Cardinals refocus, prepare for Oregon State

OMAHA, Neb. - Following Saturday night's 2-0 loss to Indiana, Louisville skipper Dan McDonnell quickly told his players not to dwell on the defeat and instead, try to have some fun.

University of Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell didn't take much time before addressing his team's College World Series opening loss to Indiana on Saturday night.

"We addressed that last night on the bus, but quickly," said McDonnell. "It was, let's move forward. Let's get vision. Let's get focus. Let's come out and have a good practice."

Dropping it's first game to the Hoosiers moved the Cardinals into Monday afternoon's loser's bracket in the double-elimination format against No.3 seed Oregon State. While the road to the championship from the loser's bracket is a difficult task, it has been done. Oregon State in 2006 and South Carolina in 2010, both lost early in the tournament, but bounced back to claim the College World Series crown.

McDonnell stressed that fact to his team as they prepared to practice on Sunday afternoon on the practice field at nearby Creighton University.

"The message today was that four teams in the country get to practice and four teams in the country get today," McDonnell said. "I'm glad that we are one of those eight teams, so enjoy it for what it's worth and get ready to play great baseball tomorrow."

Junior third baseman Ty Young said the 2-0 loss to Indiana is a thing of the past and the team focus shifted quickly to the Beavers.

"Yesterday happens, it's baseball and sometimes the bats aren't there," said Young. "We're just forgetting about it and going out to play our game against Oregon State tomorrow. We're not going to dwell over it or on how bad we played. We just got to come out focused for tomorrow."

Monday's scheduled starter Jeff Thompson said the loss on Saturday night will help the Cardinals tomorrow.

"When we take a loss it refocuses us," Thompson said. "We just have to come out and play the game the way when know how to and try not to put to much pressure on ourselves."

The point that McDonnell wants his players to focus on is that the game is supposed to be fun and that making the final eight in Omaha is something to be enjoyed.

"Stay loose and don't make it more than it is. It's a baseball game and you have to have fun, stay relaxed and trust your abilities. You also have to be mature enough to know that anything can happen in baseball, so don't act like the world is coming to an end."

Should the Cardinals turn their attention to the fun aspects of the game, Young expects that the team will perform better in it's second outing.

"We play better when we are loose," he said. "If we come out and tense up, then things don't seem to go our way. If we come out having fun, baseball is a game, so if we come out and do that we should be ready for Oregon State tomorrow."

"I wouldn't say that we were in a funk or anything, we played good baseball," said Thompson. "Their pitcher just made good pitches and Indiana was playing good baseball. We just have to come out tomorrow, forget about that and play good baseball ourselves."

Following Sunday practice, the team was given personal time to spend with family and friends attending the College World Series and to take in the games at TD Ameritrade Park.

"They are going to go watch the other games," he said. "Let them get a little perspective to be what it's like to be in the stands, because we were on the opening day yesterday. I think it's very healthy for them to get over there and check it out."

Louisville will be the visiting team against Oregon State on Monday. The 3:00 pm game will be broadcast on ESPN2.


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