By Matt Bradshaw–
Baseball advanced to their fifth straight Super Regional with a narrow 8-7 victory over Xavier. The game lasted four hours and had five lead changes.
Josh Stowers was the player of the game and led the Cardinals on offense, batting 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.
Both teams began the game scoreless through the first three innings.
Xavier struck first in the top of the fourth, scoring two with a RBI single.
Louisville answered in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer from Josh Stowers, taking the lead 3-2.
Freshman Nick Bennett gave up a solo home run in the top of the fifth, allowing Xavier to tie the game 3-3.
Xavier retook the lead 4-3 in the top of the sixth. The Musketeers singled with new pitcher Riley Thompson on the mound, then Thompson made an errant pick-off attempt to place the runner on third. Xavier drove in the run with a RBI bunt.
Louisville took the lead right back from Xavier in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Snider, Logan Taylor and Brendan McKay each drove in runs with RBI singles, grabbing a 6-4 lead for the Cardinals.
Xavier retook the lead again 7-6 in the seventh. An RBI single brought the Musketeers within one, and they scored two more from a bad double play attempt by the Cardinal defense
In the fifth lead change of the game, Louisville put themselves back on top 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh. Stowers first drove in Colin Lyman with a RBI double to tie Xavier. Taylor then drove in Stowers with his second RBI single of the game, grabbing the lead and clinching the victory.
Both teams were scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. Lincoln Henzman closed out the game on the mound, saving the 8-7 win.
The team moves forward to the Super Regional on Friday, June 9th at Jim Patterson Stadium. They face the winner of the NC State and Kentucky of the Lexington regional.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal