Louisville senior OF Drew Haynes
March 8, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Defensive mistakes proved to be the difference as the No. 20 Louisville baseball team committed a season-high five errors and allowed five unearned runs in a 6-4 loss to visiting Purdue on Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the loss, which ended the Cardinals' five-game winning streak, Louisville dropped to 8-3 overall, while Purdue improved to 9-2 and continued its best start to a season since 1993.
The five errors for the Cardinals in the finale of their eight-game homestand was their highest total at home since March 6, 2010, when they also committed five errors in a 6-5 win over Le Moyne in 10 innings. Entering Tuesday's game, the Cardinals had committed just eight total errors in 10 games for a fielding percentage of .980.
Offensively, Louisville was led by junior second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS), who finished 2-for-4 at the plate with his second home run of the season and two runs scored. Freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS) was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) added two hits in the loss.
On the mound, Louisville had its streak of 11 straight games of allowing four runs or less ended despite giving up just one earned run. Freshman righty Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) lost his first career game after allowing one earned run and four total runs on just one hit with three walks and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings to fall to 1-1 overall. With just one earned run allowed on Tuesday, the Cardinals' team ERA dropped to just 1.43 overall.
For Purdue, junior righty starter Joe Haase improved to 2-0 on the season after allowing just two earned runs and four total runs on eight hits with three strikeouts in 8.2 innings. Lefty Calvin Gunter came on to retire the final out to earn his first save of the season. Offensively, Ryan Bridges had a pair of hits and Barrett Serrato had two RBI as the Boilermakers won despite being outhit 8-7 by Louisville.
Purdue opened the scoring in the first inning as Tyler Spillner led off the game with an infield single, advanced to second on a walk to Eric Charles, moved to third on a wild pitch by Kime and then scored on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Serrato for the 1-0 advantage.
The Boilermakers pushed their lead to 4-0 in the second inning thanks to three unearned runs on three Louisville errors. After leading off the inning with a walk, David Miller reached second base on a fielding error by Chittenden as he mishandled the flip from Wright following a ground ball by Andrew Dixon. That was followed by a throwing error by Kime as he fielded a bunt from Stephen Talbott, which allowed Miller to score from third for the first run of the inning. After Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) tracked down the throw from Kime, his errant throw allowed Dixon to also score for the second run of the inning.
After advancing to second on Ijames error, Talbott moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Spillner and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Charles for the final run of the second inning. After a pair of scoreless innings, Purdue added another unearned run in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
The Cardinals scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth as third baseman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) led off with a single through the right side, moved to second on a fielding error by Miller at shortstop on an attempted 4-6 putout at second, advanced to third on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of senior catcher J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) and then scored on an RBI single through the left side by Chittenden to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Louisville added another run in the sixth as Wright reached base with a one-out single to right field, moved to second on a balk by Haase and then scored on a throwing error by third baseman Cameron Perkins on a ground ball off the bat of Stallings. However, the Boilermakers pushed their lead to 6-2 in the seventh inning as Kevin Plawecki scored on an RBI single to left by Serrato.
After cutting the deficit to 6-3 in the eighth inning on Wright's solo home run to left field, Louisville added another run in the ninth on a two-out RBI single up the middle by Chittenden to score Ethel, who reached base earlier in the inning with a double to left field. After Haynes was hit by a pitch from Gunter to put the tying run on base with two outs, Gunter closed the game with a strikeout of freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS).
The loss halted Louisville's 11-game winning streak against Big Ten opponents dating back to March 15, 2009 (2-1 loss to Iowa) and dropped the Cardinals' record against Big Ten foes in head coach Dan McDonnell's five seasons to 23-3 overall.
Up next, Louisville will return to the road for its UBS Spring Trip to California, where the Cardinals will play a three-game weekend series (Friday-Sunday) at Pepperdine and two mid-week games (March 15-16) at USC. Live audio for all five games of the UBS Spring Trip will be available to subscribers of CardsTV at UofLSports.com.