LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville relief pitcher Michael McAvene has received an automatic four-game suspension following his ejection for disputing an umpire's decision in an NCAA Tournament victory over Indiana Sunday.
The suspension left the seventh-seeded Cardinals without their closer should they advance to the Super Regional.
Plate umpire Ken Langford ejected McAvene with two outs in the ninth inning of Louisville's 9-7 elimination game win Sunday over the Hoosiers. Appearing to question a called ball for a 3-2 count, the pitcher muttered something before turning toward second base with his arms raised. Langford swiftly ejected McAvene, which drew an angry reaction from Louisville coach Dan McDonnell.
Michael Kirian recorded the final strike for the save.
An NCAA statement after the game said McAvene was ejected for "disputing an umpire's decision and unsportsmanlike conduct" directed at Langford. An in-game ejection for a pitcher carries an automatic four-game suspension, the statement added. Louisville teammates hung McAvene's No. 41 jersey atop the dugout during Louisville's regional final matchup against Illinois State.