March 7, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Pitching and defense were on display as the University of Louisville baseball team picked up a 4-1 win over Western Kentucky Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
"As we have all season, the defense made the plays we needed to behind a solid pitching effort, to help secure this win," Head Coach Dan McDonnell said.
Boomer Whiting was again the catalyst for the Cardinal (7-5) offense in the bottom of the first drawing a leadoff walk. Logan Johnson was hit by a pitch and he and Whiting pulled off a double steal before Chris Dominguez' sacrifice fly to center scored Whiting for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinal defense, playing against a team that had not grounded into a double play through their first 10 games, picked up twin-killings in the first and third innings. Right fielder Alec Lowrey also made a great diving stab in right to end the first with two on.
Derrick Alfonso singled to open the Cardinal fourth and aggressively moved to third on an infield single by Chris Cates, before a failed pick-off attempt at first plated Alfonso for a 2-0 advantage.
Skylar Meade (2-0) earned the win for the Cards, giving up just three singles and two walks in four innings, striking out three.
James Belanger allowed a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings, striking out one. Trystan Magnuson faced the minimum in a scoreless eighth, allowing a single, and watching the Cards turn a 4-6-3 double play, before Cates went deep in the hole to his right and fired to first, retiring Casey Hamilton to retire the side. Magnuson has now pitched 12.2 scoreless innings this season.
U of L picked up some insurance in the eighth. Daniel Burton
reached on a bunt single and was balked to second. Isaiah Howes
extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games, moving Burton to third with nobody out.
A sacrifice fly by Pete Rodriguez made it 3-0 Cards and after Alfonso singled, Cates beat the throw to first when the Toppers (5-6) tried to turn an inning-ending double play, allowing Howes to make it 4-0.
Western threatened in the ninth, plating a run on an RBI single by Matt Payton, and loading the bases with one out, but leadoff batter Tyler Bumgarner lined a shot to Burton at first where he stepped on the bag for a game-ending double play - the fourth on the afternoon for the Cards.
Colby Wark gave up the run for the Cards on three hits, while striking out one in the ninth.
WKU starter Matt Hightower (0-1) took the loss, surrendering a run on two hits and four walks in three innings of work. He struck out one. Peter Wiggins tossed four inning out of the pen, giving up a run on two hits and two walks to go with a pair of strikeouts.
Bart Carter was touched for the final two runs on four hits and a strikeout in an inning of relief.
Cates had the only extra base hit of the game with a one out double in the second, as he posted his fourth consecutive two hit game. Alfonso also had a pair of knocks, while Whiting was 1 for 3 with two walks, a run scored and swiped three bases for the second time this season. He is 19 of 22 on steals through 12 games, and his 58 career steals is fourth in Cardinal history.
The Cardinals will be hosting the University of Louisville Cardinal Baseball Classic this weekend. California will face Kent State to open the tournament on Friday at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by the Cardinals taking on Indiana State at 3:00 p.m. Kent and Indiana State will meet Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Louisville will host Cal at 3:00 p.m. On Sunday ISU will play Cal at 10:00 a.m. with the Cards and Kent closing the tournament at 2:00 p.m.
Admission to all regular season home games at Jim Patterson Stadium is free.