RHP Jeff Thompson
March 23, 2013
By Adam Pruiett, GoCards.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Jeff Thompson doesn't give up many runs and, in turn, the Louisville baseball team's junior right-hander does give the Cardinals' offense plenty of patience.
In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium, Thompson extended his eye-popping scoreless innings streak another six-plus innings, and Ty Young helped jump-start the Cardinals at the plate as they scored all their runs from the seventh inning on in a 4-0 victory over Rutgers in BIG EAST Conference action.
It was the first league win for fourth-ranked Louisville (19-3, 1-1), which lost the Friday opener to the Scarlet Knights (7-11, 1-1). The Cardinals, who have regrouped with a win after each of their three setbacks this season, looked to capture the conference-opening series in the tail end of the doubleheader.
Although he was saddled with a no-decision for the first time this year, Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) was his typical dominant self, upping his career-best scoreless innings streak to 21.1 after working 6.1 spotless frames. The 6-foot-6 hurler, who maintained his 5-0 record, hasn't yielded a run in his last three starts and lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.46 in the process. Thompson struck out six while giving up one hit and three walks.
In his finest outing of the season, Rutgers right-hander Tyler Gebler matched Thompson through six scoreless innings. At that point, Thompson had faced only two over the minimum and Gebler just one, with both limiting the opposing offense to one hit. Leading into the seventh, Louisville didn't have a base runner advance past first base and Rutgers had only one in the pitching duel.
Louisville, though, finally broke through in the seventh after Cardinals freshman left-hander Kyle McGrath (Louisville, Ky./Eastern Kentucky/Butler HS) recorded the final two outs in the top half in relief of Thompson. With one out, Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) rifled a triple to left center for his second hit of the game and also Louisville's second hit. After a line out to shortstop by freshman designated hitter Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS), junior rightfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) came through with a clutch two-out RBI single to center that plated Young.
Louisville added three insurance runs in the eighth against Rutgers reliever Rob Corsi, with sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) getting things rolling with a one-out infield single. After Louisville loaded the bases on a bunt single by junior centerfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) and a hit by pitch by senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC), Young collected an RBI with a walk and Rosenbaum made it 3-0 with an RBI sacrifice fly against newly inserted reliever Jon Young. Louisville capped its scoring when Ratajczak scored after an infield error on Sturgeon's ground ball.
Young registered two of Louisville's six hits, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and a walk. On the mound, Burdi allowed two runners on in the eighth before striking out the side in notching his fifth save of the season. All five outs he recorded were strikeouts, pushing his season total to 27 in 12 innings pitched. Louisville's pitching staff recorded its fifth shutout of the season.
Gebler dropped to 1-3 after allowing one earned run on four hits in 6.2 innings pitched. Three different Scarlet Knights had one hit apiece.