It was fairly apparent as its game with Louisville wore on Monday in the College World Series that the Texas Longhorns would not allow this to be their final game of the season. Texas never trailed in handing Louisville a 4-1 loss in a loser’s bracket contest that knocked the Cardinals out of the College World Series.
Louisville had to feel pretty confident with sophomore starter Anthony Kidston on the hill. Kidston came into the game with a 9-1 season record. Despite an ERA south of 3.0, Kidston has been as good as gold when he has started for the Cardinals this season. Louisville had won 12 of 13 games in 2014 and 17 of 19 since last season in games started by the sophomore right hander. who was 14-0 in 19 career starts before Monday.
Texas scored first in the game on a lone tally in the top half of the third on a leadoff double by Zane Gurwitz and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ben Johnson. The Longhorns scored single runs in the fourth and fifth off of Kidston to extend their lead to 3-0.
Louisville was unable to get on the scoreboard until the eighth, when the Cardinals pushed across a run to cut the deficit to two runs. But Texas countered with an insurance run in the top of the ninth to push the lead back out to three runs.
Travis Duke came on in the eighth in relief of Texas starter Parker French, who may have saved his best game of the year for when the Longhorns needed it most. French went 7 1/3 innings, yielding just four singles. Duke retired five Louisville batters without incident n preserving the win for the Longhorns, who live on to see at least one more CWS game.
Louisville, which ended the 2014 season with a record of 50-17, hurt itself with four costly errors against Texas.
Longhorm outfielder Mark Payton stroked a single in the Texas half of the third inning to start a new on-base streak. The senior was o-for-2 in Saturday’s loss to UC Irvine, which snapped a record 101-game on-base streak that had spanned two seasons.
The Longhorns (44-20) may end up playing UC Irving again on Wednesday. Texas will face the loser of the Vanderbilt-UC Irvine Monday night contest. UC Irvine defeated Texas 3-1 in the CWS opener for both teams on Saturday.