March 18, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior first baseman Andrew Clark earned a bases-loaded walk to plate the winning run and cap the 27th-ranked Louisville baseball team's 11-10 come-back win over Morehead State on Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Trailing 10-4 in the middle of the sixth inning, the Cardinals (12-5) scored one run in the bottom of the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the ninth for their eighth come-from-behind victory this season. With the win, the Cards' improved to 11-1 at home this season, the best home start since the 1999 squad also opened 11-1 at Cardinal Stadium.
"Clearly, we didn't play clean baseball today, but to score six runs in the last three innings and to win after being down in the ninth says a lot about the toughness of our guys," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, who also picked up career victory No. 100 on Wednesday in just his third season as the Cards' skipper. "Hopefully, we won't be content with just winning and we'll do the things that are necessary to get better so that we can accomplish the goals we have this season."
The Cards' ninth-inning rally started as junior catcher Jeff Arnold, who was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List on Tuesday, earned a leadoff walk with Louisville trailing 10-9. After Arnold advanced to second on his third stolen base of the season, sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes picked up an infield single off Morehead State reliever Josh Barnes to put two runners on base with no outs. Freshman Ryan Wright successfully advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt setting the stage for the finish.
After Morehead State head coach Jay Sorg elected to intentionally walk senior shortstop John Dao
to load the bases, Barnes then hit junior second baseman Adam Duvall
to score Arnold from third to tie the game at 10-10 and then walked Clark on five pitches to score Haynes for the win.
Louisville actually opened the scoring in Wednesday's game as sophomore Phil Wunderlich gave the Cards a 3-0 lead over Morehead State (6-12) in the first inning as the Chicago native belted his third home run of the season to score Dao and Duvall after both reached base after being hit by Eagles' starter Michael Bottoms.
The Eagles came back to score one run in the third as shortstop Drew Lee's sacrifice fly to centerfield off Louisville starter Mike Nastold scored rightfielder Luke Bainer, who led off the inning with a single to center. Morehead State then gained its first lead of the day with a three-run fourth inning started with a leadoff home run off the bat of third baseman Taylor Davis.
Davis' seventh home run of the season was followed by a walk to catcher Eric Bainer and a single through the right side by first baseman Michael Fear. Following a sacrifice bunt from Luke Bainer, outfielder Andrew Deeds singled to centerfield to score Eric Bainer and Fear and give the Eagles a 4-3 lead.
Louisville evened the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth as senior outfielder Alec Lowrey reached base and advanced to second on a throwing error by Davis, advanced to third on a single by Wright and then scored on an infield single by Dao.
The tie score was short-lived as Morehead State erupted for four runs on two hits and one runner in the fifth to take an 8-4 lead. After a flyout to left by outfielder Daniel Pugh to start the inning, Lee earned a walk from Nastold, who was then replaced on the mound by reliever Gabriel Shaw. Bottoms welcomed Shaw with a single to right field to put runners on first and second with one out. Davis then reached base as Lowrey misplayed his fly ball to right field, which allowed Lee to score and make it 5-4. After Shaw struck out Bainer looking, Fear hit his third home run of the season to plate Davis and Bottoms and close the scoring in the inning.
The Eagles then made it 10-4 an inning later as Pugh singled to left-center to score second baseman Travis Redmon, who led off the inning with a double, and Deeds, who had reached earlier in the inning with a single to right field. After a double by Bottoms put two runners on base with only one out, McDonnell turned to senior lefty reliever Gavin Logsdon, who got a ground ball off the bat of Davis to cut down Pugh at home plate and then struck out Eric Bainer to get out of the inning.
Louisville started its comeback with one run in the home half of the sixth as Clark singled through the right side off MSU reliever Jeff Arnold to score Wright, who had reached base earlier in the inning after being hit by a pitch and then stole second.
The Cardinals pulled to within one run an inning later with their four-run seventh inning, which started with a one-out single to left by sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond. After Richmond stole second, Arnold reached base with a walk and both players then advanced on a wild pitch from Morehead's Arnold. Wright then made the score 10-8 with the first home run of his career, a three-run shot to left field to score Richmond and Arnold.
Louisville continued the inning as Dao picked up a two-single to left, stole second base and then scored on a double to right-center by Duvall to cut the lead to 10-9 and set the stage for the two-run ninth inning.
After entering the game with only one out and two runners in scoring position in the sixth inning and getting the Cards out of that jam without another run crossing, Logsdon continued his command on the mound into the ninth inning as the team captain did not allow a hit in his 3.1 innings of scoreless relief before giving way to sophomore lefty Bob Revesz after two-out walk in the ninth. Revesz then got Fear to flyout to centerfield to turn it back over to the Louisville bats in the bottom of the ninth. Revesz was credited with the win, his first of the season, while Barnes picked up his second loss of 2009.
Up next, Louisville will open BIG EAST Conference play on Friday at 3 p.m., with the first of three straight games against Georgetown. Game two between the Cards and Hoyas is set for Saturday at 1 p.m., while Sunday's finale will begin at noon ET. Admission is free for all three games this weekend.
- Head coach Dan McDonnell is now 100-50 in three seasons as the Cards' head coach with a winning percentage of .667, which ranks fourth all-time at Louisville.
- With his 3.1 innings of relief on Wednesday, Logsdon made his 79th career appearance as a Cardinal, which places him tied for fourth on the all-time appearance list at U of L with Todd Raithel (1997-2000). He is two behind No. 3 on the list, Carlos Fernandez (2000-03) with 79.
- With his two-out, RBI double in the seventh inning, junior second baseman Adam Duvall has now hit safely in 15 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 16 of his 17 games in the Cardinal uniform and is the team's leading hitter this season with a .397 average.
- With his three RBI on Wednesday, sophomore Phil Wunderlich is now second on the team with 17 RBI this season. Overall, he is hitting .377 with three home runs while spending most of the season batting in the No. 5 spot in the Cards' lineup behind All-American Chris Dominguez.
- Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez has now hit safely in 11 straight games, which matches a career-high for the Miami native. Overall, he is batting .358 overall and leads the team with five home runs, 25 RBI and eight stolen bases in 10 attempts.