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Season Ends with Heart-breaking Super Regional Loss
No. 3 Louisville finishes 47-18 overall following 4-3 loss in 11 innings to Cal State Fullerton
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A record-setting season for the Louisville baseball program ended in disappointing fashion on Monday night as the No. 3 national seeded Cardinals suffered a 4-3 loss in 11 innings to 11th-ranked Cal State Fullerton in the deciding game of the NCAA Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium.
A controversial solo home run to begin the 11th inning by David Olmedo-Barrera lifted the Titans (39-23) to the best-of-three series win and their 17th College World Series berth. The result brought an abrupt halt to the season for the Cardinals (47-18), who were chosen as a national seed for the second time in school history and set an ACC record for conference wins finishing 25-5 in their inaugural season in the league. Monday's finale was played in front of 6,010 fans, the largest NCAA postseason crowd ever for Louisville and the second largest home crowd in school history.
The decisive moment in the game came when Olmedo-Barrera led off the 11th inning by sending a 2-1 pitch from Louisville sophomore righty Zack Burdi down the left field line. As the ball cleared the outfield wall, third base umpire Heath Jones signaled a home run for the Titans. Following a visit from Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, Jones met briefly with other members of the four-man umpiring crew before joining crew chief Doug Williams in initiating a video review of the play. After a review of more than four minutes by an unidentified member of the NCAA umpiring program in a studio in Atlanta, the home run call was upheld.
The homer was the final run for Cal State Fullerton, which scored the last three runs of the night in overcoming a late 3-1 deficit for the victory. Monday marked the first time this season Louisville lost a game in which it had led at any point after entering the eighth inning with a two-run cushion.
The result spoiled another strong starting outing on the mound from sophomore lefthander Josh Rogers, who allowed just one run on six hits with six strikeouts in 7.0+ innings for a no-decision. Burdi was saddled with the loss, his first of the season, and dropped to 6-1 overall after allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief.
At the plate, senior Zach Lucas concluded his collegiate career with a 3-for-5 night, including a double and one run scored, while sophomore Will Smith (Louisville, Ky.) chipped with a home run to highlight his 2-for-5 evening. Sophomore Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.) capped a tremendous NCAA Championship at the plate with two hits. In six NCAA postseason games, Taylor was 10-for-16 (.625) with a home run, two doubles, seven RBI and four runs scored.