Vandy beats Cards 5-3

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Allen


Following a slow start and an early four-run deficit, the third-ranked Louisville baseball team fell short in its comeback attempt dropping a 5-3 decision to Vanderbilt in Saturday night’s College World Series opener for both squads at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

With the loss, the Cardinals (50-16) will next face Texas in an elimination game on Monday at 2 p.m., CT on ESPN2, while the Commodores (47-19) will challenge UC Irvine in a winner’s bracket game on Monday at 7 p.m., CT on ESPN2. Both Louisville and Texas will be looking to end four-game CWS losing streaks in Monday’s first ever matchup between the two programs on the baseball diamond.

Allowing three runs in the second inning and another in the fourth, Louisville faced its largest deficit of the NCAA Championship before eventually closing within a single run in the seventh. However, the Commodores added an insurance run and held for the victory to even the season series with the Cardinals at 1-1.

Senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.) led the way at the plate for the Cardinals going 2-for-5 with one RBI, while junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) added an RBI triple and scored once in the loss. Senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) chipped in with a pair of hits, while freshman designated hitter Nick Solak (Woodridge, Ill.) added an RBI single as the Cardinals out-hit Vanderbilt 9-7.

The Commodores struck early on Saturday night with the three runs in the second inning against Louisville sophomore righty Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill.). After a two-out bases loaded wild pitch scored outfielder John Norwood for the first run, second baseman Dansby Swanson followed with a two-run double to left center for the 3-0 advantage.

Vanderbilt added to the lead in the fourth on a RBI triple to right center by outfielder Bryan Reynolds to score Swanson for the 4-0 lead. Swanson started things with a two-out single up the middle and stole second before moving to third on a Louisville throwing error.

Louisville broke through for its first runs of the night in the fifth scoring two against Vanderbilt righty Carson Fulmer. After junior first baseman Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.) led off the inning with a single to center, Whiting sent him home with a RBI triple down the right field line. Later in the inning, Gibson chipped in with a RBI groundout to score Whiting.

The Cardinals pulled closer in the top of the seventh on a two-out, RBI single to right by Solak to score junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.). The inning started with Lucas singling up the middle off Vanderbilt reliever Hayden Stone before moving to second on a groundout to first. However, the Cardinals gave the run back to Vanderbilt in the bottom of the seventh as a passed ball allowed shortstop Vince Conde to score from third for the final 5-3 cushion.

On the mound, Funkhouser was charged with the loss and dropped to 13-3 on the season after allowing four runs, all earned, on six hits with six walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work. Fulmer earned the victory and improved to 7-1 for the Commodores after giving up two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 5.1 innings. Adam Ravenelle closed the night striking out two in 2.1 innings of shutout relief.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24