Former Tates Creek standout Devin Hairston drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, sending Louisville to the regional championship game with a 4-3 win over Michigan at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday.
The ex-Commodore's RBI came on a sacrifice fly a half inning after the Wolverines knotted the game at 3 runs apiece. Pinch-runner Colin Lyman moved to second on a groundout, stole third and scored when Michigan right fielder Johnny Slater made a diving catch in foul territory of Hairston's tailing line drive.
"Devin's back. We saw it last night," Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell told The Courier-Journal.
Hairston went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk. The shortstop paced Louisville in its 7-2 win against Morehead State Friday night, going 4-for-4 with two doubles.
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Kyle Jusick's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth put the Wolverines back in the game but Michigan failed to capitalize further with Jusick aboard and Carmen Benedetti on third base. Louisville's Zack Burdi promptly struck out Travis Maezes after relieving Drew Harrington.
Burdi secured his first win of the season (1-0) for the Cards, striking out two batters in the final frame and allowing two hits in 11⁄3.
Brendan McKay worked 72⁄3 for Louisville before exiting for Harrington. McKay gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five.
Michigan struck first, leading 1-0 after a Benedetti solo shot to right field in the bottom of the fourth.
The Cardinals grabbed their first lead, 2-1, in the seventh on Danny Rosenbaum's homer to centerfield which scored Zach Lucas (Louisville Butler).
A single by Corey Ray in the eighth drove in Sutton Whiting (Ballard) to extend Louisville's advantage to 3-1.
Louisville (45-16) will meet the winner between Michigan (38-24) and Bradley (36-20), an elimination game scheduled for noon Sunday. That winner will square off against the Cards at 4 p.m. to try and force an if-necessary game.
Bradley 9, Morehead State 4: Bradley tied a season high with 14 hits — three each by Spencer Gaa and Paul Solka — and eliminated Morehead State. Drew Carlile added two hits and three RBI for the Braves (36-20).
Ryan Kent led Morehead State (38-22) at the plate with three hits while Robby Spencer added two hits and two RBI.