Logan Johnson key to Cards success

University of Louisville second baseman Logan Johnson's three College World Series home runs has helped fuel an offense that has beat up on some of the nation's top pitching staffs. InsideTheVille.com spoke with the Owensboro native on Monday about the Cardinals aggressive offense and what to expect in today's contest against North Carolina.

University of Louisville senior second baseman Logan Johnson has helped fuel the red-hot Cardinal offense during it's first two games of the College World Series. In two games, the Owensboro native is hitting .363 at the plate, has three home runs and has driven in 5 runs.

"It's been a lot of fun and we are all having a great time," Johnson said of his experience in Omaha. "We're playing pretty good ball and that just makes the experience even better."

The Cardinals have scored an staggering 89 runs in NCAA tournament play and became just the fifth school to score double figures in each of its first two College World Series games.

"I don't think I've been apart of a team where everyone from the top of the lineup to the bottom contributes to the run total," Johnson said. "We have a lot of guys hitting home runs, guys that are getting key hits with runners in scoring position and guys that are getting on to start the inning."

Johnson belted two home runs in the opener against Rice, including a 2-run blast to give the Cardinals a 10-4 lead, but it was his 2-run shot in the first inning against Mississippi State on Sunday that is his most memorable hit of the postseason thus far.

"I hit the ball well against Rice, but of course I would have rather had won the game, but I came back two days later and kept hitting the ball really well," Johnson said. "Plus we won that game, which was on Father's Day and my dad was there, so that was pretty exciting."

The Cardinals have performed well in five previous elimination game settings and hope to do so again Tuesday against No.3 seed North Carolina.

"I think we've shown a lot of resilience and perseverance when in some tough situations," Johnson said. "We haven't been able to win all the games that we've wanted, but we've been able to bounce back quickly and I believe that's because we've matured as a team."

The Tar Heels, which finished the regular season sixth in the nation with a 3.30 team ERA, will face an aggressive offense that is determined to control portions of the plate.

"We are an aggressive team and most pitchers try to establish the outside of the plate early in the game with the fastball, so we want to try to jump on those and hit them hard somewhere. If we can make some loud outs early in the game it's not a big deal, because we can keep the pitcher on his toes with that outside corner and let them know that it is ours."

The Cardinals enjoyed a day off following their 12-4 win over Mississippi State on Sunday. U of L head coach Dan McDonnell conducted a brief practice, joined the team on a tour of the Offutt Air Force Base and gave his players a small, but important bit of advice.

"He just wants us keep a level head and to just keep playing the game we have been."

First pitch for the Cardinals and Tar Heels contest is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (ET), with ESPN2 providing television coverage.


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