Feb. 25, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Second baseman Adam Duvall singled down the left field line in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Jeff Arnold and give the Louisville baseball team a 9-8 walk-off win over Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday in the Cards' 2009 home-opener at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Duvall, a junior from Butler High School in Louisville and a transfer from Chipola Junior College, connected on a 0-1 pitch from EKU reliever Matt Fyffe for the Cards' first win of the season. Arnold, who scored from second base on the play, opened the ninth inning with a four-pitch walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Alec Lowrey.
"It's great to get that first win and we had some guys step up today," said Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell. "But we still didn't play very well at all and that must change. We haven't been able to get in any kind of groove offensively, defensively or on the mound. I'm looking for us to play much better this weekend against Bowling Green."
The Cards, ranked 26th in this week's Ping!Baseball Top 30 poll, started slowly on Wednesday spotting the Colonels (0-2) a 4-0 advantage after the top half of the first inning. EKU took advantage of two Louisville errors two score four total runs, only two earned, on three hits in the inning off Louisville starter Bob Revesz, who closed the day allowing six total runs and four earned on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
But the Cardinals bounced back from the slow start in the home half of the first with four runs of their own to even things at 4-4. Junior first baseman Andrew Clark started the scoring with his first triple of the season to score Josh Richmond and make it 4-1 EKU.
That was followed by a single to left field by junior third baseman Chris Dominguez
to make it 4-2 and a single to center by sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich
to put two runners on base for shortstop Ryan Wright
. The freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., delivered on the scoring chance with a two-run double to left to even things at 4-4 after one inning.
EKU came back with one run in the second as right fielder Ryan Faidley turned a leadoff walk into a run without a Colonel hit and another run in the fifth as second baseman Tyler Rehmel doubled home centerfielder Matt Davis to make it 6-4 Eastern after five innings.
However, Louisville took its first lead of the game in the sixth inning with another four-run spot that started with a walk to Duvall and a Nate Holland single to left field. After a Josh Richmond ground out, Clark was hit by Greg Terry pitch to load the bases for Dominguez. The preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year answered the call with a bases-clearing three-run triple to right-center field to give the Cards their first lead of the day at 7-6.
Dominguez, from Miami, finished the day 3-for-5 from the plate with four RBI and two runs scored, while Holland, from Louisville's Trinity High School, was 3-for-3 with a run scored and a pair of walks in his first appearance at the top of the Cards' lineup.
After the Cards added another run in the sixth on an RBI fielder's choice by Wright, who was 2-for-5 from the plate with two RBI, EKU cut the lead to 8-7 in the seventh as Davis walked on a 3-2 pitch from Gabriel Shaw, stole second and scored on a double by Rehmel off Louisville reliever Tony Zych.
Following a scoreless eighth inning, EKU pulled even at 8-8 as Davis homered to left center off Zych for his second hit and second RBI of the day to setup the Cards' ninth inning rally.
Zych (1-0) was credited with the first win of his collegiate career giving up one earned run on two hits in 2 2/3 innings of work in his second career appearance. The Chicago native pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief on Sunday at then-No. 11 Florida.
EKU's Fyffe (0-1) took the loss after giving up one earned run on three hits in two innings.
Wunderlich continued his hot hitting from the plate to open the season for the Cards with a 2-for-4 effort and a run scored on Wednesday. The Chicago product has hit safely in all four of the Cards' games this season, is 7-for-13 overall (.538) and has a six-game hitting streak overall dating back to last season's NCAA Regional games.
Up next, the Cards will host Bowling Green State University for a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 2 p.m. ET. The Saturday and Sunday games with the Falcons are set for 1 p.m., at Jim Patterson Stadium and admission is free for all three games with BGSU.