Playing into a stiff wind from the southeast, Texas took advantage of sacrifice hitting and four Louisville errors to beat the Cardinals, 4-1, in an elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Four different Longhorns scored on a combination of sacrifice flies, fielder’s choices and defensive errors while holding Louisville to just one run on four hits.
Louisville ends the season at 50-17, going 0-4 in their two consecutive CWS appearances.
Texas (44-20) stays alive to take on the loser of Vanderbilt-UC Irvine on Wednesday at 7 p.m. central. The win was UT’s first at TD Ameritrade Park.
Parker French (7-5) picked up the win with 7 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out three and walked three while allowing Louisville’s run and all four hits. Teammate Travis Duke picked up his first save of the year.
Texas manufactured its first run in the top of the third. Zane Gurwitz led off with a double into the left field corner. Brooks Marlow’s groundout to the pitcher advanced Gurwitz to third, and Ben Johnson’s sacrifice fly to left brought Gurwitz home.
The following inning, C.J. Hinojosa singled, and Collin Shaw joined him on base with a wind-aided single to shallow left. Madison Carter bunted them over for Texas’ 99th sacrifice bunt of the year, and Hinojosa came home when Kacy Clemens’ grounder up the middle was misplayed by the shortstop.
The Longhorns continued to exploit Louisville’s shaky infield in the fifth. Mark Payton walked, and Tres Barrera reached on an error by the second baseman. Hinojosa then grounded into what looked to be a double play, but a throwing error by the second baseman allowed Hinojosa to reach and Payton to score.
Louisville took one back in the eighth. Sutton Whiting led off with a walk, and Zach Lucas got hit by the pitch. Kyle Gibson sacrificed the pair over to put Cardinals in scoring position for just the third and fourth times in the game. Cole Sturgeon drove Whiting home with a groundout to second, but Nick Solak struck out to cut the comeback short.
Texas tacked on one more run in the ninth inning. Carter singled and advanced to second on a misplayed fielder’s choice attempt. Gurwitz’s sac bunt brought Carter to third, and Marlow brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Louisville starter Anthony Kidston suffered his first loss of the year, going eight innings with three runs (two earned), five strikeouts, one walk and six hits.
Be sure to check out our other coverage from Virginia’s walk-off victory: