Feb. 18, 2012
Final Score of Louisville-Minnesota Game Updated to 7-3 (Feb. 23, 2012)
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 15th-ranked Louisville baseball team dropped a 7-1 decision to Minnesota in a rain-shortened season-opening contest at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge on Friday at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium.
Friday's game was suspended with the Cardinals batting in the ninth inning and was not resumed because field conditions were determined to be unplayable. Despite an agreement between coaches, umpires and event officials on Friday night to complete the game on Saturday afternoon, play was never resumed and the game was called official after eight innings.
After the Cardinals stranded five baserunners and did not plate a run in their first four innings, Minnesota broke through for the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when third basemen Kyle Geason was hit by a pitch by Louisville starter Justin Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS), moved to third on a single to right by first baseman Dan Olinger and then scored on a passed ball for the 1-0 lead.
Moments later, Louisville evened the score at 1-1 as sophomore outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) led off the fifth inning with a double to right center, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by sophomore outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS). However, the Golden Gophers answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs on three hits for a 3-1 advantage. Catcher Kurt Schlangen plated the first run with his RBI double to left center, while designated hitter Andy Henkemeyer followed with an RBI single to right for the second run of the frame.
An inning later, Minnesota pushed its lead to 4-1 on a solo home run to right by outfielder Trip Schultz. The Golden Gophers added more in the eighth inning plating three runs, including two earned, on just one hit and two Louisville errors for a 7-1 advantage. Second baseman Matt Puhl had an RBI sac fly in the inning, while outfielder Troy Larson added an RBI grounder for UM.
Prior to action being halted in Friday's game, the Cardinals had plated two runs to cut the deficit to 7-3, had the bases loaded with two outs and senior Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) at the plate. However, with the inning never being completed, everything was negated and the final score and stats reverted back to the end of the eighth.
Amlung allowed three earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts in 6.0 innings and took the loss for the Cardinals, while T.J. Oakes earned the win for Minnesota after allowing only one unearned run on six hits with one strikeout in 5.2 innings. With the loss, the Cardinals dropped to 6-1 all-time in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge.
Following Saturday's game against Illinois at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge, Louisville will conclude the weekend on Sunday at 10 a.m., against Michigan State at Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg. The Cardinals' 2012 home-opener is scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium against Eastern Kentucky.
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