By Dalton Ray —
Louisville baseball (50-17, 21-9) stays alive in the College World Series with a 5-3 win over Auburn (38-28, 14-16), eliminating the Tigers. The Cardinals held off Auburn’s late surge that included five hits in the final two innings. U of L will play the loser of Vanderbilt and Mississippi State Thursday, June 20.
The game entered a weather delay that postponed play from 2:55 p.m. Tuesday to 11:06 a.m. Wednesday.
Junior Bobby Miller (8-1, 3.91 ERA) recorded the win, striking out three and giving up five hits in his 4.0 innings. Three Cardinals recorded RBIs in juniors Tyler Fitzgerald, Drew Campbell and Justin Lavey.
Fitzgerald zoned in on a fast ball and cranked a two-out home run in the first inning. In the bottom half, an error in right field and a walked batter put runners on the corners. Miller closed out the threat by fielding a liner ripped at the mound.
Auburn jumped on the scoreboard in the second inning following a one-out ground out, scoring the runner from third base.
In the bottom of the third inning with two outs and a runner on second base, Auburn’s Steven Williams dropped one in shallow right. Campbell fielded the ball then sniped Will Holland at home plate to prevent the go-ahead run and end the inning.
The Cardinals loaded the bases on the north side of the fourth inning, causing Auburn to change pitchers as the rain picked up pace. Auburn’s new pitcher Elliott Anderson walked Campbell on five pitches, giving U of L a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Lucas Dunn dribbled a ball to short stop and a fielding error led to a pair of Louisville runs.
Campbell added clip to his highlight reel, ending the fourth inning on a diving catch. Following the catch, the game entered a rain delay.
Junior Adam Elliot (2-2, 2.64 ERA) replaced Miller and recorded three strikeouts in his 2.0 innings of work.
Louisville’s standout junior closer Michael McAvene (seven saves, 2.67 ERA) entered and allowed a two-out RBI, but closed the seventh inning with a strikeout.
The Cards plated another run in the eighth inning, pushing their lead back to three runs. The two-out drama continued for McAvene, allowing three singles to load the bases. The Chicago Cubs’ third round selection dialed up another breaking ball on the outside of the plate, icing the scoring threat.
Sophomore Michael Kirian replaced McAvene and gave up a solo shot to center. Kirian rebounded with a strikeout to end the game and stranding an Auburn runner.
U of L has dropped both games against Vanderbilt during the 2019 campaign. Louisville is 1-1 all time against Mississippi State, last playing in 2007.
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Photo by Adrianna Lynch / The Louisville Cardinal