March 15, 2014
Junior righty Nick Burdi struck out the side in order in the ninth to earn his second save of the season and the 18th of his career.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team completed a 5-0 week and won its seventh straight game overall with a 4-2 victory on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader sweep against Samford at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In a week where the Cardinals (15-4) outscored their opponents by combined score of 55-16, they produced the highest scoring three-game series (42 runs) in the sweep of Samford (11-8) since scoring 42 runs in a three-game sweep at Cincinnati in 1991. It was also Louisville's first unbeaten week this season and the program's longest winning streak since closing the 2013 regular season with 16 consecutive victories.
"It was a good spring break for us. We had to play two doubleheaders because of weather and our kids showed the ability to play 18 innings," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "We had some good starts on the mound this week and we put together some big offensive days. I'm also pleased that we played some pretty good defense, so it was a pretty complete week for the Louisville baseball program."
Freshman outfielder Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.) led the Cardinals in Saturday's finale going 2-for-3 with a triple, one RBI and a one run scored, while junior Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.) was 2-for-4 with one RBI, one run scored and a stolen base. Senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) singled, walked twice and stole a base.
On the mound, junior lefthander Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky.) struck out four in 2.2 innings of no-hit, shutout relief to earn his first win of the season and improve to 1-1 overall. Junior righty Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.) struck out all three batters he faced in a perfect ninth inning to earn his second save of the season and the 18th of his career.
Up next, Louisville returns to the road for the first time since the opening weekend of the season with a midweek visit at No. 16 Indiana on Wednesday at 4 p.m., ET in Bloomington.
Samford struck first in Saturday's second game when catcher Drew McWhorter scored on a RBI groundout by designated hitter Jordan Wren in the second inning for the 1-0 lead. An inning later, the Cardinals evened the score at 1-1 when Chittenden scored from third on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Kay.
Louisville then moved ahead for good in the fourth inning when Lyman sent a 3-1 pitch from Samford righty starter Jared Brasher down the right field line for a RBI triple to score junior infielder Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.). Moments later, Lyman scored from third following a throwing error by third baseman Tripp Martin on a groundball that should have ended the inning.
In the seventh inning, the Bulldogs cut into the Louisville advantage when first baseman Caleb Bryson scored on a RBI single by shortstop Tyler Filliben. However, the Cardinals answered in the bottom of the inning when Kay singled, stole second and scored on a RBI single by senior outfielder Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) for the final margin.
Brasher took the loss and dropped to 0-1 on the season for the Bulldogs after allowing three runs on four hits with 3.2 innings.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- The Cardinals went 5-0 in a week for the first time since winning all five games during the week of May 7-12 last season.
- Louisville earned a doubleheader sweep for the second time this week after taking two games from Western Illinois on Tuesday.
- The Cardinals improved to 9-0 this season against righty starters on the mound.
- Louisville is 14-0 this season when leading after eight innings and has won 69 straight games when entering the ninth with the lead dating back to May 2012.
- Louisville improved to 6-0 all-time against Samford with the three-game sweep this season. In those six games, the Cardinals have scored in double figures five times and totaled 82 runs overall, for an average of 13.6 per contest.
- In 19 games this season, Louisville has allowed two or fewer earned runs 13 times. Overall, the Cardinals have a 2.47 ERA as a pitching staff.
- With his 18th career save, Nick Burdi moved into second place tie on the Cardinals' career leaderboard equaling the total of Kerry Griffith (1983-85). With his next save he will move into a tie for first with Neil Holland (19 saves, 2008-10).
- Louisville struck out the side in order twice in Saturday's finale as Kyle McGrath did it in the sixth and Burdi accomplished it in the ninth.
- The RBI triple for Colin Lyman in Saturday's finale was the first career extra-base hit for the freshman.
- In the Cardinals' five games this week, Zach Lucas led the offense hitting .500 (9-for-18) with two home runs, one triple, seven RBI, 10 runs scored, a .944 slugging percentage and a .625 on-base percentage.
- Sutton Whiting was 7-for-7 on stolen bases this week and is 11-for-11 overall on the season.
- As a team, Louisville has 42 stolen bases on 51 attempts this season, while opponents have just 14 in 21 tries.
- Through the first five weeks of the season, Jeff Gardner leads Louisville in hitting (.391), RBI (26) and slugging (.667).
- Grant Kay hit .438 with 10 RBI in five games this week, while on the season, he is hitting .339 with two home runs, 23 RBI, seven doubles, 20 runs scored and eight stolen bases in eight attempts.