Louisville freshman 1B Ryan Seiz
March 22, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 27th-ranked Louisville baseball team had season-highs in runs and hits en route to an 11-2 win over Kent State on Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 13-7 overall, while Kent State dropped to 9-9 on the season with the loss. Louisville finished with a 4-0 mark against Kent State after also earning a three-game weekend sweep against the Golden Flashes on March 4-6 in Louisville.
The 11 runs on Tuesday halted of stretch of 22 straight games without scoring in double-figures for Louisville dating back to an 11-2 win over Saint Louis in the opening round of the NCAA Regional on June 4, 2010. The Cardinals' 15 hits were the most since their 15-hit performance in that same win over the Billikens.
Leading the way for the Louisville offense on Tuesday was freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock HS) and junior second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS). Seiz finished with a career-high in hits going 3-for-3 with his first ever home run, two doubles and a career-best three RBI, while Wright was 3-for-3 with two RBI and four runs scored in the win.
On the mound, freshman right-hander Jeff Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) earned his first career win in his first career start after allowing only one unearned run with just one hit while matching a career-high with four strikeouts. Through his first seven career appearances, Thompson has not allowed an earned run and just six hits while striking out 13 in 12.1 innings.
After Thompson opened the game by striking out all three batters he faced in the first looking, the Cardinals opened the scoring in the bottom of the inning as sophomore designated hitter Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left field off Kent State right-hander Brennen Glass, for a 1-0 advantage. The home run by Grieshaber marked just the third time this season Louisville has scored in the first inning.
After the Golden Flashes evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the third with an unearned run, Louisville moved back in front in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back home runs from junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) and Seiz. After Wright reached base with a one-out double down the left field line, Ijames sent a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center field for his team-leading third home run of the season and a 3-1 lead. Seiz followed with his first career home run over the wall in left field for a 4-1 advantage and the first back-to-back home runs for the Cardinals since April 25, 2010 (Kyle Grieshaber and Cade Stallings vs. Seton Hall).
An inning later, Louisville pushed its lead to 7-1 with three runs on three hits in the fourth. After senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) led off the inning with a walk and freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) followed with a single to center, both players advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Grieshaber. Wright then followed with a two-run single to right center to give the Cardinals a 6-1 advantage. One batter later, Wright scored on an RBI double to left center by Seiz for the final run of the inning.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, the Cardinals added two more runs in the sixth for the 9-1 lead. The scoring started with an RBI double to left field by Seiz to plate Wright, while sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) followed with his second triple of the season to score Seiz.
After Kent State added a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI groundout by Travis Shaw, the Cardinals scored two runs in the bottom of the inning for the final 11-2 margin. The first run was plated on an RBI double down the right field line by freshman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep), while the final run scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by sophomore Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS).
The Cardinals also had two-hit performances from Haynes (2-for-2, one run), Stallings (2-for-4, one RBI) and Sturgeon (2-for-4, one run), while Ijames finished with two RBI and two runs scored. For Kent State, Glass earned the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season after allowing five runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings.
Up next, Louisville will open BIG EAST Conference action with a three-game series at Rutgers, which starts Friday at 3 p.m., ET in Piscataway, N.J. The series will continue on Saturday at 1 p.m., and will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m. Live audio for all three games will be available to subscribers through CardsTV at UofLSports.com.
- With Tuesday's win, the Cardinals improved to 13-11 all-time against Kent State and extended their overall winning streak against the Golden Flashes to four.
- Tuesday's game marked the 14th time in 20 games this season the Louisville pitching staff has allowed two earned runs or fewer in a game.
- The Cardinals went their first 19 games without scoring in double-figures, the longest stretch to open the season since 1972, when that squad went the entire 38-game season without scoring in double-figures.
- Louisville hit three home runs in game for the first time this season and the first time overall since May 16, 2010 against St. John's (W, 8-4).
- Through 20 games this season, Louisville's pitching staff as a team ERA of 2.20 with 132 strikeouts and only 63 walks in 180.0 innings.