Between our Cincinnatti Reds-affiliated minor league Bats and our Louisville Slugger bats, Louisville is steeped in baseball. Louisville’s love of baseball is what draws so many to the beautiful downtown Slugger Field, setting numerous attendance records and keeping the Bats among the highest attended minor league teams year after year. Louisville is no slouch in the college sports arena either, with nearly 40 NCAA men’s basketball tournament appearances, 15 appearances by the women’s basketball team, and 18 bowl games for the football team.
Given this love of America’s Pastime and strong collegiate athletic background, it should be no surprise that Louisville will be one of 16 regional hosts for the 68th annual 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament as teams compete for a trip to Omaha for the College World Series. This marks the fifth time that Louisville will host the games, making them a relative newcomer compared to institutions like Florida State, Miami (FL) and LSU, who have hosted 31, 24 and 22 times, respectively.
The Louisville Cardinals have made seven trips to the tournament with two of them taking them on to the College World Series in 2007 and 2013. Louisville, top seeded in this year’s double-elimination regionals at 45-15, will face off against Mid American Conference champs Kent State (36-21) at 6 PM this Friday at U of L’s Jim Patterson Stadium. Winners of Friday’s games will face off at 5PM Saturday afternoon while the losers will play their elimination game earlier in the afternoon. This means that if the 35-23 Kentucky Wildcats best 34-24 Kansas, we will see another Battle of the Commonwealth to move forward in the tournament to the best-of-three Super Regionals.
Tickets to attend all regional sessions at Jim Patterson Stadium are $70 for chairback reserved seats and are available through Ticketmaster, by calling (502) 462-2737 or at the Papa John’s Stadium ticket office. Student all-session tickets are $45. Single-session tickets are available for $10-15 at the Papa John’s Stadium ticket office at 9 AM on Friday or at Jim Patterson Stadium at noon on Saturday.
Winners of the Super Regionals then move on to double-elimination bracket play to determine who will go on to the best-of-three championship series that starts on June 23 at Ameritrade park in Omaha, Nebraska. The full 2014 NCAA baseball D1 tournament Bracket is available online.