University of Louisville center fielder Logan Taylor said he couldn't get a hit Sam Bordner in scrimmages last fall and shortstop Devin Hairston he despised having to try and get a hit off the hard-throwing right hander.
"We say he throws a bowling ball," Hairston said with a laugh. "It's such a heavy ball and so tough to hit. We have all the confidence in the world as a defense when he goes to the mound."
And it's showed in the NCAA Tournament.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Bordner has been dealing for the Cardinals out of the bullpen, including three perfect innings on Sunday afternoon to help push U of L to an 8-4 victory over Texas A&M.
"I think he was on one All-American team but he should be on more," U of L All-American third baseman Drew Ellis said of Bordner. "He's an absolute stud. He doesn't get the credit that he deserves.
"He just goes out there and shoves."
Bordner, whose ERA for the season is now 0.43, hasn't allowed a hit in 8.2 innings of relief in the NCAA Tournament. He's struck out 10 batters and walked just two in appearances against Radford, Kentucky and Texas A&M.
"I just try and throw as many strikes as I can," Bordner said. "We have one of the best defense in the country, I throw strikes and let them do their work. And for me the defense is doing well and I am throwing strikes.
"Pretty much everything is working right now."
Bordner came in for Brendan McKay in the World Series opener with a runner on first and no outs in the top of the sixth inning. The Aggies has started the inning with three consecutive hits.
Walker Pennington bunted the first pitch to move the runner to second and he retired the next two batters. Bordner then worked perfect innings in the seventh and eighth to keep the Cardinals in front.
"He's been phenomenal," U of L coach Dan McDonnell said. "He's going under the radar because he's not the closer. But (Lincoln) Henzman went under the radar last year because of (Zach) Burdi. But we've known he's been the X-factor for us all year."
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