March 20, 2010
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior lefty Dean Kiekhefer allowed only one run in seven innings, while sophomore Ryan Wright went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to lead the No. 7 Louisville baseball team to an 8-3 win over Ball State in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win in front of 2,362 fans, Louisville improved to 17-1 overall, remained unbeaten at home at 12-0 and extended its regular season winning streak at Jim Patterson Stadium to 17 games, while Ball State dropped to 5-13 overall.
Kiekhefer (Louisville, Ky./Oldham County HS) was outstanding scattering six hits with the one run and six strikeouts as he matched his longest outing of the season to improve to 2-1 overall. At the plate, Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) matched a season high with the four hits, including his fourth home run of the season and his second of the weekend.
Senior Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while junior Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) continued his impressive week with his team-leading ninth home run to go with two RBI. In three games this week, Wunderlich has three home runs and eight RBI to lead the Cardinals.
Louisville opened the scoring in the first inning as Duvall singled through the left side, moved to third on a single to center by Wright and scored on an RBI groundout to the right side by Wunderlich for a 1-0 advantage.
An inning later, Louisville gained complete control of the game with five runs on three hits and two costly Ball State errors. The inning started with a single to right by redshirt sophomore Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), who then moved to second on a fielding error by shortstop T.J. Baumet on a ground ball by freshman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS). Moments later, Ball State pitcher Cal Bowling could not handle a sacrifice bunt by junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) to load the bases with no outs.
After a strikeout by sophomore Mike Morrison (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers HS), Ijames scored from third on an RBI groundout by freshman Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) for a 2-0 lead. Duvall followed with a two-run double to left center to score Stallings and Haynes for a 4-0 advantage. Wright then pushed the Cardinals' lead to 6-0 with his home run, a two-run bomb off the batter's eye in centerfield. It marked the seventh time this season Louisville has scored at least five runs in an inning.
Following a scoreless third inning, Ball State finally broke through against Kiekhefer with one run on two hits. The inning started with a leadoff walk to second baseman Kolbrin Vitek, who moved to third on a single to right center by left fielder Kory Benbow and then scored on an RBI single through the left side by designated hitter Nathan Koontz to cut the U of L lead to 6-1.
Louisville pushed its lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the fourth as Wunderlich hammered his home run over the right field wall off Ball State reliever Derek Grabner.
From there, Kiekhefer worked scoreless frames in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to close his strong day on the mound. The scoreless sixth inning included a spectacular diving catch in left center field by Haynes on a fly ball by Zach Dygert.
In the eighth inning, Ball State added a run against Louisville righty Matt Lea (Collierville, Tenn./Collierville HS) as Dygert doubled down the left field line to score Vitek, who earned a two-out walk to extend the inning, to cut the margin to 7-2.
Louisville came back to add a run in the bottom of the eighth as Wright singled to right to score Grieshaber, who earlier reached base with a single up the middle and moved to second and third on two wild pitches by Grabner, while Ball State scored one final unearned run in the ninth off freshman righty Curtis McCombs (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS).