In order to have a shot at reaching the College World Series for the first time in school history, the Wildcats will have to win two straight to earn a prestigious ticket to Omaha, starting against Louisville's top pitcher.
Brendan McKay, a possible No. 1 overall pick at this month's Major League Baseball draft, is expected to start for UofL, while Sean Hjelle will go for UK. "It's going to be a very, very special game with two quality arms".
For the United Kingdom baseball team, this is the first time they have gone to the NCAA Super Regional.
"Everything that happened last weekend, to have our backs against the wall and to have to win three straight games, that's never been done before (at UK)", Mingione said. "To sit there and think we're going to get that many hits in a row against a quality arm (U of L closer Lincoln Henzman), that's going to be very, very hard". When you haven't done something before, it makes it that much more hard. "Our players, there's no question they'll be able to draw back from their experiences".
Kentucky got its two runs in the ninth inning to make it 5-2. Devin Mann singled past UK's first baseman to drive in Taylor.
The Cardinals pushed their lead to 5-0 in the fifth on a pair of walks and a two-strike, two-out home run to left field by Drew Ellis, his 18 of the season but lefty Brad Schaenzer pitched three ideal innings to keep the Cats in the game. I was trying to do a bit too much at times in the regional, but I felt a lot more comfortable coming into today. On a squad seeking its third CWS berth in five seasons, his ability to contribute on the mound, at bat and in the field matters a lot for the Cardinals. I would have gone with McKay to put the heat on the Wildcats from the first pitch. Mingione said when asked about the move.
Kade McClure fired 5 1/3 scoreless innings, and Adam Wolf added 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to blank the Wildcats for eight innings before Kentucky tagged Lincoln Henzman for a pair of runs in the ninth.
White and Tyler Marshall paced Kentucky's offense with two hits apiece. With two outs and runners at first and third, Mingione pinch-hit freshman T.J. Collett for Marcus Carson. "The 6'7" junior struck out six Cats and only gave up three hits.
Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said he figured it was a matter of time before Ellis delivered a big postseason blow.
"We just feel like he is the guy that will set the tone and do what we need him to do", McDonnell said. "He's a big part of our lineup and we love seeing him compete out there".