March 1, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Sophomore Dean Kiekhefer pitched six scoreless innings while the Cardinal offense had another good day as the 26th-ranked Louisville baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Bowling Green State University with Sunday's 9-2 victory at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Kiekhefer, a lefty from Louisville and a graduate of Oldham County High School, scattered seven Bowling Green hits with five strike outs over six scoreless innings to improve to 1-1 on the season. Bowling Green starter Brennan Smith took his second loss of the year after giving up four runs, only two earned, on four hits in four innings of action.
"We got a good, quality start out of Dean today and that was very important," said Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell. "We made enough plays and got enough hits to get the lead and stay in front."
After a scoreless first inning, the Cards (4-3) took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to two hits, two walks and two batters being hit by pitches from Smith. Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez started the inning with a four-pitch walk and advanced to third on a single to center field by Jeff Arnold, the first of two hits on the day for the junior catcher. After Dominguez was cutdown on an unsuccessful squeeze play, junior second baseman Adam Duvall was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base.
Senior outfielder Alec Lowrey singled to center for the first of three hits for him in the game to load the bases with Cardinals. Sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes was then hit by a pitch to score Arnold and sophomore outfielder Nate Holland drew a five-pitch walk to score Duvall and make it 2-0 Louisville after two innings.
Following a scoreless third inning, the Cardinals pushed their advantage to 4-0 with two more hits and one BGSU (0-6) error in the fourth. Arnold opened the inning with a single to center and was followed by Duvall, who reached on an error by Falcons' second baseman Logan Meisler. An infield single by Lowrey plated Arnold to make it 3-0 Louisville. After a sacrifice bunt from Haynes moved Duvall to third, he then scored on an RBI groundout by Holland for a 4-0 Cards' lead.
The score stayed that way until the top of the eighth when the Falcons cut the Louisville lead in half with two runs on three hits and one Louisville error. After Louisville reliever Gabriel Shaw, who entered the game in the seventh inning in relief of Kiekhefer, retired the first two hitters on groundouts, catcher Tyler Elkins singled to left field and was followed by a Derek Spencer single to left. Elkins then scored on a single to center by Logan Meisler and as Spencer looked to advance from first to third on the play, Haynes' throw from center field hit Spencer near the third base bag and bounced into the Falcon dugout allowing him to score on the play and make it 4-2 BGSU.
Louisville came back in the bottom of the eighth and dashed any hopes for Falcon comeback with five runs on six hits and the first home run of the season for Dominguez. The inning started with a double down the right field line by Duvall, who then advanced to third on flyout to right by Lowrey and scored on a single to center by Haynes to make it 5-2 Cardinals. Haynes then moved from first to third on the first career hit for freshman Tony Zych, a pinch-hit single to right field, and eventually scored on a single to center by freshman shortstop Ryan Wright to make it 6-2. After Wright was caught stealing, Zych scored on a single to left by junior first baseman Andrew Clark to make it 7-2 Louisville.
Bowling Green then brought in sophomore righty Richie O'Brien to face Dominguez, who sent the first pitch he saw to the opposite field and out of the ballpark for the 37th home run of his career, which ranks 10th all-time at Louisville, and the final 9-2 margin. Sophomore righty Thomas Royse pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Cards to close the game.
With the win, the Cards are above .500 for the first time this season and have won four straight games overall. It is the first 4-0 start at home for Louisville since 2007, when the Cards opened with wins over Murray State, Morehead State and Illinois State (two).
The Cards had three players finish with two RBI each on Sunday (Holland, Dominguez, Haynes), while Lowrey matched a career high with three his three hits.
Up next, the Cards will return to the road to face Eastern Kentucky in Richmond on Tuesday before returning home to Jim Patterson Stadium for Western Michigan on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.
- The eighth inning was very good for the Cards in the three-game series with Bowling Green as Louisville totaled 15 runs in the inning over the weekend. The Cardinals put up a six-spot in Friday's opener (15-6 win), followed that with four more runs on Saturday (8-5 win) and closed the weekend with five runs on Sunday.
- Freshman shortstop Ryan Wright picked up a one-out single in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to six straight games. After going hitless on a 0-for-4 night in his first ever game at Florida on Feb. 20, the Fort Wayne, Ind., native is 9-for-25 (.360) in his last six games with four RBI.
- After going 0-for-11 in the Cards' first four games, junior catcher Jeff Arnold has hit safely in three straight games. The Louisville native and Male High School product was 5-for-8 against Bowling Green this weekend with four runs scored and three RBI.