March 16, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Behind a strong performance on the mound from sophomore lefty Dean Kiekhefer and a good day at the plate for the Cardinal bats, the 27th-ranked Louisville baseball team earned an 11-7 series-clinching win over Iowa in front of 2,203 fans on Elementary School Day at Jim Patterson Stadium on Monday afternoon.
A Louisville native and Oldham County High School graduate, Kiekhefer (2-1) struck out a career-high seven batters, allowed only two earned runs on four hits and matched a career-high with 6.2 innings of work for his second win of the season.
"It was a great atmosphere at the ballpark with all of the elementary school kids at the game and we got a strong performance from Dean on the mound," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "He made a lot of quality pitches and did a really nice job of getting ahead in the count all day long."
Leading the way for the Louisville offense was junior third baseman Chris Dominguez with a 3-for-4 day from the plate with three RBI and four runs scored as the Cardinals (11-5) bounced back from Sunday's disappointing 2-1 loss with their sixth double-figure scoring performance of the season. The win, along with the Cards' 7-2 win on Saturday, clinches the three-game series with the Hawkeyes (3-9).
Louisville opened the scoring in the second inning with a pair of two-out runs without a base hit. Dominguez opened the inning with a walk and after two fly ball outs, advanced to second when junior catcher Jeff Arnold was hit by a pitch from Iowa starter Zach Kenyon. Kenyon then delivered a pair of wild pitches to freshman Ryan Wright to eventually score Dominguez and move Arnold to third. After a walk to Wright, Arnold scored on a throwing error to first from Kenyon to make it 2-0 Cardinals.
An inning later, Louisville sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run third inning to make it 7-0. Senior shortstop John Dao
, making his first start at shortstop since Feb. 21 while recovering from a knee injury, opened the inning with a double down the left field line and then advanced to third on a single to right field by junior second baseman Adam Duvall
, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
After a walk to junior first baseman Andrew Clark loaded the bases, Kenyon was replaced on the mound by Tony Manville. The sophomore righty was welcomed by a two-run single off the bat of Dominguez to score Dao and Duvall and make it 4-0 Louisville. After sophomore Phil Wunderlich was walked to load the bases, sophomore Josh Richmond was hit by a pitch to make it 5-0 and Arnold walked to make it 6-0 Louisville. Manville was then replaced by Patrick Schatz, who gave up a sacrifice flyout off the bat of Wright to score Wunderlich.
The Hawkeyes came back to score one run in the fourth as Wes Freie doubled to left-center, moved to third on a passed ball and then scored on an infield single by Kurtis Muller to make it 7-1 Louisville.
The Cards responded by adding two more runs in the bottom of the fourth as Duvall started the scoring with a single to left-center, stole second and scored on a single through the left side off the bat of Dominguez. After a single by Wunderlich moved Dominguez to third base, he scored on an infield single by Arnold for the 9-1 advantage.
Iowa came back for two more runs in the fifth as shortstop Justin Toole doubled to left center to score catcher Dallas Burke and pinch hitter Andrew Ewing, while the Cards scored a pair of runs in the sixth to push the lead out to 11-3. Clark opened the inning by being hit by a pitch from Iowa reliever Kyle Heim and then moved to third on another single by Dominguez. After Dominguez stole second, Clark scored from third on an RBI ground out to second by Wunderlich. Dominguez, who had moved to third on the ground out, then scored the Cards' final run of the day on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Alec Lowrey.
After Louisville reliever Alex Blodgett gave up four runs in the ninth inning, sophomore lefty Bob Revesz recorded the final two outs of the game to close out the series win for the Cardinals.
Kenyon took the loss for Iowa, his second defeat of the season, after allowing five runs (four earned) on just two hits with three walks in only 2.0 innings.
Up next, the Cards will continue their nine-game homestand on Wednesday against in-state foe Morehead State at 3 p.m. ET. Louisville will open BIG EAST action on Friday at 3 p.m., with the first of three straight against the Georgetown Hoyas.
- Monday's Elementary School Day at Jim Patterson Stadium brought more than 1,800 students from several local elementary schools to the ballpark for the game. It was the third such game in the last three year's for Louisville and the first of two scheduled for 2009, with the second set for May 6 against Ohio State.
- With his 2-for-5 day at the plate on Monday, junior second baseman Adam Duvall has now hit safely in 14 straight games for the Cards, the longest hitting streak this season by a Louisville player. The Butler High School product and Chipola Junior College transfer has hit safely in 15 of his 16 games in the Cardinal uniform.
- Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez has now hit safely in 10 straight games, is batting .365 overall and leads the team five home runs, 25 RBI and eight stolen bases in 10 attempts.