April 3, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The seventh-ranked Louisville baseball team completed a weekend sweep of BIG EAST Conference foe Villanova with Saturday afternoon's 10-6 win at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, Louisville improved to 24-3 overall and moved into a tie for first place in the BIG EAST with a 5-1 record, while Villanova dropped to 17-7 on the season and 2-4 in league action.
In Saturday's win, the Louisville trio of redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), junior catcher J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) and junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) led the way with three hits each against the Wildcats. Ijames was 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Ethel and Wunderlich each finished 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Senior second baseman Adam Duvall added two hits, two runs and an RBI in the win.
On the mound, junior lefty Bob Revesz (Grove City, Pa./Grove City HS) came out of the bullpen with 0.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and improve to 1-0 on the season. Sophomore righty Derek Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS) earned the start and allowed six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS) followed Revesz with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief before giving way to junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), who recorded the final five outs to earn his seventh save of the season.
For Villanova, righty starter Kyle McMyne took the loss after allowing seven runs, including six earned, on eight hits in 3.0 innings to fall to 4-2 overall. At the plate, Justin Bencsko, Marlon Calbi and Kevin Wager had two hits each in the loss for the Wildcats.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the first inning with a pair of runs on two hits against McMyne. The scoring rally started with back-to-back one-out walks to Duvall and senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS). Moments later, as Duvall was looking to steal third base, McMyne's throw went over the head of third baseman David Koczirka allowing Duvall to score the first run of the game and Clark to move to third. After a walk to sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS), Wunderlich followed with an RBI single to center to score Clark for a 2-0 lead after the first.
Louisville added to its advantage in the second with two more runs on two hits. Ethel led off the inning with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior center fielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) and scored on an RBI double down the right field line by Duvall for the first run of the inning. Clark then followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score freshman Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS), who reached base earlier in the inning by being hit by a pitch and moved to third on the double by Duvall.
Villanova bounced back in the third with four runs on four hits to even the score at 4-4. The first run of the inning came on an RBI double to left field by Matt Szczur to score Wager. With Calbi on third and Szczur on second, Bencsko hit his first home run of the season to score both runners for the final three runs of the inning.
The Cardinals responded quickly in the bottom of the third with two more runs on three hits to regain the lead at 6-4. After reaching base with back-to-back singles and advancing to second and third respectively on a fielding error by Bencsko in center, senior Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) and Wunderlich each scored on an RBI single to left center by Ijames to push U of L back in front.
After Self struck out the side in the top of the fourth, Louisville added to its lead in the bottom of the inning with two runs on two hits. After leading off the inning with a single to left off McMyne, Duvall moved to third on a single up the middle by Clark off lefty reliever Kevin Crimmel and then scored on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Wright. Clark, who advanced to second on the fielder's choice after a throwing error by Calbi at shortstop, moved to third on a deep fly ball to right by Wunderlich and then scored on an RBI groundout by Arnold for an 8-6 advantage.
The Wildcats cut the deficit in half in the fifth with a pair of runs on three hits. The first run of the inning came on an RBI double to right center by Calbi to score Wager, while Calbi scored the run later inning on an RBI groundout by Bencsko.
Louisville added a run in the sixth as Wright belted his seventh home run of the season to left center and another run in the eighth as Wright scored on an RBI single through the right side by Ethel for the final 10-6 margin.
Up next, Louisville will open an eight-game road swing with a mid-week matchup at Kentucky on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
- With Saturday's win, Louisville improved to 14-2 all-time against Villanova and extended its winning streak against the Wildcats to seven straight.
- With Saturday's crowd of 2,001, Louisville has surpassed the 2,000 mark in nine games this season and is averaging 1,654 fans in 19 home games this season at Jim Patterson Stadium.
- In his seven games since returning from a stress fracture in his rib cage, senior first baseman Andrew Clark is hitting .444 with four home runs, 13 RBI and 10 runs scored. For the season, he his hitting .408 with six home runs, 25 RBI and 17 runs scored in his 14 games.
- Junior righty Neil Holland continued his dominant work on the mound on Saturday and added more fuel to the argument that he could be nation's top closer through the first half of the season. Holland has 4-0 record overall with seven saves in seven opportunities and a microscopic ERA of just 0.34. In 26.2 innings of relief this season, Holland has allowed only one earned run and five total hits with 30 strikeouts.
- Additional Note From Friday's Win: The complete game shutout by junior lefty Dean Kiekhefer in Friday's 7-0 win over Villanova was the first nine-inning shutout for a Louisville pitcher since Zach Johnson accomplished the feat in a 1-0 win over Illinois on March 9, 2003.