OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — For a coach whose team had sustained another ugly loss in a College World Series opener, Louisville's Dan McDonnell sure was in a good mood.
Louisville pitchers issued nine walks, and Vanderbilt scored on a wild pitch and passed ball while sending the Cardinals to a 5-3 loss Saturday night.
The Cards came to Omaha determined to avoid a repeat of what happened here last year, when they lost 2-0 to Indiana in their opener and were eliminated in a four-error, 11-4 loss to Oregon State.
"I feel better about our club now than maybe at this time last year," McDonnell said. "I felt really good about our offense, and we had a lot of good at-bats. I thought our hitters really competed, put a lot of good swings on the ball, and they made two really nice catches."
Louisville (50-16) will play Texas in an elimination game Monday afternoon. The Commodores (46-19) advance to a meeting with UC Irvine at night.
The Cardinals are in the CWS for the third time and are yet to win an opener. Sutton Whiting, who drove in Louisville's first run, said the Cards must forget the latest loss quickly.
"It's over with, and we've got to bounce back," he said. "Come with a good practice tomorrow and get back to work and face a good team in Texas Monday."
Louisville pitchers struggled against Vanderbilt's patient batters. Losing pitcher Kyle Funkhouser (13-3) went six innings and issued six of Louisville's nine walks, its third-most of the season. The four runs he allowed matched his career high.
"It's hard to win at the College World Series with a bad start," Funkhouser said, "and that's what that was tonight."
Vanderbilt's Dansby Swanson doubled in two runs, and Bryan Reynolds tripled in another and made a fabulous catch in left field to help the Commodores beat Louisville for the first time in four tries.