The win for Louisville was its sixth straight over in-state rivals, with the Cards' last loss to a school from the Bluegrass State coming at Kentucky on April 6 of last season (5-0).
U of L has also won six consecutive games over Western Kentucky and eight of the past nine. Louisville's last home loss to the Hilltoppers came on April 25, 2006 (4-3 in 10 innings).
Louisville scored fewer than seven runs against WKU for the first time in six meetings.
A mere three weeks after setting a school record by allowing four runs or fewer in 11 straight games, the Cardinals are well on their way to breaking the record again, as Tuesday's contest was the seventh consecutive for Louisville in which the opposition failed to reach the five-run mark.
Louisville pitchers have put together a 1.38 ERA over their past 52.0 innings of work. On Tuesday, Cardinal hurlers struck out seven batters for the sixth time in the past seven games.
The one-hit, one-run outing from freshman Jeff Thompson gave the Cards 20 games this season (out of 24) in which their starter surrendered two earned runs or fewer. The team as a whole as allowed two earned runs or fewer in 17 games this year.
Cardinal hitters failed to draw at least three walks for the first time in 13 games. U of L position players had recorded just one fewer walk (47) than strikeouts (48) in their previous 11 games coming in.
Louisville recorded three steals for the second consecutive game, tying a season high. The Cards have been successful on their last 13 stolen base attempts after beginning the season just 9-for-20 (.450).
The Cards outscored WKU 2-0 after the fourth inning in the game, upping Louisville's run differential from the fifth inning on this season to +54 (84-30), compared to +3 (38-35) in the first four innings.
U of L improves to 7-1 this season when going error-free.
The Cardinals improve to an even 7-7 against right-handed starting pitching (the team has gone 9-1 against lefties).
Louisville held the Sun Belt's best hitting team (.328, 23 points higher than the league's second-place team) to a 4-for-31 day from the dish with zero extra-base hits. The four hits marked a season low for the Hilltoppers, who entered the contest having collected at least eight hits in nine straight games.
Louisville Player Notes
Thompson's career-opening stretch of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run ended at 14.0 after Ryan Huck's two-out RBI single in the second inning. The run was the only yielded by Thompson, whose ERA sits at 0.51 over 17.2 career innings.
The Huck ground-ball single was also the only hit Thompson allowed, giving him eight straight outings allowing as many or fewer hits than innings pitched (every appearance of his career). Opponents have managed a mere two hits in their past 36 at bats (.056 average) against the 6-6 right-hander.
The rest of the Cardinal staff has shut down opposing hitters as well in games in which Thompson has pitched--in the eight games Thompson has seen action on the mound, U of L has allowed a combined eight runs, outscoring its foes 38-8. Louisville is 7-1 in those games.
Thompson's seven strikeouts were a career best and made him the second Cardinal freshman this season to record a seven-strikeout game. Dace Kime accomplished the feat against Morehead State in his collegiate debut (March 1), also allowing only a single hit in the outing (5.0 innings).
No Cardinal freshman has had more strikeouts in a game since current sophomore Mike Nastold punched out nine in a 4-3 win at Rutgers on April 19, 2009.
Junior Derek Self kept the opposition off the board once again out of the bullpen, the 14th straight relief appearance in which he has allowed a run or less. That stretch has seen the righty compile a 0.64 ERA with 17 strikeouts and only five walks.
Self has recorded a stellar 1.14 ERA over his last 14 appearances overall dating back to last year.
Self, last 14 appearances
Record ERA IP H R ER BB SO
2-0 1.14 31.2 23 5 4 7 19
Self, last 14 relief appearances
Record ERA IP H R ER BB SO
2-0 0.64 28.0 20 3 2 5 17
With the victory, Self improves to 16-0 in his collegiate career. For the curious, the NCAA Division I record for consecutive victories is 26, held by Wake Forest's Kyle Sleeth (2001-03) and BYU's Scott Nielsen (1978, 1982-83).
Junior closer Tony Zych notched his sixth straight scoreless outing and his seventh save of the season on Tuesday evening. Zych's seven season saves and nine career saves each tie him for ninth in Cardinal history. The school records in those categories are 17 and 19, respectively, both held by Neil Holland.
Freshman Ty Young finished the game 2-for-4, giving him six hits in his last 12 at bats. He also became the first Cardinal this year to swipe two bases in a game.
Fellow freshman Jeff Gardner made his first career start in the game, finishing 0-for-3. The rookie is still searching for his first career hit.
Rookie Cole Sturgeon stole a base for the second straight game after not attempting to steal in his first 16 contests. Sturgeon also collected a hit, a walk, and a run scored in the contest, upping his average to .265 from .194 just two weeks ago. Sturgeon is hitting .389 (7-for-18) during his current five-game hit streak.
Freshmen Young, Sturgeon, and Alex Chittenden combined to pick up all five of Louisville's hits and score all three of the team's runs in the game.
Junior Ryan Wright's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning gave him eight RBI over the past five games.
Junior Stewart Ijames saw his five-game hitting streak, 12-game on-base streak, and four-game home run streak come to an end on Tuesday after an 0-for-4 day. Ijames was trying to become the first Louisville player to hit home runs in five consecutive games since Mark Jurich did so during the 2004 season (five straight from April 28-May 5).