Louisville: Comments And Other Stuff
By Doug Kroll - June 10, 2007
There was 3:31 of baseball, but the greatest moments probably came after the final out when the Cardinals players and staff all mobbed each other around the pitcher's mound for the traditional dogpile. To be honest, I'm not sure what the appeal of that is, as I'm not sure how more players don't come out of their hurt. But to each his own. Plus, this one was over after the fourth inning!
All anyone could talk about after the final out was how the crowd was fantastic this weekend, and to be honest, they certainly were. Another record was set today, with a total of 4,211 filing in to Jim Patterson Stadium, more than Saturday which was more than Friday.
I was lucky enough to be out in Oxford last year for the Super Regional, when there were well over 10,000 fans hanging from trees in the outfield, and to be honest, I didn't think Louisville had a chance to make as much noise, but they certainly came as close as they could of. It was a wonderful scene at the end of the game, as in the top of the ninth, fans chanted, "OM-A-HA! O-MA-HA!". To think how far this program has come really gets you to realize just how special this is.
Imagine the couple hundred people that used to sit in 20 degree temperatures over at the old Cardinal Stadium a few miles away before the new facility was built. That one holds thousands of people and was built in the 1950s. Do you know how depressing it must have been for them to know that their team wasn't going anywhere year after year? But for those couple of hundred die hards and family members that braved those conditions, this one's for you. I don't even know how to compare it to anything because it's just that unbelievable to fathom. Go back a couple years and tell some of those fans that the Cards would be dogpiling on the mound of their gorgeous facility and they would be on their way to Omaha, I think we would have been admitted to a mental facility immediately.
Bringing in head coach Dan McDonnell was probably the greast thing that this administration could have done. He's a guy that's been there before, and he acts like it. Coming over from Ole Miss where his teams the last two years were knocked out in game three's in the super regionals after holding 1-0 leads, definitely must have helped his team today. He told them before the game about his experiences in the past, and told them that if the chips didn't fall, they don't fall, but to go out and enjoy it because it's very rare that an opportunity such as this one comes up everyday. And to say they took advantage of that opportunity would be the understatement of a lifetime.
Oklahoma St. coach Frank Anderson had nothing but good words to say about the Cardinals, and truly believes that the team has a shot to not only just show up in Omaha and throw their hats on the field, but to actually do well.
"I told Dan after the game that if they don't get overwhelmed, they have a good shot out there," Anderson said.
Give the Cowboys a lot of credit for battling this year as well. They missed a couple of their big guys for stretches this year, and ended up being one of the last 15 or so teams left. Got to give them credit where credit is due, and that's exactly what their feelings were as Wright and Rebel Ridling were in the press conference. This team will be back, and coach Anderson has them moving in the right direction, albeit they'll be without a couple of their real big sticks. He just needs to bring in some pitching.
Posted by Doug Kroll at 08:48 PM on June 10, 2007