March 19, 2010
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior Phil Wunderlich hammered a pair of home runs to go with four RBI, while Ryan Wright and Stewart Ijames also added home runs as the No. 7 Louisville baseball team picked up an 11-7 series-opening win over Ball State on Friday afternoon in front of 2,112 fans at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 16-1 overall and 11-0 at home and extended their regular-season winning streak at Jim Patterson Stadium to 16 straight games, while Ball State dropped to 5-12 with the loss. Louisville and Ball State will continue their series on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium, while Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. Due to the potential for inclement weather impacting Sunday's game, officials plan to make a decision by noon ET on Saturday on the possibility of playing a second game on Saturday evening. Fans can visit UofLSports.com for any possible schedule changes.
Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) finished with a season-high four hits in his five at-bats to lift his team-leading batting average to .403 overall. He also leads the squad with eight home runs, including the two on Friday, 25 RBI and a slugging percentage of .833. Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) was 3-for-5 overall with his third home run, two RBI and three runs scored, Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) had two RBI to go with his second home run of the season and freshman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Second baseman Kolbrin Vitek led Ball State going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
On the mound, junior righty Thomas Royse (Lexington, Ky./Dunbar HS) improved to 4-0 on the season after allowing four earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in 6.2 innings, while junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) pitched 2.0 scoreless innings of relief with only one hit to earn his fourth save of the season. Righty Brad Piatt took the loss for Ball State after allowing five runs on six hits in 4.0 innings to fall to 0-2.
Ball State opened the scoring early with a run on two hits off Royse. Shortstop T.J. Baumet led off the inning with a double off the center field wall, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Ryan Chenoweth and then scored on an RBI single up the middle by Vitek for a 1-0 advantage.
Louisville evened the score at 1-1 in the second inning with one run on one hit off Piatt. Wunderlich led off the inning with a double to left center, moved to third on a deep fly out to right by Ijames and then scored on an RBI groundout by Stallings.
Ball State regained the lead in the fourth inning as first baseman Ian Nielson hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot over the wall in center, for a 2-1 advantage for the Cardinals from Muncie, Ind.
That lead was short-lived as Louisville came back with four runs on five hits for its first lead of the day. The scoring started with back-to-back solo home runs from Wright and Wunderlich for a 3-2 advantage. The solo home run down the left field line on the first pitch of the inning by Wright was his third of the season, while the bomb by Wunderlich hit off the top of the scoreboard in right center. It is the second time this season the duo of Wright and Wunderlich have hit back-to-back home runs, with the first coming on March 7 in the Cardinals' 12-1 win over Le Moyne.
U of L continued the inning with a single to left center by senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS), who then moved to third on a single through the right side by Stallings. Moments later Arnold scored from third on a perfect RBI squeeze bunt by junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS). Louisville pushed the lead to 5-2 as Stallings scored on an RBI single up the middle by sophomore Mike Morrison (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers HS).
After Ball State trimmed the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth on an RBI single to right by Chenoweth, Louisville answered with four runs on four hits off BSU reliever Scott Brothers Jr., in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-3 cushion. After Wright reached first with a one-out single through the left side, Wunderlich hammered his second home run of the day, this one to straight away center for the 7-3 lead. Following a walk to Arnold, Ijames mashed his home run over the right field wall for the six-run advantage.
However, Ball State came roaring back in the seventh inning with four runs, three of those unearned, on three hits and one costly Louisville error. The inning started with a walk to center fielder Kirby Campbell, who stole second and then scored on an error at first base by Stallings, which allowed third baseman Stephen Claypool to reach base. BSU scored its second run of the inning on an RBI single to left by Vitek, while the third run came on an RBI sacrifice fly to center by catcher Zach Dygert. The final run followed on an RBI single to right by Nielson to cut the Louisville lead to 9-7.
U of L added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as senior Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) singled to extend his hitting streak to six games and scored on an RBI double by Wright, who then scored on an RBI single up the middle by Wunderlich for the final 11-7 margin. Holland then recorded the final three outs of his six-out save to close the game.
- Friday's win is Louisville's 10th come-from-behind win in 16 total victories this season. Last season, 25 of the Cardinals' 47 wins were of the comeback variety.
- The series-opening crowd of 2,112 on Friday was the second largest of the season at home for Louisville and the second this week of more than 2,100.
- Friday's two-run home run performance by Wunderlich was the fourth time this season and the fourth time in 10 days Louisville has had a player hit a pair of home runs in a game. Wunderlich first achieved the feat on March 9 in the Cardinals' win over Indiana, while Adam Duvall hit two home runs in the March 12 win at Ole Miss and the March 16 win over Xavier.