Feb. 28, 2014
Junior lefty Joe Filomeno retired the final 10 batters he faced and 13 of the last 14 overall on Friday in his first win of 2014.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior lefthander Joe Filomeno delivered his best career start on the mound, while senior outfielder Jeff Gardner led the offense as the ninth-ranked Louisville baseball team opened its weekend with a 6-2 win over Toledo on Friday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Making his third collegiate start, all this season, Filomeno (Cicero, Ill.) matched a career-high with five strikeouts while surrendering only two unearned runs in a career-long outing of six innings to earn his first win of 2014. His longest outing prior to Friday's performance was a four-inning start against West Virginia on opening day earlier this season, while his five strikeouts equaled his total against Rutgers in a relief outing on March 23, 2013.
At the plate, Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) connected for his second home run of the season and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (7-2) plated five runs in the first three innings against Toledo lefty starter Ryan Wilkinson. Having allowed just one run and eight hits in two previous starts this season, Wilkinson surrendered six runs (all earned) on eight hits in five innings on Friday to suffer his first loss of 2014 and fall to 0-1 overall.
The Rockets (2-4) opened the scoring on Friday with an unearned run in the first inning after outfielder Tyler Grogg reached base on a Louisville error to start the game and later scored on a RBI single by catcher James Miglin. The Cardinals answered in the bottom of the first inning when junior infielder Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.) singled into right field to score freshman designated hitter Nick Solak (Woodridge, Ill.), who led off the first with a double to left center.
After Toledo plated its second unearned run of the day in the top of the second inning, Louisville moved ahead for good in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs. Sophomore first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) started the inning with a single to right and after moving to third on a double by junior infielder Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.), later scored on a RBI groundball off the bat of senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.). The Cardinals moved ahead at 3-2 moments later when freshman outfielder Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.) perfectly executed a bunt on a squeeze play to score Lucas from third.
An inning later, Louisville added to its lead when Gardner followed a single by senior Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) by sending a 2-0 pitch from Wilkinson screaming down the right field line and out of Patterson Stadium for his second home run of the season and a 5-2 advantage. It was the 16th career home run for Gardner, who leads the Cardinals in hitting with a .419 average and in RBI with 14.
The final run of the day scored in the fifth inning when Gardner connected for a RBI sacrifice fly to right field to score Solak, who walked to start the inning. Overall, the Cardinals finished with a 10-5 advantage in hits.
Following Filomeno's strong start, freshman righty Mason Richardson (Owensboro, Ky.) worked 1.1 innings of shutout relief, while freshman lefty Robert Strader (Louisville, Ky.) had two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of scoreless work to earn his first career save. After entering the game in the eighth inning with two runners on base and only one out, Strader got a flyout and a strikeout to end the threat and then worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close the victory.
Impending Weather Alters Weekend Schedule
Due to impending weather for Sunday, the final two days of the weekend schedule at Jim Patterson Stadium have been altered. The Saturday slate will begin at 10 a.m., ET with a matchup featuring No. 17 Indiana and Toledo. At 1:30 p.m., the No. 9 Cardinals will host the Hoosiers before the day is concluded at 4:30 p.m., with a Louisville-Toledo matchup, which was previously scheduled for Sunday. There will be no game action on Sunday at Patterson Stadium.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- Entering the day with an ERA above 10, Joe Filomeno dropped that by nearly five runs (1-0 with 5.93 ERA) by not allowing an earned run in six innings. And he got stronger as the game moved forward retiring the final 10 batters he faced and 13 of the last 14 overall.
- Friday's game marked the sixth time in eight games and the fourth straight time overall Louisville has limited an opponent to two earned runs or less.
- Making his second career start and hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time, freshman Nick Solak started the home half of the first inning with his first career double on a laser to left center to set the stage for the Cardinals' first run of the game.
- Louisville reached double-figures in hits for the fourth time this season after finishing with 10 on Friday.
- UofL improved to 6-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning. Last season, they were 46-0 when leading after the eighth.
- The Cardinals improved to 5-1 at home this season and 219-76 (.742 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since its opening during the 2005 season.
- Louisville played without junior shortstop and team captain Sutton Whiting on Friday, who was out of the lineup after having his fractured nose reset earlier this week.