Yes, you read that right.  Go ahead and feel free to re-read that.  I’ll wait…

After 2 games in two nights, the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores for the second straight time tonight, 2-1 on the back of star pitcher Jeff Thompson, who pitched a gem tonight against the Dores.  It cannot be stated enough how great he was and how critical his performance was to the Cardinals winning tonight.

The game started off great for the Cards.  Within the first four at-bats, Cards ace Jeff Thompson had struck out three batters and allowed only one hit in the first three innings.  That also included working the Cards out of a monster jam in the second, with the bases loaded and only one out.  Thompson managed to strike out Navin and Lupo popped to end that inning.

The second inning turned out to be one for the Cards.  Coco Johnson was the leadoff man, but some scary moments came after he was hit in the helmet by a 91 mph pitch.  Thankfully, he was able to get up and stay in the game and take his base after lying on the ground for a minute or two.  Johnson was caught stealing, but Gardner was able to get Beede to walk him, which was followed by a Gibson and then a Wasserman single, the latter of which was able to score Gardner from second.  The Cards had a 1-0 lead.  Whiting then singled and scored a run, but the third out was applied and the inning was over.  Cards lead 2-0.

The third inning was very quick for the Commodores.  In three quick groundouts, the Dores were done.  The Card didn’t fare very well either, starting the inning with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice.  Thankfully, Johnson was able to hit a monster single, followed by a Gardner walk.  Bases loaded for the Cards with two outs.  Beede had for sure been figured out by the Cards and Vandy knew it.  Here they were, pulling a 14-0 starter in the 3rd inning.  Beede pitched 2.2 innings.  Carson Fulmer was able to come in the game for the Commodores and in the inning with a ground out in one pitch.

The top of the fourth inning was riddled with bad calls no matter who you root for, from a Vandy hitter being called safe at first despite Wasserman’s toe being on the bag, to a called out after the ball hit a Vandy batter on strike 3, despite it actually hitting his bat.  It wasn’t a pretty sight to see.  Louisville went into the bottom of the fourth and looked like they were poised to blow the game wide open after 2 walks and one HBP had the bases loaded.  Unfortunately, Louisville’s Cole Sturgeon couldn’t capitalize and hit into an inning-ending double play to end the inning.

Fast-forward to the sixth inning.  Louisville needs twelve outs to Omaha.  They get two very quickly and it’s looking like Vandy is gonna have another 1-2-3 inning.  Instead, Zander Wiel hit a solo home run and the Cards got an out after that.  The inning was over, but the Cards’ lead had been diminished to one run…those stranded baserunners become a haunting image for Louisville.

8th inning-Cards pull Jeff Thompson after 7 IP and 124 pitches thrown.  Joe Filomeno is the reliever.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in a ninth inning in my life.  Louisville pulls Burdi with one out and one runner on base to put in lefty Cody Ege to combat some lefty Vandy hitters.  With two outs in the ninth, Yastrzemski was at the plate for the Dores.  Ege blew the 2-2 pitch by him and struck him out.  It was easily the most exciting at-bat of the season, and it wasn’t even a Louisville player hitting.

With Indiana beating Florida State today, we now know who Louisville will be facing in Omaha.  Indiana is a tough team with a potent offense, but Louisville did manage to beat them 4-3 on May 8th at Jim Patterson Stadium.  I can only say one thing:  what a year it has been for UofL Athletics.  Bless you, Tom Jurich.  Bless you, Dan McDonnell.  And bless you, Jeff Thompson (Big East Pitcher of the Year).  This team is Omaha Bound for the second time in school history and this time, they’re looking better than ever.  Go Cards.


WP:  UofL’s Jeff Thompson (11-1),  7 IP,  3 H,  1 R,  1 ER,  2 BB,  9 K

LP:  VU’s Tyler Beede (14-1),  2.2 IP,  5 H,  2 R,  2 ER,  3 BB,  2 K

Save:  UofL’s Cody Ege:  (1),  .2 IP,  1 H,  1 K