The University of Louisville baseball team is headed back to the Super Regionals for the fifth straight year after beating Xavier 8-7 Sunday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals swept through the Louisville Regional defeating Radford, Oklahoma, and Xavier- and will host Bluegrass rival Kentucky next weekend for a best-of-three Super Regional. The games will be played at noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - if necessary.
Louisville split the home-and-away series against Kentucky, with the home team winning in both games.
Louisville has now won 15 straight regional games dating back to the 2013 season. Five of Louisville’s seniors- Michael Bollmer, Colin Lyman, Jake Sparger, Ryan Summers, and Logan Taylor- have been a part of the last 12 regional wins, boasting a 12-0 record in that period.
“I’m obviously super proud of this group sitting next to me,” coach Dan McDonnell said after Louisville defeated Xavier. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself because we’ve still got a lot of baseball left to play, but as Logan Taylor is a senior sitting here, he’s 12-0 in the last 12 Regional games. I just want to make sure we recognize that.”
“Obviously, Lincoln [Henzman] and Josh [Stowers] are creating their own little winning streaks,” he added. “But I’m super proud of this group. It’s not easy, but these guys have made it look easier than normal. I want to celebrate some of their accomplishments, but like I said we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ll enjoy the next few minutes until the clock strikes 12:00 and then we’ll turn our attention to the Supers.”
With a trip to Omaha for the College World Series on the line, baseball fans across the state of Kentucky have been looking ahead to the possibility of a Kentucky-Louisville Super Regional showdown since the bracket came out. The matchup would add another fold to an already-bitter rivalry, but senior centerfielder Logan Taylor and junior closing pitcher Lincoln Henzman, who are both natives of Lexington, Ky., said Sunday they haven’t thought much about playing against their hometown school in the next round.
“It doesn’t matter to me, to be honest,” said Taylor.
“I would just say, it doesn’t matter who comes in here,” Henzman added. “We are not losing three years in a row.”
The University of Louisville baseball team lost in the Super Regional round the last two seasons after making back-to-back College World Series appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Louisville is just two wins away from making another trip to the College World Series, but Taylor says it’s important for the Cardinals to take it one game at a time.
“It’s the post season now,” said Taylor. “Every team that we play is going to be really good and now in the Supers, you’re going to have to play a team that’s coming off of winning a regional. I think it’s more about keeping your eyes fixed on what the goal is and that’s just to win the next game and to give it your best effort every game.”
Louisville will be hosting a Super Regional for a fourth straight year.