March 11, 2014
Pitching for the first time since April 2013, sophomore Anthony Kidston earned the win with three strong innings.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Highlighted by the return of sophomore righthander Anthony Kidston, the 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team opened Tuesday's doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium with an 8-0 win over Western Illinois.
Making his first appearance on the mound since April 28, 2013, Kidston (Defiance, Ohio) struck out four while allowing only one hit in three shutout innings to earn the victory in the starting role on a staff day for the Cardinals (11-4). Last season, Kidston was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American while going 5-0 with a 1.31 ERA before his season was halted with an injury.
Following Kidston on the mound was junior lefty Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky.), who had five strikeouts and allowed just two hits in four shutout innings of relief. After junior righty Brandon Alphin (Mt. Washington, Ky.) worked a scoreless eighth inning, freshman righty Zack Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.) worked a perfect ninth inning as the Cardinals earned their second straight shutout and their fourth of the season.
At the plate, the Cardinals used a balanced attack as junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) stole a career-best three bases while singling, walking and scoring three times in the win. Junior first baseman Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.) chipped in with two RBI a single, a stolen base and one run scored. Junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.) added a pair of hits and scored twice for the Cardinals.
Louisville struck first in Tuesday's opener when senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.) delivered a two-out RBI single to score Lucas in the second inning. An inning later, the Cardinals pushed the lead to 4-0 with three runs, including two earned, against WIU (1-10) starter Preston Church. The third frame started with a single to right by Whiting, who then stole second and third before scoring on a RBI single by Kay.
After moving to second on a stolen base and advancing to third on a flyout to right, Kay scored on a RBI single to right field by freshman designated hitter Will Smith (Louisville, Ky.). Later in the inning, Smith scored the final run after WIU leftfielder Brent Turner dropped a shallow flyball off the bat of freshman Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.).
The Cardinals scored their fifth run of the afternoon in the fourth inning on a RBI groundout by Kay to plate Whiting, who walked stole his third base of the game to take second and moved to third on a single by senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) before scoring. Louisville pushed the lead to 6-0 in the fifth when Lucas scored from third on a passed ball.
Louisville pushed its final two runs of the game across in the eighth on back-to-back bases loaded RBI walks to sophomore Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and freshman Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.). Church took the loss for the Leathernecks to drop to 0-1 overall after allowing five runs, including four earned, on six hits in four innings.
Due to expected inclement weather for Wednesday, game two of the midweek series between Louisville and Western Illinois, previously scheduled for Wednesday, was scheduled to follow Tuesday's opener.