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Baseball: MTSU falls to the losers bracket

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Baseball: MTSU falls to the losers bracket

Article from the Daily Journal:

Louisville beats MTSU 3-2 at NCAA Regional
By: Greg Pogue
May 30, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville rallied for a run in both the eighth inning and ninth inning to beat MTSU 3-2 in their winners bracket game in the NCAA Regional baseball tournament here Saturday night.

Leading off the bottom of the first inning, the Blue Raiders got back-to-back singles by Nathan Hines and Ben Darlington. Hines took third base on a fly out to right field by Blake McDade and scored on a sacrifice fly out to center field by Bryce Brentz. Louisville opened the top of the first inning with back-to-back singles, but failed to score.

The Blue Raiders added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rawley Bishop singled, stole second base and then scored on a single to right field by Stuart Meinhart.

In the top of the sixth inning, Louisville pulled to within 2-1. Josh Richmond led off the inning with a double and later scored on a double by Andrew Clark.

The Cardinals tied the game in the eighth inning with a leadoff home run by Richmond. And then they took the lead for good in the ninth inning when Jeff Arnold walked, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an errant throw by catcher Drew Robertson trying to pick Richmond off third base.

Second-seeded MTSU, a 5-4 winner over Vanderbilt on Friday, sent Brentz to the mound against the Cardinals, the regional’s top seed. Louisville started sophomore pitcher Dean Kiekhefer.

The MTSU-Louisville winner advances to a 6 p.m. game Sunday against the winner of the 2 p.m. game between Vanderbilt, a 10-0 winner over Indiana on Saturday, and the loser of the MTSU-Louisville game.

For more on the MTSU-Louisville game, go to BR.com throughout the evening and see Sunday’s Daily News Journal.

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Re: Baseball: MTSU falls to the losers bracket

Here is another article from The Daily Journal:

Blue Raiders can't top Cards

Louisville scores game-winner in ninth

[email protected]
May 30, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a game featuring some of the nation’s most talented hitters, No. 1 seed Louisville scored the winning run without hitting the ball out of the infield.

Catcher Jeff Arnold walked to lead off the ninth inning and later scored on a throwing error, providing the Cardinals with the winning margin in a 3-2 victory over second-seeded MTSU in the winners bracket final of the Louisville Regional Saturday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The Cardinals (46-15) advance to tomorrow night’s championship, while MTSU (44-16) will again square off with Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. for the opportunity to face the Cards.

“That’s baseball, that’s the way it goes,” said MTSU coach Steve Peterson. “But a heck of a ball game. I take my hat off to Louisville they’ve got a heck of a ball team.”

MTSU reliever Coty Woods (4-3) allowed one run in 2/3 of an inning pitched to take the loss.

Derek Self (7-0) retired the final nine Blue Raiders in order, throwing 27 of his 29 pitches for strikes, to pick up the win.

It was the second straight shaky performance for Woods, who earned his school-record 15th save Friday’s win over Vanderbilt, but walked three in two innings of work.

Saturday night, Woods again had trouble finding the strike zone, allowing two hits and walking two more.

“After watching him yesterday and watching him today, I think it got to him a little bit,” Peterson said of his closer. “He wasn’t himself.”

Sophomore Bryce Brentz, a Louisville Slugger All-American as an outfielder, pitched one of the best games of his career, surrendering just two runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings of work in a no decision.

The right hander kept the potent middle of the Louisville lineup at bay, limiting the middle three Louisville batters to just two hits and one RBI. The Knoxville native struck out six and forced Cardinal All-American third baseman Chris Dominguez into an 0-for-3 performance in his first three at-bats.

“I just challenged him,” said Brentz, the nation’s leader in home runs and batting average. “A lot of times with hitters like that, pitchers don’t challenge them, and they hit mistakes. We wanted to come right at him.”

However, Brentz wasn’t as fortunate against Cardinal lead-off man Josh Richmond. Richmond accounted for three of the six Cardinal hits against Brentz, including a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game 2-2.

The Blue Raiders held the lead for more than seven innings, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Brentz’s sacrifice fly after Nathan Hines and first baseman Ben Darlington led off the inning with back-to-back singles. However, the Cardinals averted disaster on Brentz’s long fly ball in the right-field gap, as Ryan Wright’s diving catch saved what would have been extra bases for Brentz and likely scored another run.

MTSU added another run in the fourth, on Stuart Meinhart’s two-out, RBI single. Rawley Bishop singled ahead of Meinhart and stole second. Meinhart, who fell behind 0-2 in the count, worked the count back to 3-2 and finally dropped a single into center field on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.

Facing the bottom third of the Cardinal order, Peterson stuck with Woods heading into the top of the ninth. However, Arnold drew a walk on five pitches. The junior then stole second, before being sacrificed to third on a bunt by shortstop John Dao.

With center fielder Drew Haynes at the plate, and Arnold cheating down the third-base line, Blue Raider catcher Drew Robertson called for an outside fastball, and threw down to third on a pickoff attempt. However, the throw wasn’t far enough outside of the baseline, hitting Arnold in the back. The ball caromed into left field and Arnold scored standing up.

“It hit him square in the back,” said Robertson. “I came up and knew he was going to be there, they’d been trying to squeeze.

“… it was in my hands. I thought I could an out there and get some momentum back, but hit him right in the back with it and that didn’t work out too well for us.”

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