Written By: @JAE19528126
Louisville Freshman Alex Binelas smacked a single up the middle and scored the winning run from third to lift the no.1 seed to a 4-3 win over Illinois State with two away in the 9th. The Cardinals will appear in their 9th Super Regional in school history.
In a swift moving finale, courtesy of a pitchers duel between Colton Johnson of Illinois State and a plethora of arms from the host it was one of those in which the first to flinch would be out type ordeals. Or so we thought as it got late.
Zach Britton lifted a pinch-hit 2-out single to the outfield turf in the Bottom of the 7th Inning to break the 1-1 deadlock and give host Louisville a 2-1 lead. Six outs away from another Super Regional round berth. The Cardinals added an insurance run in the Bottom of the 8th for good measure and the crowd was ecstatic. But it wouldn’t quite be enough as it turned out. It was just getting good.
With the crowd ready to celebrate Junior third-baseman Joseph Butler dropped one in in front of the right-fielder and with two away tied this contest up at 3. The Redbirds rallied for two in the 9th to extend the contest. In unfathomable fashion it came in immediate response to the Cardinals previous at bat.
The bottom of the ninth started with bottom of the order magic; walk to Justin Lavey, a fielder’s choice reach by Trey Leonard before two outs. A pitching change didn’t alter the plans. Jim Patterson stadium, for a Monday afternoon, was vocal and ready to party. A bobble from Joseph Butler at third still resulted in the force at the plate. Then, cue the sensational Freshman. Binelas’s delivered. His team leading 120th base of the season would extend their season.
Louisville has just hammered Illinois State the previous day in Game 6 to even force this if necessary game. Their most recent College World Series was 2017. Several upperclassman will bring that experience and try to influx the rest of their roster.
But first in their way stands the winner of this Campbell/ East Carolina Series. At press time it appeared that the Pirates are forcing the if necessary game later Monday Evening.