Conor Davis homered and doubled twice, but it wasn’t enough for Auburn to overcome Louisville in the College World Series on Wednesday. In a game that ended 24 hours after it began, Louisville won, 5-3, to eliminate the Tigers.
Davis homered in the ninth to pull the Tigers within two run. Steven Williams followed with a two-out double to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Louisville ended the game with a strikeout.
“That’s been the story of us all year,” Davis said. “People have counted us out; we’ve been behind; we’ve battled back. This is what we’ve been doing all year. It’s a tough pill to swallow that we didn’t get where we wanted to go here, but at the same time we made history by being the first team in 22 years to get here, so it’s very exciting for our team and where it’s going with coach (Butch) Thompson.”
The Tigers and Cardinals began at 1 p.m. Tuesday but were delayed by rain for 32 minutes, then eventually suspended until 11 a.m. Wednesday with Louisville leading 4-1 in the top of the fifth.
When play resumed, Richard Fitts struck out two in three scoreless innings before allowing a run in the eighth.
“My slider was working well,” Fitts said. “I tried to give my hitters the best chance to win and they battled it out all game.”
Davis doubled in Ryan Bliss with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 4-2. Davis also doubled in the fifth, the first Auburn player to record three extra-base hits in a College World Series game, and only the second to do so in the decade TD Ameritrade Park has hosted the event.
Bliss, Williams, Matt Scheffler and Edouard Julien each recorded two hits in the Tigers’ 13-hit attack.
Louisville restored the lead to three runs in the eighth on a walk and two singles, but reliever Ryan Watson picked off a runner at second and got an inning-ending strikeout to prevent further damage.
The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth on singles by Julien, Scheffler and Kason Howell, but a strikeout ended the inning.
Auburn (38-28) reached the College World Series for the first time since 1997, winning the Georgia Tech Regional and Chapel Hill Super Regional to advance to Omaha.
“I came away thinking that Auburn baseball can play in this deal without having to do anything magical,” Thompson said. “As time goes by, I’ll see that we had the ingredients. We have the ingredients with our staff, we have the ingredients with the fan base. We have the ingredients with players. Our players gave us everything they’ve got.”