It was still another strong year for McDonnell’s Cards
First off, major props to head coach Dan McDonnell and the Cardinal Nine. McDonnell has single-handedly made Louisville baseball a true contender year in and year out, and I think it’s safe to say that the future of the program is in good hands. Like so many other of Tom Jurich’s hires, it was a complete homerun (hey-oh) and the dividends continue to pay off. Before getting into details of last night’s loss, just know this: 2012 was more of a rebuilding year and they still won the Big East. The team is insanely young and the experience they gained will only help next year as they look to return to a Super Regional, or still better, the World Series.
Pure and simple, the Cards just ran into a buzzsaw. Arizona scored a mind-blowing 44 runs on 58 hits over the course of the weekend and eliminated UofL to advance to the Super Regional. Sites for the Super’s will be revealed tonight and Arizona will likely be hosting St John’s with a chance to advance on to the World Series. Louisville starter Jeff Thompson started out brilliantly, getting out of a few jams early and containing the explosive Wildcat line-up. That all fell apart in the third inning, and Arizona never looked back. Zona’s Johnny Field knocked a grand slam to make it 4-0 and the Cards would commit 6 errors and squander several scoring opportunities of their own. The Cards scored 11 runs in a game earlier in the day against Missouri and perhaps ran out of a gas. Louisville finished the season 41-22, but will bring back the core of this team and likely be the preseason favorites to win the Big East next year, yet again.