March 24, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior first baseman Andrew Clark went 5-for-5 at the plate with three RBI and freshman righty Mike Nastold pitched into the seventh inning for his second career win as the 28th-ranked Louisville baseball team rolled past Evansville 13-4 on Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Clark, from New Palestine, Ind., also scored two runs to go along with his career-high five hits, while Nastold scattered 10 hits, allowed four runs and finished with a career-high four strikeouts in his career-long outing of 6.2 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season.
"I thought Mike was very good today and it was definitely the best performance he's had in his young career," said Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell. "And it's always special when a player can get five hits in a game like Andrew did today. He has looked much better at the plate the last couple of days and he really did a nice job in today's game."
Along with Clark, the Cards also got strong performances at the plate from Jeff Arnold, Ryan Wright and Chris Dominguez. Arnold, a junior catcher from Louisville, was 3-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored, while Wright, a freshman shortstop from Fort Wayne, Ind., was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Dominguez, a junior third baseman from Miami, was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored while extending his career best hitting streak to 15 games.
For the sixth straight game, Louisville (15-6) scored first as the Cards took command early on Tuesday with five runs in the second inning on six hits off Evansville (7-12) starter Jared Baehl, who took the loss for the Purple Aces to fall to 0-1 on the season. Wright led off the inning for the Cardinals with a ground-rule double to left center field, and after advancing to third on a wild pitch, he scored on an RBI single through the left side by Arnold for a 1-0 Louisville lead.
Senior outfielder Alec Lowrey
then made it 3-0 Cards as the Weston, Fla., native hit his second home run of the season, an opposite field shot to right center, to score Arnold. Sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes
then reached base on an infield single and moved to second on his ninth stolen base in nine attempts this season. After a walk to sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond
, junior second baseman Adam Duvall
made it 5-0 Louisville with his two-run double to center field.
Following a scoreless third inning, the Cards added a run in the fourth for a 6-0 advantage as Duvall walked, moved to second on a balk by UE reliever Dennis Keegan and then scored on an RBI single to center field by Clark.
Evansville broke up the shutout in the sixth inning as Alex Acheson doubled to left field, moved to third on a groundout by Jim Viscomi and then scored on a groundout to first by Shawn Kuester to make it 6-1 Cardinals.
Louisville came back in the home half of the sixth with four more runs on four hits off Davis. Once again, it was Clark who started the scoring with his RBI double to right center to score Duvall, who had reached on fielder's choice. Clark then moved to third on a single to center by Dominguez, who followed that by moving to second with his team-leading 10th stolen base of the season. Clark made it 8-1 Louisville as he scored from third on a sacrifice flyout by sophomore Phil Wunderlich. And Wright closed the scoring in the inning for the Cards with his second home run of the season to left field to score Dominguez for a 10-1 Cards' advantage after six innings.
The Purple Aces came back with three runs in the seventh as Viscomi singled to right field to score pinch runner Ty Legan and Kuester singled to right center to score Viscomi and Acheson to make it 10-4 Louisville. But the Cards responded with three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to thwart any rally hopes for Evansville.
Freshman Tony Zych, pinch hitting for Lowrey, led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch by UE reliever Corey Davisson, advanced to third as Duvall reached on a fielder's choice, and then scored on another RBI single by Clark. Dominguez then closed the scoring and kept his team-leading batting average at .400 on the season with a two-run triple to score Duvall and Clark for the final 13-4 margin.
Following Nastold's 6.2 innings, he was replaced in the seventh inning by sophomore Neil Holland, who gave the Cards 1.1 innings of perfect relief, while redshirt freshman Joe Stilphen closed the game with a hitless and scoreless ninth inning. While taking the loss for Evansville, Baehl pitched into the second inning but was unable to record an out in the second while giving up five runs on five hits and walking two.
Up next, the Cardinals will close their nine-game homestand against Western Kentucky on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, at Jim Patterson Stadium and admission is free.
- Along with his team-leading .400 average and seven home runs, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez also leads the Cardinals in RBI with 33, stolen bases with 10 on 14 attempts, slugging percentage at .750 and on-base percentage at .515.
- With his 0-for-3 day at the plate, sophomore Phil Wunderlich ended his career-best 12 game hitting streak. The Chicago native is still second on the team in hitting with a .382 average and tied for second with 20 RBI and four home runs while spending most of the season in the No. 5 spot in the Cards' lineup behind Dominguez.
- Wednesday will close the Cards' nine-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium, where Louisville has been very good so far this season. U of L is 14-2 at Jim Patterson Stadium in 2009, which is the best start for a Louisville team at the ballpark, which opened in April, 2005.