After the best season in program history, the UofL baseball team became the first team eliminated in the College World Series in Omaha Nebraska Monday afternoon, losing to Oregon State 11-4.
Starter Jeff Thompson looked sharp early; working quickly to hold the Beavers scoreless in the first two innings. He then worked himself into trouble in the 3rd, giving up a run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. Then, with the bases loaded 2B Zach Lucas misplayed a slow grounder and allowed two runs to score for a 3-0 Beaver lead. The sloppy play continued in the 4th as Thompson again loaded the bases with two outs when a slow roller to 3rd was fielded by Ty Young but his throw to 1st was ruled (incorrectly according to replay) not in time. 1B Zak Wasserman; thinking the final out had been made ran off the bag toward the dugout, which allowed another run to score for a 5-0 Oregon St lead. Thompson was removed for Corey Ege, who after a walk was able to get a ground ball, but Sutton Whiting’s throw to 1st was wild and two more runs scored. BY the end of the inning Oregon State led 10-0 and the Cardinals championship hopes were dashed. The Beavers advance to face Indiana, which lost to Mississippi St. 5-4, on Wednesday.
The story of the game was the sloppy play, which also included catcher Kyle Gibson dropping a foul pop negating an out that later scored. After a record-setting year for UofL baseball, to lose on mental errors has to be frustrating. Don’t let that diminish what this team accomplished in getting to the College World Series, winning the Big East regular season championship, and sweeping national power Vanderbilt in Nashville. The signs of growth for UofL baseball are clear, and the move to the ACC conference will require that growth to continue.
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