Louisville freshman SS Alex Chittenden
March 18, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 19th-ranked Louisville baseball team opened its weekend series against Xavier with an 11-9 loss on Friday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With Friday's loss, the Cardinals fell to 11-6 on the season, while the Musketeers improved to 12-6 with their ninth straight win overall. Louisville and Xavier will continue the weekend series on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET, while Sunday's series finale is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free throughout the weekend.
Offensively, junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) led the Cardinals with a 2-for-5, two-RBI performance, while senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS), freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS) and freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock HS) added two hits and one RBI each in the loss. On the mound, sophomore righty Matt Koch (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) suffered the loss to fall to 2-2 on the season after allowing six earned runs on seven hits and three walks in a season-low 3.0 innings pitched. The runs (eight), earned runs, and walks allowed by Koch were all career highs.
For Xavier, righty Tyler Koors earned the win to improve to 2-1 this season despite allowing seven runs on nine hits with four walks in 6.0 innings of work. Closer and infielder Seth Willoughby recorded the final two outs of the game to earn his fourth save of the season for the Musketeers. At the plate, right fielder Brian Bruening finished 3-for-5 with four RBI, while center fielder John McCambridge was 2-for-5 with three RBI.
For the third straight game, the Cardinals faced an early deficit as Xavier scored four runs in the first inning and added three more in the third for a 7-0 advantage. Louisville broke through in the bottom of the third cut the margin to 7-3 on an RBI single by freshman outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS), an RBI groundball by junior second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) and an RBI double by Ijames.
After the Musketeers added a run in the fourth, the Cardinals answered with two runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 8-5. The first run of the inning scored on an RBI single to center by Chittenden, while the second was plated on an RBI single up the middle by Haynes.
Xavier scored a run in the top of the seventh to push its lead to 9-5, but Louisville responded with a pair of runs to trim the margin to just two in the bottom of the inning. The inning stared with a walk to Engel, who then moved to second with his third stolen base of the season, advanced to third on a single by Wright and then scored on a wild pitch by XU reliever Nathan Mutsch. After moving to third on the first wild pitch of the inning, Wright scored on a second wild pitch by Mutsch to make the score 9-7 Xavier.
Following a scoreless eighth inning, Xavier added two important insurance runs in the top of the ninth on a two-out, RBI single up the middle by McCambridge for an 11-7 lead. The Cardinals answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI triple to left center by Ijames and an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Seiz, but Willoughby and Xavier held on for the win.