April 4, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio -
Sophomore righty Thomas Royse struck out a career-high 10 batters to earn his first win of the season and lead the Louisville baseball team to a series-clinching 12-7 win over Cincinnati on Saturday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
The win, combined with Friday night's 13-3 victory over the Bearcats, clinched the second BIG EAST series win of the season for the Cardinals (20-8, 5-3 BIG EAST). The series finale between U of L and UC (13-14, 2-6 BIG EAST) is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.
For Royse, it was a career-best day as the Lexington, Ky., native improved to 1-2 this season after going a career-high 7.0 innings, while allowing only three runs on just four hits with the career-best 10 strikeouts, the second most for a Louisville pitcher this season behind only Justin Marks' 11 strikeouts three different times in 2009.
For the second straight day, the Louisville bats were also hot as the Cards scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the fifth time this season and the 11th time overall. And for the second straight day, the Cards took command of the game with a seven-run inning to turn a tie game into a rout.
Leading the way for the Cardinals at the plate on Saturday was Ryan Wright and Josh Richmond, who finished with three hits and three RBI each in the win. Wright, a freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., was 3-for-4 overall and scored one run to go along with his three RBI, while Richmond, a Cincinnati native, was 3-for-6 with a run scored to go with his three RBI. Sophomore Phil Wunderlich finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, while junior third baseman Chris Dominguez homered for the second straight day to take his season total to nine.
After a pair of scoreless innings to start Saturday's game, the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as junior catcher Jeff Arnold
led off with a single through the left side, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes
, moved to third on his ninth stolen base of the season and scored on Richmond's RBI groundout to second.
The Bearcats answered back in the bottom of the third with three runs on three hits. Second baseman T.J. Jones led off the inning with a first pitch home run over the wall in left center to tie the game at 1-1. After shortstop Chris Peters flew out to right field, catcher Nick Rohlfs singled up the middle and moved to second on a walk to centerfielder Jamel Scott. Both Rohlfs and Scott scored moments later as rightfielder Cameron Satterwhite doubled to left center to give UC a 3-1 advantage after three innings.
Louisville started its comeback in the fourth with two runs on just one hit and one key Bearcat error. Following a groundout by junior first baseman Andrew Clark, Dominguez was hit by a pitch from Cincinnati starter Tyler Smith and then moved to second as Wunderlich reached base after Smith dropped an infield pop-up midway between home plate and the pitcher's mound. Wright made him pay immediately for the error with an RBI single to center to score Dominguez and cut the lead to one. After Arnold was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Wunderlich scored from third on a wild pitch by Smith to tie the game at 3-3 after four innings.
The fifth inning was the turning point in the game as the Cards scored seven runs, all on two outs, on five hits to take control in the same fashion as Friday night's game. On Friday, Louisville scored seven runs in the fourth to turn a 3-3 game into a 10-3 advantage, while on Saturday, it was a seven-run fifth that turned the 3-3 tie into a 10-3 lead. The inning started as Richmond singled through the right side on a two-strike pitch from Smith and then moved to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by junior second baseman Adam Duvall.
After Clark popped out to third baseman Mike Spina in foul territory, Dominguez was intentionally walked to put two baserunners on with two outs. Wunderlich made the Bearcats pay for that decision with a single up the middle to score Richmond from second, while Dominguez moved to third on the play and Wunderlich moved to second on the throw to third by Scott in center. Wright then followed with his second career triple, this one over the head of Scott in center, to score both Dominguez and Wunderlich and give the Cards a 6-3 lead. Moments later, Wright scored from third on a passed ball that got away from Rohlfs for a 7-3 Louisville advantage.
Senior shortstop John Dao then reached base on a four-pitch walk, moved to second as Arnold was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and advanced to third on a walk to sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes. After Smith was replaced on the mound by redshirt freshman Sam Slavik, Richmond picked up his second single of the inning, this one to left field, to score both Dao and Arnold and make it 9-3 Louisville. Duvall closed the scoring in the inning for the Cards as he legged out an infield single to score Haynes from third and make it 10-3 Cardinals.
Following a scoreless sixth inning, the Cards pushed their lead out to 12-3 as Dominguez followed a walk to Clark by UC reliever Andrew Burkett with his second home run in two days. The Miami native leads the Cardinals in hitting (.345), home runs (nine), RBI (40), slugging percentage (.664), on base percentage (.464) and stolen bases (12 on 16 attempts).
The Bearcats came back to score two runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth off junior reliever Matt Lea, while senior lefty Gavin Logsdon came on to record the final two outs of the game in his 84th career appearance on the mound in the Louisville uniform.
Smith took the loss for the Bearcats to fall to 2-3 overall after allowing eight earned runs and 10 total runs on six hits in 4.2 innings.
Following this weekend's series, Louisville will return home for a five-game homestand starting on Tuesday at 6 p.m., against Indiana.
- With Saturday's win, the Cardinals have now won five straight overall against the Bearcats and Louisville holds an 84-78 lead in the all-time series with UC, which dates back to 1924, 83-78.
- After trailing 3-1 after the third inning, the Cardinals came back for the victory, their 14th come-from-behind win so far this season.
- After scoring a total of only 11 runs in losing two of three games at Seton Hall last weekend, the Cards have already scored 25 runs in winning the first two games against Cincinnati this weekend.