Louisville freshman OF Cole Sturgeon
March 20, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 19th-ranked Louisville baseball team suffered a 4-1 loss to visiting Xavier on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium in the deciding game of the three-game weekend series.
With Sunday's defeat, the Cardinals dropped to 12-7 overall and lost their second weekend series of the season and just the third in their last 19 three-game series, while the Musketeers improved to 13-7 with the win. The Cardinals lost their second series at home in a season for the first time in Dan McDonnell's five seasons as head coach and the first time overall since 2006. The loss also concluded a 1-4 week for U of L marking the first time the Cardinals have lost four of five games in the same week since 2006.
Xavier opened the scoring early in Sunday's game with three runs on two hits in the first inning against Louisville right-hander Mike Nastold (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder HS). After leading off the game with walk, John McCambridge moved to second on an error, advanced to third on an infield single and then scored on an RBI double to right center by shortstop Phil Bauer for the 1-0 lead. The Musketeers pushed their advantage to 3-0 later in the inning with a pair of RBI groundouts from second baseman Seth Willoughby and first baseman Brian Bruening.
The Cardinals broke through for their only run of the day in the seventh as senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) doubled down the left field line and later scored on an RBI single up the middle by junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) to cut the deficit to 3-1. Ijames finished the game 2-for-5 with the RBI, while freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) was 2-for-4 in the loss.
Xavier added one insurance run in the top of the ninth as pinch hitter Ben Thomas doubled to left center and was replaced by pinch runner Selby Chidemo, who later scored on an RBI single to left by left fielder Mark Elwell for the final 4-1 margin.
Nastold took the loss for the Cardinals to fall to 2-1 on the season after allowing three runs on five hits in 3.2 innings in the starting role. Junior righty Derek Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS) did provide 4.1 innings of shutout, one-hit relief with five strikeouts to keep the Cardinals close in the middle innings. Right-hander Vinny Nittoli earned the win for the Musketeers to improve to 3-0 overall after scattering four hits with five strikeouts in 5.0 shutout innings. Second baseman and closer Seth Willoughby allowed two Cardinal baserunners in the ninth but did record the final three outs to earn his fifth save of the season.
Up next, Louisville will close its four-game homestand against Kent State on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.