March 27, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Looking for a BIG EAST Conference series sweep, the No. 7 Louisville baseball team's ninth inning rally fell short as Connecticut salvaged a 6-3 win in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Despite the loss in the finale of the first BIG EAST series of the season for both squads, the Cardinals (20-3, 2-1 BIG EAST) earned their fifth series win of the season with 1-0 and 4-2 victories in the first two games, while the Huskies (13-7, 1-2 BIG EAST) dropped their first series of the season.
Trailing 6-0 entering the ninth, the Cardinals scored three runs on four hits and had the tying run at the plate before Huskies' closer Kevin Vance closed the door with the final out of the game . Junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) started the scoring for Louisville in the ninth with an RBI groundout to the right side to score senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS), who led off the inning with a walk from UConn reliever Dan Feehan and advanced to third on a double by sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS). Moments later, Wright scored the second run of the inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS).
Louisville then cut the deficit to 6-3 as senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) hammered his second home run of the season to left field. Freshman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) followed with a single to left and was replaced by pinch runner Jarred Clarkson (Shelbyville, Ky./Shelby County HS), who advanced to second on a single to right field by junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) off Vance. However, that was as close as the Cardinals would get as a ground ball to the left side by freshman Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) ended the game.
On the mound, sophomore righty Matt Barnes earned the win for the Huskies as he scattered five hits with nine strikeouts in 8.0 scoreless innings to improve to 4-0 on the season, while sophomore Tony Zych
(Monee, Ill./St. Rita HS) took the loss for the Cardinals to fall to 1-2 overall after allowing five runs on seven hits with a career high 10 strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
At the plate, Wright led the way for Louisville going 3-for-4 with a run scored, while first baseman Mike Nemeth had a home run and two RBI to lead Connecticut.
Following a scoreless first inning, Connecticut took a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to three hits off Zych. Designated hitter Kevin Vance led off the inning with a double down the right field line and scored on an RBI double to left center by second baseman Tim Martin for the first run. Moments later, Martin scored on an RBI double by right fielder John Andreoli for the second run of the inning.
The Huskies pushed their lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning as catcher Joe Pavone hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot to left center. An inning later, UConn made it 5-0 as Nick Ahmed walked and scored on a two-run homer to left field by Nemeth, the third home run of the season for him.
UConn increased its lead to 6-0 in the seventh inning as left fielder Billy Ferriter reached on an infield single off lefty reliever Bob Revesz (Grove City, Pa./Grove City HS), moved to second on a throwing error by shortstop Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) and scored on an RBI single to left field by Ahmed. The score remained that way until the ninth, when Louisville cut the deficit in half for the final margin.
Up next, Louisville travel to Bloomington, Ind., for a mid-week non-conference matchup at Indiana on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. ET. On March 9, the Cardinals earned a 9-7 win over the Hoosiers at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville.