Feb. 26, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Fueled by a pair of five-run innings, the fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team won its seventh straight game with a 13-4 victory over visiting Morehead State on Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 7-1 overall while matching their longest winning streak since they won seven straight from March 16-25 during the 2012 season. The Eagles dropped to 4-5 overall after losing to Louisville for the 13th straight time.
Freshman first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS) was 2-for-3 with his first career home run, a career best five RBI and two runs scored as the Cardinals scored five in the first inning and added five more in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Junior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky./Henderson County HS) added a double, three RBI and a run scored on Tuesday, while junior Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) was 1-for-2 with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base for Louisville.
On the mound, junior right-hander Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) pitched four innings allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 2-0 on the season. Following Kime was freshman righty Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest HS), who finished with three strikeouts in two shutout innings of relief. Sophomore lefty Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky./Eastern Kentucky) and freshman righty Jonah Philley (Louisville, Ky./Eastern HS) each provided scoreless appearances, while freshman righty Jordan Simons (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham HS) allowed one run in his one inning of relief.
MSU opened the scoring quickly with three runs in the first inning of Tuesday's game, which was delayed 1 hour, 45 minutes due to rain. The Eagles got an RBI groundout by shortstop Chase Greenwell and a two-run double by designated hitter Bobby Burns off Kime for the early lead.
However, the advantage was short-lived as the Cardinals answered with five runs in the bottom of the first to gain the lead for good. The rally started with a four-pitch walk to junior outfielder Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS) and was followed by a four-pitch walk to senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC) and by junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, MIch./Central Arizona) being hit by a pitch from MSU starter Garrick Whittle to load the bases. Young followed with a two-run single through the right side, to plate Engel and Ratajczak, while Rosenbaum added a two-run single to right field for a 4-3 lead for Louisville. Gibson added an RBI groundout later in the frame for the fifth and final run of the inning.
The Cardinals then added a run in the second inning on a RBI groundout by Rosenbaum to score Ratajczak and another in the third inning on an RBI single to right field by sophomore infielder Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) to plate Gibson for a 7-3 lead. After a scoreless fourth, Louisville added another run in the fifth on an RBI sac fly to center by Gibson to score sophomore outfielder Mike White (East Orange, N.J./Salisbury HS) for a five-run cushion.
Louisville followed that with another five-run inning, this time in the sixth, to push the lead to 13-3. The inning started with a single through the left side by Johnson, who moved to second on a walk to Young and stole third before scoring on a throwing error by MSU pitcher Reggie Young on a pickoff attempt at first. That was followed by Rosenbaum sending a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left field for an 11-3 edge. Gibson and Whiting each added RBI sac flies later in the inning for the 10-run advantage.
The Eagles added a run in the eighth inning for the final nine-run margin for the Cardinals. Louisville finished the game with eight stolen bases, the second highest total of the season. Overall, UofL has 39 stolen bases in 48 attempts through eight games this season.
Louisville will conclude its eight-game homestand with a three-game weekend series against Kent State starting Friday at 3 p.m., ET at Patterson Stadium. The two teams will also play on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., each day.
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Postgame Louisville Notes
- With their 13th straight win in the series and their 15th in the last 16 meetings, Louisville pushed its record in the all-time series with Morehead State to 43=35.
- While the Cardinals are 39-of-48 on stolen bases so far this season, their opponents are just 5-of-7 overall through the first eight games.
- Louisville played error-free baseball for the third straight game marking the first time they've accomplished that since they had three consecutive games without an error on May 23-25, 2012 at the BIG EAST Championship.
- During the Cardinals' seven-game winning streak, six of the wins have been by five or more runs.
- Louisville moved its all-time record at Jim Patterson Stadium to 185-70 (.725 winning percentage), including a 5-0 mark this season.
- With his walk in the first inning, Adam Engel has reached base safely in all eight games this season.
- With his two swipes on Tuesday, Engel is 12-for-12 on stolen bases so far this season.
- While hitting .292 overall, Coco Johnson has an impressive .528 on-base percentage after being hit by a pitch seven times and earning five walks in eight games.