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Sunday, June 10, 2007
Louisville pounds Oklahoma State, earns first CWS trip

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville, long a powerhouse in men's basketball and more recently in football, might soon be adding baseball to that list.

Isaiah Howes hit a grand slam and drove in six runs as Louisville pounded out 21 hits in routing Oklahoma State 20-2 on Sunday to earn its first trip to the College World Series.

"We just kept putting run after run after run on the board, and that helps when you're on the mound," said Skylar Meade, who earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The Cardinals (46-22), in the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history, will meet Rice on Friday in the first round of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Louisville, which has won two national titles in men's basketball and earlier this year won a BCS bowl game, scored five runs in the second and fourth innings and scored four more in the fifth and eighth.

"It's a great day for Louisville baseball," Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. "It's a great win for this university, the administration, the coaches and the players."

Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich called the win the biggest in the program's history.

Oklahoma State (42-21) came into the Super Regional with a baseball pedigree, one national title and 19 World Series appearances. But it was Louisville, which had never won an NCAA Tournament game before to this season, that brought the big bats. The Cardinals out-hit Oklahoma State 42-17 and outscored the Cowboys 31-5 in the three-game series.

Howes was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, Jorge Castillo drove in four runs, Pete Rodriguez went 4-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs scored, and Logan Johnson was 3-for-4 with four runs scored.

"We got on their starter early and when teams go to their bullpen early against us that's a big advantage for us," Johnson said.

Rebel Ridling led the Cowboys (42-21) with three hits, including a solo home run, and Ty Wright also homered.

Meade (9-3) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Colby Wark for the win. Joe Kent (4-3) allowed three runs and three hits in one inning to take the loss.

The game attracted 4,211 fans to Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville.