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June 18, 2013

End of the line for Louisville

OMAHA, Neb. — This wasn’t the ending Louisville imagined for the best sports year in university history.

The mistake-prone Cardinals surrendered seven runs in the fourth inning on their way to an 11-4 loss to No. 3 national seed Oregon State that eliminated them from the College World Series on Monday.

The Cardinals (51-14) committed four errors against the Beavers and 13 in their last six games. The Beavers (51-12) play another elimination game Wednesday against Mississippi State or Indiana.

Louisville was making its second appearance at the CWS, and first since 2007.

“This is very tough at this moment, but I don’t want this game to define them or define their season,” Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said of his players. “I told them just what I told the ’07 team: if our

season had to end on a loss, I’d always want that loss to be in Omaha.”

The University of Louisville has had a banner year in sports. The football team won the Sugar Bowl, the men’s basketball team won the national championship and the women’s basketball team was national runner-up. And the school landed a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference, starting in 2014, leaving the crumbling Big East.

“We came here with the expectation to win the whole thing, and that’s why it hurts,” McDonnell said. “I told the guys one day we will win a national championship at Louisville. The ‘07 team got us on the map and we’ve been in regionals six of the last seven years. This team made a strong statement I challenged them to leave their mark on Louisville baseball, and they did.”

Louisville starter Jeff Thompson (11-2) lasted 3 2-3 innings, with three of the seven runs against him unearned.

“I didn’t feel 100 percent, I guess you’d say, but I was still able to make effective pitches and keep the ball down. I was getting ground balls, but unfortunately, the ball just wasn’t going our way today.”

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