st annual NCAA Division I College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Neb., an unseeded team put forth a worthy challenge, but again fell short on Sunday afternoon.

This time it was unseeded Texas A & M falling 5-0 after two innings to 7th seeded Louisville, battling back with two runs each in the fourth and sixth frames to come within 5-4, but the Cardinals kept it right there by scoring twice in the last of the sixth and once in the eighth to come away with a 8-4 triumph.

It moved Louisville (53-10) of the ACC into Tuesday’s winner’s bracket against 3rd seeded Florida (48-18), which shut down 6th seeded Texas A & M, 3-0. The SEC Aggies (41-22) play the same day versus state-rival Texas Christian (47-17) in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination played at Ameritrade Park.

In the two first-round games played Saturday, top-ranked Oregon State of the Pac 12 had to mount a rally to overcome a 4-0 deficit against unseeded Big West entry Cal State Fullerton, and get by 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Then came 4th seeded Louisiana State of the SEC having to recover from two runs scored in the opening frame by unseeded Florida State of the ACC, then trailing 4-2 before tying the score at 4-4 and finally winning 6-5.

Tough tasks, both of these contests.

And in the third close one, Louisville cut into a scoreless tie with five runs in the last of the second inning. But A & M not only ended senior left-handed standout Brendan McKay’s stay on the mound, but its surge in the fifth cut the gap to 5-4.

It was nothing new, for it came on the heels of A & M having scored 10 unanswered runs after seven innings to erase a four-run Davidson lead in the Super Regional. The Aggies won that one, but the Cardinals responded with the remaining three runs to survive the threat.

Junior Colby Fitch batted in four runs for Louisville, two in the second and two in the eighth. He went 2-for-4. Junior Devin Hairston collected two hits and drove home a run while also coming away with two hits.

Other Louisville RBI came from senior Colin Lyman and sophomore Devin Mann. It outhit the Aggies 11-8. McKay (11-3) got the win, striking out six and walking two. Junior righty Corbin Martin was the Aggie starter and the loser. His one bad frame was the 5-run second.

For Texas A & M, the big hitters were seniors Walker Pennington and Blake Kopetsky.

Pennington’s sacrifice fly in the fourth brought in a run, and in the sixth, he singed to right-center for another RBI. Kopetsky doubled to deep centerfield in the sixth to bring home another run and come to within 5-4. There was also a run scored on an infield hit by sophomore George Janca.

Just a note, the Aggies have now lost seven-straight in Omaha, while the Cardinals ended their five defeats in a row here.

In the night contest that matched seeded teams for the first time in the opening round, it was Florida of the SEC meeting up with Texas Christian, the lone Big 12 representative, with the loser moving into the win-or-go-home loser’s bracket game on Tuesday.

The Gators called on their southpaw ace, Alex Faedo, and he delivered in seven innings of dominating the batters. He left after making 103 pitches, striking out a school World Series-record 11, did not walk a batter, and allowed only two hits. No. 21 was in complete charge.

The Horned Frogs loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but Faedo fired back-to-back strikeouts. In the seventh, he gave up his second hit, but the runner never advanced.

Florida scored all it needed with single runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings. Nelson Maldonado showed the way with two of nine Gator hits. Neither was flawless, with both committing two errors.

Monday will pair Bracket I winners Oregon State and LSU in the night game. In the afternoon opener, Cal State Fullerton and Florida State will play a win-or-go-home loser’s bracket contest.

Check Also

All in the world of sports

By Arnie Leshin  The world champion United States women’s soccer team wins on the field …