Louisville freshman C Jeff Gardner
April 2, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Led by freshmen hitters and another quality start from sophomore right-hander Justin Amlung, the 23rd-ranked Louisville baseball team earned an 8-2 win over West Virginia on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win to even the weekend series, the Cardinals improved to 17-9 overall and 3-2 in BIG EAST games, while the Mountaineers dropped to 17-12 on the season and 3-2 in league games \with the loss. The deciding third game of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m., ET and admission is free.
Freshmen combined for six of the Cardinals' nine hits, seven of eight RBI and scored all eight runs in the victory. Freshman shortstop Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS) finished 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored, while freshman catcher Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy) was 3-for-3 with two runs in his first career behind the plate. Freshman third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) was 1-for-4 with a career-best three RBI and two runs scored in the win.
On the mound, Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS) allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in 7.0 innings to earn the victory and improve to 6-0 on the season. The righty has won five straight starts and has an ERA of only 0.92 with 33 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 48.2 innings pitched. Overall, it marked the 18th time in 26 games this season the Louisville pitching staff has allowed two runs or less in a game.
The Mountaineers opened the scoring in the first inning on a solo home run by third baseman Justin McDavid, his second of the season, and a two-out RBI single up the middle by designated hitter Jeremy Gum for the 2-0 advantage.
An inning later, Louisville cut the deficit in half at 2-1 as Seiz scored from third on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Chittenden. The scoring chance was setup as Seiz was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch by WVU starter Harrison Musgrave and advanced to third on a single by Gardner.
The Cardinals added another run in the third inning on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field by Seiz to plate Young and even the score at 2-2. Young started the inning with a leadoff walk, moved to second on a groundout by junior second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) and advanced to third on a single to left center by junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) before scoring on the sac fly.
Louisville gained its first lead of the day in the fourth inning with two runs on two hits and a 4-2 advantage. The scoring started with an RBI double to right center by Chittenden to plate Gardner, who led off the inning with a single up the middle. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt from senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS), Chittenden scored on an RBI groundball off the bat of Young for the second run of the inning.
U of L added to its advantage in the fifth inning with four runs on four hits off WVU reliever Corey Walter. The scoring started with an RBI groundball off the bat of freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) to score Gardner from third. Young followed with a two-run double to left field to score Chittenden and Sturgeon, while Wright closed the scoring with an RBI single to right center to score Young for the final 8-2 margin.
Following Amlung's quality start, freshman right-hander Chad Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) pitched 2.0 shutout innings of relief to close the game for the Cardinals. Musgrave took the loss for the Mountaineers to fall to 2-2 on the season after allowing four runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.