Louisville: Finally, Some Supperlatives
By Doug Kroll - June 10, 2007
Isn't the best part about the end of a tournament the awards? Well, I guess so. But Louisville made it real easy to do so, by completely shutting down the Cowboys, which came in with one of the top ten offenses in the nation, hitting at a .326 clip. Well, they left with their tails between their legs, scoring just five runs in three games, including a shutout in the first game of the super regional.
Player Of The Game:
Eleventh round draft pick Isaiah Howes of Louisville has to get the nod in this one. Howes went three-for-six knocking in six runs, including a grand slam in the eighth inning, albeit when it was already 16-2 before the pitch cleared the fence. Howes clearly showed why he was able to hit around .400 all year and was the best player on the field all weekend long.
Turning Point Of The Game:
I'm going to drag this one out over the first five innings when L'Ville threw up 16 runs during that span, and ran through seven pitchers in the process.
I can't help but admit that even I cracked a smile watching this one today. Coach McDonnell is a real likeable guy, and this Louisville athletics program is beyond going in the right direction, they have tremendous facilities with everything in the right place.
It's tough to put an adjective on the weekend as a whole, but I'll try my best to do so describing what it was like. The Cards weren't used to crowds that were even half or a quarter of what were there this weekend. Many of these fans had probably never been to a Louisville baseball game in their lives, or maybe one or two. It was a learning process for everyone there. While they were very knowledgable baseball fans, it was great to see these people really embrace the Cards as their own, even if they hadn't seen a pitch all year. The fact is, they love the University of Louisville, and when people leaned over to ask me who the catcher was, or who the third baseman was, I didn't mind telling them.
Louisville baseball is certainly here, and shouldn't be a flash in the pan. Despite losing ten seniors next year, a trip to Omaha will not only help one of the best recruiters in the nation in McDonnell, but the fan support will just be that much better in years to come. They are certainly hooked.
Second baseman Logan Johnson put it best when asked about this weekend and how he'll cherish it.
"It's a still frame in my mind that I'll remember for the rest of my life."
That's for sure Logan. As will I and everyone else that saw another step in the right direction in a year that has already seen so many for this program. Heck, if you want to bring football into this, it's the same school year that they won their first BCS Bowl Game, when they beat Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.
A quick shoutout to everyone I met down here, it was nice meeting you all and hopefully we'll see ya down the road in Omaha this coming week. It's truly worth the trip. Especially when you start to consider that the teams Louisville has beaten on its trek to Omaha have been Miami, Missouri and Oklahoma State. Why not them?
That'll do it from Louisville. I'll have a column this week on just how unreal it is for UofL to have done what they have done. And will tie in how the parity of the game is here. It's not a figment of your imagination. The years of writing Arizona State, USC, Miami, Texas, and Stanford into your CWS brackets in February are gone. Now you've got the Anteaters and Cardinals to deal with!!
Your final score one final time from Jim Patterson Stadium, Louisville 20, and Oklahoma State 2. Good night everybody, and speak to you from Omaha on Thursday afternoon.
Posted by Doug Kroll at 09:00 PM on June 10, 2007