Vanderbilt went 54-12, won an SEC-record 26 conference games and didn't lose a single regular season series in 2013. Those accomplishments are of little consolation for the Commodores, who's historic season came to an abrupt and unexpected close Sunday night after a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals.
Nobody was necessarily shocked when Louisville won the first game. Vanderbilt had lost to Georgia Tech in the first round, after all, and had bounced back to win the Nashville regional. Dropping the first game in a super is a much more serious falter, but you still had to figure that they would, at the very least, respond on Sunday to force a Game 3.
With the tying run at third with two outs in the top of the ninth, it looked as though Vandy was poised to at least take the game into extra innings. But Louisville's Cody Ege struck out Mike Yastrzemski swinging to end the threat and the game along with it.
Louisville scored both of its runs in the second inning, taking advantage of an unusually erratic Tyler Beede to take an early lead. Beede started the inning by hitting the first batter, but got bailed out when the runner was thrown out trying to steal second. He then walked the next man, and paid for it after two consecutive singles brought the first run in. A Sutton Whitling RBI single two batters later made it 2-0.
Beede came into the game 14-0, but picked a bad time to get his first loss of the season. He lasted only 2⅔ innings and had more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).
Meanwhile, Louisville's ace Jeff Thompson was fantastic, giving up only three hits and striking out nine through seven innings. His only earned run came off the bat of Zander Wiel, who belted a solo shot to left in the sixth to make it 2-1.
With the win, Louisville moves on to the College World Series, where it will face Indiana in a matchup that sounds more like a March Madness game than an Omaha pairing.