CARDS FACE Oregon State ON MONDAY
With their backs against the wall, University of Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell expects his team to come out fighting on Monday.
The Cardinals dropped a 2-0 decision to Indiana on Saturday night and will now play No. 3 seed Oregon State on Monday at 3 p.m. in an elimination game.
"We challenge our kids that you have to have faith and trust in your teammates," he said. "The curveballs in life are going to come. It's been a good ride through the Regional and Super Regions but now we have lost.
"The good news is that it's double elimination. We have to have a good practice tomorrow and come out and have a good day on Monday."
Louisville (51-13) is 8-4 this season in games after a loss and right fielder Cole Sturgeon said now the Cardinals are going to have to show their pride.
"We have to do it now, we just have to forget about this and come back strong," Sturgeon said. "It's not going to be easy, but we have to stay focused."
Added pitcher Cody Ege: "It's tough because you always want game one and we did that in the Regional and Super Regional. But I have faith in these guys and like coach Mac said, it's easy to have faith when we are down.
"We just have to have faith and see what kind of guys we have. Do we have guys who are going to fold or guys who will step up."
GREEN HAS TOUGH OUTING
McDonnell said it best about starting pitcher Chad Green when he noted the right-hander "just didn't have his best stuff."
Green (10-4) worked just two innings and allowed three hits, walked four and gave up both Hoosier runs. He threw 59 pitches.
"He had a lot of 3-2 counts and so did we (at the plate) but their guy kept making the pitch," McDonnell said. "That's not like Chad at all. But I told him to need him. We're going to need him (later in the event)."
It was the shortest outing of the season for Green, who also lost a 2-0 decision to Indiana in the opening game of the season. His four walks was also a high mark on the season and his loss was the first since May 23 against Rutgers.
EGE STRONG IN HIS OUTING
Reliever Cody Ege grew up two hours from the ballpark and has been to the World Series 13 of the past 14 years.
On Saturday, Ege was in a different position – on the mount.
He came in for Green with the bases loaded and no outs, keeping the Hoosiers to just one run in the inning. He went 4.1 innings and allowed three hits, while striking out a career-best six batters.
"It helped me," Ege said of his previous times to watch the World Series. "I had seen all of that stuff as a fan and coming into the game I knew I wasn't shocked."
Ege said there were "a whole lot" of fans from Cherokee, Iowa – his hometown – in attendance among the 27,122 fans.
MCDONNELL: ‘IT COULD HAVE BEEN UGLY
Louisville had just four hits against IU's Joey DeNato, who worked a complete game and threw 136 pitches.
On the flip side, IU had seven hits, drew six walks and had two batters hit by a pitch in the game. U of L also made two errors and the Hoosiers stranded 11.
"It could have been ugly," McDonnell said. "We gave up 10 free bases and seven base hits and only two runs. Our pitchers competed and gave us a chance to win the game. We just couldn't get anything going offensively.
"We just have to have that fight."
CARDS WOULD RUN AGAIN
McDonnell was questioned about the third inning decision to send Sutton Whiting home after the first hit of the game.
Sturgeon singled to right with Whiting on second. He tried to score but was thrown out at home on a strike from right fielder Casey Smith.
"With two outs, 99 percent of the time we're going to send the runner," McDonnell said. "And we knew runs were going to be hard to come by off (DeNato). Unfortunately, Cole hit the ball a little too hard and right too him and the kid has a good arm and made a nice throw."