Freshman RHP Anthony Kidston
Feb. 24, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On a day dominated by pitching and defense, the fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team closed out a weekend sweep of Akron with a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their sixth straight win, the Cardinals improved to 6-1 on the season while the Zips dropped to 0-6 overall with all six losses coming at the hands of nationally ranked foes.
With Sunday's game even at 1-1, junior outfielder Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS) started the decisive scoring chance for the Cardinals with his one-out single up the middle off Akron starter J.T. Brubaker. Engel then stole second and third before scoring on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC).
Engel, who scored both runs for the Cardinals on Sunday, matched a school record becoming just the fifth player in Louisville history to steal four bases in a game. Engel, who was fifth in the nation last season with 37 stolen bases, is 10-for-10 on stolen bases through the first six games this season.
After the Cardinals plated the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, sophomore righty Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) had three strikeouts in a scoreless ninth to earn his first save. The hard-throwing Louisville closer opened the ninth inning with three straight pitches of 100 mph on the Patterson Stadium radar gun while all 11 of his pitches on Sunday were strikes.
"I really appreciate how the fans came out all weekend long and we had another good turnout today on a beautiful day at the ballpark," said head coach Dan McDonnell, who is 264-129 in his seventh season in Louisville. "It was a hard-fought game today. Both sides pitched very well and made all of the plays defensively. We were fortunate to come out one run ahead. This was a good week for Louisville baseball and now, we regroup for week three of the season."
Sophomore righty starter Jared Ruxer (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS) finished with his second straight no-decision despite allowing only one run on six hits with a career-best eight strikeouts on Sunday. After junior lefty Cody Ege (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) followed by retiring the only batter he faced, freshman right-hander Anthony Kidston (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) hurled 2.1 innings of perfect relief with five strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 2-0 overall.
Louisville opened the scoring early in Sunday's weekend finale as Engel was hit by a pitch in the first inning, stole second and third before scoring on an RBI single by junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) for the 1-0 advantage. The Zips answered with their first run of the weekend in the second inning when outfielder Joey Havrilak reached base with a one-out double off Ruxer and later scored on a two-out RBI single by outfielder Jared Turocy to even the score at 1-1.
The game remained tied for the next five innings before Louisville broke through for the game-winner in the eighth. The Cardinals won on Sunday despite mustering a season-low four hits against the Zips.
Up next, Louisville will continue its eight-game homestand with a midweek matchup against Morehead State on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. That will be followed by a weekend series on March 1-3 against 2012 College World Series participant Kent State.
Postgame Louisville Notes
- With the three-game sweep of the Zips, Louisville holds a 5-0 lead in the all-time series with Akron.
- Louisville's six-game winning streak is the longest since winning seven straight from March 16 to March 25 during the 2012 season.
- During the weekend series with Akron, the Cardinals allowed only one run in three games. Overall, Louisville has allowed just 10 earned runs in six games for a 1.43 ERA.
- The save for Nick Burdi on Sunday was the first of his career.
- Louisville pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts on Sunday, the most since they had 16 against Milwaukee on March 6, 2009.
- In two career outings on the mound, freshman righty Anthony Kidston is 2-0 with 10 strikeouts while not allowing a hit or a run in 5.1 innings of relief.
- With his eighth inning single on Sunday, Adam Engel has hit safely in all seven games this season.
- Despite Sunday's performance at the plate, Whiting was 6-of-12 (.500) at the plate this week with four RBI and three runs scored.
- In this week's four games, Engel was 6-for-15 (.400) at the plate with five RBI, six runs scored and eight stolen bases in eight attempts.
- Through six games, Louisville has 31 stolen bases in 39 attempts. Last season, the Cardinals had 96 stolen bases in 63 games, while the school record is 153 stolen bases in 71 games during the 2007 College World Series season.
- With Sunday's win, the Cardinals improved to 184-80 all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium for a .724 winning percentage.