March 9, 2010
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior infielder Phil Wunderlich hit a pair of home runs and finished with five RBI to lead the eighth-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 9-7 come-from-behind win over Indiana on a warm and windy afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With Tuesday's win, the Cardinals improve to 12-0 overall to maintain the second best start in school history, just three games short of matching the 15-0 record for the 1957 Louisville squad. The Cardinals, which have eight comeback wins already in 2010, also extended their regular-season home winning streak at Jim Patterson Stadium to 14 straight overall.
"It was not one of our best days on the mound, but it's nice to know we played a clean defensive game and got it going offensively late," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "The pitching has been dominant to this point in the season, but we're showing many different ways to win by playing great in the field and putting up seven runs late in the game to pull it out."
Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) was 3-for-4 on the day as the two home runs pushed his team-leading season total to six in 12 games. His first home run was a two-run shot to right center in the fourth to give the Cardinals' an early 2-0 lead, while his second of the day was a two-run missile well over the trees beyond the right field wall to tie the game at 7-7 in the eighth. He also added an RBI single in the sixth and now leads the team with 18 RBI on the season. The preseason All-American is also second on the squad with a .388 average.
"It was a good day to hit with the warm temperatures and the wind blowing out, and their pitchers were attacking the strike zone," Wunderlich said. "I knew I had to be aggressive at the plate and it seemed like every time I came up to bat, there were runners on base and that makes it a lot easier to hit."
On the mound, junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS) earned the win after allowing one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts in 2.0 innings to improve to 3-0 on the season, while junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) picked up his second save of the season thanks to three strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning. Holland has not allowed a run and has given up only one hit in 12.2 innings of relief this season.
Following a scoreless three innings to start the game, the Cardinals opened the scoring in the fourth for a 2-0 lead on Wunderlich's first home run of the day, which scored freshman Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) after he led off the inning by being hit by a pitch from Indiana starter Casey Smith.
The Hoosiers (4-7) bounced back in the fifth inning with three runs on five hits off Cardinals' starter Justin Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS) to take a 3-2 lead. Second baseman Jerry Kleman started the scoring with an RBI double to right center to score shortstop Michael Basil. Third baseman Micah Johnson followed with his first career home run of the season to score Kleman for the Hoosiers' first lead of the day.
An inning later, Indiana pushed its lead to 6-2 as Johnson hit his second home run of the day, another opposite field shot helped by the strong winds to left, to score Trace Knoblauch and Kleman.
The Cardinals started their comeback in the bottom of the sixth with three runs on three hits to cut the Hoosiers' lead to one run. Grieshaber led off the inning with an infield single off Indiana reliever Johnny Hoffman and then scored an RBI double to left center by senior Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) to make it 6-3. After sophomore Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) was hit by a pitch, Duvall scored on the RBI single up the middle by Wunderlich to cut it to 6-4. After a walk to senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS), sophomore Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) pulled the Cardinals to within 6-5 with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field off IU's Mike McKinley to score Wright.
Indiana pushed its lead to 7-5 in the eighth inning as catcher Josh Lyon doubled and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Basil. However, Louisville regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth with four runs on three hits for the final margin.
The decisive eighth inning started with a leadoff walk by Wright, which was followed by Wunderlich's second home run of the day to even the score. After Arnold was hit by a pitch, McKinley, who took the loss to fall to 2-1 on the season, was replaced on the mound by righty Chris Squires. After moving to second with his third stolen base of the season and advancing to third on a groundout by Ijames, Arnold scored on an RBI double down the left field line by freshman third baseman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) for an 8-7 lead. After replacing Stallings as a pinch runner at second base, freshman Jarred Clarkson (Shelbyville, Ky./Shelby County HS) scored the final run of the day on an RBI single by junior pinch hitter J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS).
Up next, Louisville takes to the road for a weekend showdown series at No. 18 Ole Miss. The Cardinals and Rebels will open the weekend on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Oxford-University Stadium, while Saturday's second game is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET. Play-by-play of the entire series can be heard on KOOL 1570 AM or online through CardsTV at UofLSports.com.
- The Cardinals' 12-game winning streak overall is the longest in Dan McDonnell's four seasons as head coach.
- Despite his 1-for-4 day at the plate, Adam Duvall continues to lead the Cardinals in hitting at .400 overall.
- Tuesday's win over Indiana was Louisville's fourth win of 2010 over a Big Ten Conference opponent. The Cardinals, which are 17-2 against Big Ten foes under McDonnell, will get three more chances this season with a return road game to Indiana on March 30 and two mid-week games against Big Ten preseason favorite Ohio State on May 4-5.
- With their hits on Tuesday, Wunderlich and Ijames each extended their active hitting streaks to seven games.