Michigan’s season took its last breath today in Louisville, Kentucky, as the Michigan Wolverines dropped their second straight game to the Louisville Cardinals in the Regional Championship winner-take-all game.
The Wolverines took the lead in the top of the first, as they began the game with three straight doubles. Before recording an out, the Wolverines had as many hits (three) as they had in their previous game. Louisville worked out of the jam, surrendering only two runs.
The Wolverines got two quick outs in the bottom of the first, but disaster struck soon after. With two outs, the Cardinals plated seven runs. Eight straight Cardinal bats reached base with two outs, breaking the game wide open in the first inning as they knocked out Michigan’s starting pitcher, Connor O’Halloran.
The Wolverine bats can never be counted out of a ballgame. In the third, Matt Frey hit a solo home run to right field on the first pitch he saw.
In the fifth, Clark Elliott hit a two-out solo shot to right field to bring the score to 7-4. After singles from Joe Stewart and Frey, Jimmy Obertop sent an opposite field missile over the right field fence to knot the score at seven.
In the sixth, Ted Burton hit another solo shot. Then, a Jake Marti single and a Elliott hit by pitch but a runner in scoring position for Stewart, who came through with a single up the middle, scoring Marti, and giving the Wolverines a two run lead.
In the eighth, Cameron Weston got two quick outs, before a walk and a double put the tying runs on base for the Cardinals. It appeared that the tag at second base was applied prior to Jack Payton sneaking his hand in, but after review, the call on the field stood and the runner was called safe. The call would have ended the inning and left Michigan with three more outs to get and a 9-7 lead. Of course, right on queue, Louisville executes and Levi Usher, who was 4-for-5 on the day with four RBIs, drives a single to center field scoring the two runners, tying the game.
Immediately after, Cameron Masterman drove a 2-2 fastball deep over the left field fence, driving in two and giving the Cardinals a two-run lead heading into the ninth.
That was all she wrote for the Wolverines season. Stewart doubled in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate, but the next three Michigan bats were sat down in order to put a cap on an incredible postseason run for the Wolverines.
Louisville advances to play Texas A&M next weekend in the NCAA Super Regionals in College Station.
Michigan finishes the season with a 34-28 record.