Louisville junior 2B Adam Duvall
March 25, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior second baseman Adam Duvall delivered a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning to go with his first inning home run to lead the 28th-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 7-6 comeback win over rival Western Kentucky on Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With junior catcher Jeff Arnold on third, sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes on second and the Cardinals (16-6) trailing 6-5 with two outs, Duvall, from Louisville's Butler High School, lined a 0-1 pitch from WKU reliever Ben Paxton over the glove of third baseman Wade Gaynor and into left field to score both baserunners for the game-winning hit. Duvall finished the day 2-for-4 from the plate with four RBI and one run scored, including his second home run of the year in the Cards' three-run first inning.
"I'm really happy for Adam Duvall because it's not easy to make big plays against a team with so many guys you know like Adam does with their squad," said Cards' head coach Dan McDonnell. "Adam respects the game of baseball and he's been doing those kinds of things for our team all year."
Holding the slim one-run lead into the ninth inning, McDonnell gave the ball to freshman closer Tony Zych, who worked through the Hilltoppers' (15-7) 3-4-5 hitters in order to earn the first save of his collegiate career. The Chicago native also did it in impressive fashion as he worked from 94 to 97 miles per hour on the radar gun.
"That win was a team effort because we missed some opportunities at the plate, but I also have to give their bullpen credit for making some big pitches," McDonnell said. "But our bullpen was pretty good too and Tony Zych really put an exclamation point on the win with his ninth inning."
Louisville opened the scoring in the first inning as Duvall hammered a 1-1 pitch from WKU starter Bart Carter over the left field wall to score sophomore Josh Richmond, who led off the inning with a walk. Sophomore Phil Wunderlich then doubled down the left field line and scored on an RBI double by Wright for a 3-0 Louisville advantage after the first inning.
The Hilltoppers came back with two runs of their own in the second as catcher J.B. Paxson doubled to right center off Louisville starter Bob Revesz to score left fielder Matt Hightower and shortstop Terrence Dayleg to make it 3-2 Cardinals. Revesz pitched into the fifth inning allowing four runs on six hits with two strikeouts.
Louisville bounced back for two runs in the third as Clark started the scoring when he hammered his home run over the left field wall to make it 4-2 Cards. Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez then followed with a walk, earned his 11th stolen base of the season to move to second, advanced to third on a groundout by Wunderlich and then scored on an infield single by Wright to make it 5-2 Louisville after three.
WKU came back for its first lead of the game in the fifth as All-American right fielder Chad Cregar connected on a bases loaded, 1-2 pitch from Louisville sophomore reliever Gabriel Shaw for his 11th home run and his first grand slam of the season to make it 6-5 Hilltoppers. The slam was setup as center fielder Jeremy Coleman led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a single by Payton. After Shaw replaced Revesz on the mound, he walked third baseman Wade Gaynor to load the bases for Cregar.
The scored stayed that way until the eighth inning when Duvall delivered the game-winning hit to left field for the Cards. Shaw finished with 2.1 innings of relief with two earned runs on just one hit and five strikeouts. Paxton took the loss for the `Toppers to fall to 1-1 on the season, while Carter allowed five runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings as the starter.
Up next, Louisville returns to the road for a three-game BIG EAST series at Seton Hall. The Cards and Pirates will open on Friday at 6 p.m. ET in South Orange, N.J. Game two is set for Saturday at 1 p.m., while Sunday's finale is scheduled for noon ET.
Live audio of the series will not be available through CardsTV due to press box limitations at Seton Hall, however fans can follow the live stats for each game through the Gametracker feature at www.UofLSports.com. Also, live audio for Friday's and Sunday's games will be available online through Seton Hall radio at www.wsou.net.
- With his 0-for-2 day a the plate, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez had his career-best 15-game hitting streak come to an end. However, the All-American is still leading the team in hitting with a .390 average to go with his seven home runs, 33 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
- Freshman Ryan Wright has emerged as one of the Cards' top hitters already this season. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native is fourth on the team with a .353 average to go with two home runs and 20 RBI. He's also talented as a defender having already played at shortstop, third base and right field this season.
- Wednesday's game closed the Cards' nine-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium, where they are now 15-2 overall on the season.