OMAHA, Neb. (WBKO) --- Picking up where it left off on Tuesday, the Louisville baseball team kept its season going with a 5-3 victory over Auburn in an elimination game Wednesday at the 2019 NCAA College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Louisville (50-17) advances to take on Mississippi State. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on Thursday.
With the win, the Cardinals secured their sixth 50-win season in program history, all since 2010 under head coach Dan McDonnell. Louisville is the only Division I program to win 50 games in six seasons this decade.
“It's not easy winning out here, and they don't give you anything,” McDonnell said. “You've got to earn it. So I'm really proud of these guys right here and their teammates for how hard they fought.”
The Cardinals entered Wednesday with a 4-1 lead through the first four innings played on Tuesday. Adam Elliott took the ball for Louisville and threw up a pair of zeros to get through the sixth.
Michael McAvene was handed the ball for the seventh, marking his first appearance on the mound since the NCAA Regional. The Louisville closer gave up a two-out run-scoring double in the seventh, but the Cardinals got the run right back.
Jake Snider led off the eighth with a walk and Danny Oriente guided a ball up the middle to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Drew Campbell then hit a line drive the other way to plate Snider and immediately push the margin back to three. The Cardinals were unable to add on any more though, building some momentum for the Tigers in their half of the eighth.
Auburn (38-28) loaded the bases with three consecutive two-out singles in the bottom of the frame, but McAvene buckled down and struck out the Tigers’ leadoff hitter to preserve the three-run lead.
Michael Kirian replaced McAvene for the ninth and a strong effort from Justin Lavey retired the first batter. Auburn hit a solo home run to cut the lead to two, but Kirian induced a pop up to bring the Cardinals one out away from victory.
Again, Auburn wouldn’t go quietly though, as a double into the right field corner brought the tying run to the plate. After a lengthy battle, Kirian finally tallied the game-ending strikeout on the seventh pitch of the at bat to send the Cardinals into the next round.
Elliott (3-2) picked up the victory with three strikeouts in his two scoreless innings. Kirian notched his fifth save of the season, finishing it off in the ninth.
Tyler Fitzgerald led the offensive effort with a 2-for-5 game, including a solo homer in Tuesday’s first inning. Oriente had two hits as well, while Snider drew a pair of walks and scored twice.