Sixteen teams, deemed the best in the land, after the regular season and league tourneys, get to stay at home for regional play. Players sleep in their own beds. GFs and parents and adoring local fans cheer them on. Familiarity reigns. (Though the host schools are not the home team in each game. That’s determined, in the interest of fairness, by some formula, which I’ve frankly never been able to decipher.)
The best eight teams in the land, should they survive the first weekend’s double elimination, host the Super Regionals, best two of three affairs with other regional winners, the latter forced to travel, and win twice on the host schools’ home fields for trips to the CWS.
So, it has come to pass that rising national power Louisville shall host Cal State Fullerton at The Pat, this coming weekend, for a third straight stab at a national crown in Omaha.
After it’s stellar season, the Cardinals were deemed the third strongest nine in the country, and seeded thusly.
They swept opening weekend. The Cards easily conquered Morehead State, which, glossy offensive stats notwithstanding, was obviously not ready for prime time. They eked past Michigan and ace Brett Adcock in Game II.
Then, yesterday, battered the spent, pitching-depleted Wolverines a second time to advance. 13-4 was the score, and as we are wont to say, when taking a stab at cuteness, it wasn’t that close.
Carmen Benedetti tagged Cardinal starter Josh Rogers for a two-run tater in the first. And, it was the last hurrah for the Maize & Blue. Rogers gave up but five more hits.
Meanwhile, U of L scored at least once in each of its first four at bats. Then tallied 3 in the sixth, and 5 more in the 7th against Michigan’s less than stellar bullpen.
There is no reason to break down the weekend’s last game any further. U of L dominated.
Fullerton will be a tougher task.
Hopefully, the Card closers, who were shaky in the first W over Michigan, a one run victory, will tighten up. Card fans are also hopeful that ace Kyle Funkhouser has indeed regained form, after a month or so of futility.
— Seedy K