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Kidston, Bullpen Stifle Purdue in No. 4 Louisville's Victory

Freshman RHP Anthony Kidston

Freshman RHP Anthony Kidston

March 13, 2013

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By Adam Pruiett,

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Anthony Kidston's first career start in a Louisville baseball uniform looked a lot like his handful of relief appearances.

The freshman hurler made the most of his initial opportunity to begin a Cardinals game with the ball in his hand, firing 5.1 strong innings Wednesday in a 3-1 victory over Purdue in a mid-week contest at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Kidston (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance) combined with junior left-hander Cody Ege (Cherokee, Iowa/Cherokee Washington HS), freshman right-hander Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) freshman lefty Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky./Eastern Kentucky/Butler HS) and sophomore right-hander Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) to limit the Boilermakers (5-10) to four hits as No. 4 Louisville (13-2) won for the fourth straight game and delighted a crowd of 2,021 on Elementary School Day at the ballpark.

Kidston kept the streaking Cardinals on track following their three-game sweep of Alabama by striking out a career best six and allowing two hits with two walks. Coming off four relief appearances to start his collegiate career, the 6-foot-2 right-hander finally yielded a run this season when Purdue scored in the fifth, stopping a string of 14.2 straight scoreless innings. Kidston improved to 3-0 and has struck out at least five batters in every appearance despite largely being inserted out of the bullpen.

Ege entered in the sixth after Kidston recorded the first out and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings while striking out two. Funkhouser recorded two outs in the eighth before McGrath was summoned in a critical situation with two on and tallied the final out with a strikeout of No. 3 hitter Kyle Wood. Burdi bookended a perfect ninth with two strikeouts in registering his second save of the season and giving Louisville its second win over Purdue this season after the Cardinals defeated the Boilermakers 9-4 on Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla., during the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge.

Junior leftfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona College) notched three of Louisville's seven hits and drove in two runs. Junior centerfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) had two hits, two runs scored and stole three bases, while junior catcher Shane Crain (Lexington, Ky./Wabash Valley CC) added an RBI single and junior rightfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) a triple and a run scored.

A pattern materialized as Louisville built a 3-1 lead. In the first inning, Engel led off against Purdue starter Mike Lutz (0-2) with a bunt single, stole second and third, and scored on Johnson's RBI single through the left side and past a drawn-in infield. In the fifth, Engel again bunted his way on, moved to second on a balk and third on his team-best 21st steal of the season, and scored when Johnson smashed a triple to left center.

In between, Sturgeon walked with one out in the fourth, moved to second on a groundout to the right side by junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy HS) and scored on Crain's single through the hole.

Purdue scored its only run in the fifth inning when centerfielder Stephen Talbott led off with a triple against Kidston and scored on leftfielder Jack Picchiotti's RBI ground out. The Boilermakers didn't get a runner past second base after the fifth.

Lutz, a freshman right-hander who like Kidston was making his first collegiate start after multiple relief appearances, allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks in 4.0 innings.

Louisville will welcome Xavier for a three-game series at Jim Patterson Stadium this weekend, starting with a 3 p.m., ET contest on Friday. Saturday's and Sunday's games will both begin at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

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Postgame Louisville Notes

- With its one run in the first inning, Louisville has now outscored its opponents 22-3 in the opening frame this season.

- Adam Engel has reached base safely in all 15 games this season and, with two hits Wednesday, leads Louisville with seven multi-hit games.

- After ranking second nationally in stolen bases as of Monday, Engel stole three bases Wednesday to push his season total to 21 while being caught just once.

- Louisville stole four bases Wednesday to push its season total to 63 in 78 attempts after ranking second nationally in total steals as of Monday.

- With six strikeouts on Wednesday, Anthony Kidston had a unique streak snapped, as he had recorded five strikeouts in each of his previous four appearances.

- After giving up his first earned run of the season on Wednesday, Kidston has a 0.56 ERA in 16.0 innings pitched along with 26 strikeouts against only four hits and five walks.

- After Wednesday, Kyle Funkhouser and closer Nick Burdi continued their respective scoreless innings streaks. Funkhouser hasn't allowed a run in 10.0 innings pitched over five appearances while Burdi is spotless in 8.0 innings over six outings.

- Coco Johnson is 5-for-9 with a homer, triple and three RBI over his last two games for Louisville.

- With 12 strikeouts on Wednesday, Louisville's pitching staff has amassed double-digit strikeouts in eight games this season.

- After giving up four hits on Wednesday, Louisville's pitchers held opponents to four hits or fewer on four occasions this season.

- By holding Purdue to one run, the Cardinals have limited 10 different opponents to three runs or fewer in 14 games.



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