April 7, 2012
BETHESDA, Md. - The 18th-ranked Louisville baseball team had its four-game winning streak halted with a frustrating 6-3 road loss to Georgetown on Saturday afternoon at Shirley Povich Field.
The Cardinals dropped to 23-9 on the season and 7-2 in BIG EAST Conference action, while the Hoyas improved to 15-17 overall and 3-6 in league games. Despite Saturday's loss, Louisville has won all three of its BIG EAST series in 2012 and has not lost a three-game series to any opponent this season.
U of L opened the scoring in Saturday's finale with a run in each of the first two innings. Sophomore outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) started things in the first with a leadoff single up the middle and after moving to third with a pair of stolen bases, he scored on an RBI single through the right side by sophomore outfielder Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy). Engel finished the game 3-for-4 with three stolen bases, while Gardner was 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.
An inning later, sophomore Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) earned a leadoff walk from GU starter Neal Dennison, moved to second on a groundout and then scored on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky./Henderson County HS) for a 2-0 lead for the Cardinals. Gibson finished 2-for-3 at the plate with the one RBI.
In the bottom of the second, the Hoyas broke through for their first run of the day when shortstop Mike Garza sent the 0-1 pitch from Louisville senior righty Travis Tingle (Louisville, Ky./Cleveland State CC) over the fence in left field to cut the Cardinals' lead to 2-1. An inning later, Georgetown evened the score at 2-2 when second baseman Andy Lentz, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch, scored on a two-out single up the middle by Garza.
The score remained tied until the fifth inning when the Hoyas scored a pair of unearned runs to move ahead for the first time during the series and for good on Saturday. After loading the bases with two infield singles and a walk and with two outs, Georgetown plated two on a wild sequence that started with a passed ball off the glove of Gibson. After tracking the ball down behind the plate, he threw wildly over the head of sophomore reliever Chad Green
(Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS), who was covering the plate as outfielder Justin Leeson scored. With the ball beyond Green and in the middle of the infield, GU outfielder Rand Ravnaas, who started the play on second, rounded third and headed home. Cards' first baseman Stewart Ijames
(Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) picked up the ball and threw to Green, who was still covering the plate. Despite Green's attempt to block the plate, Ravnaas was called safe on a close play at home for the second run of the inning.
After the Hoyas pushed the lead to 5-2 in the seventh inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Garza, the Cardinals plated a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI groundout by freshman infielder Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) to cut the deficit back to two. However, Georgetown answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single to left by designated hitter Corbin Blakey for the final three-run margin.
Tingle allowed three runs, including two earned, on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk to take the loss and fall to 5-2 on the season, while Dennison earned the win allowing two runs on five hits with one strikeout and three walks in 6.0 innings to improve to 3-1. Reliever Charles Steinman followed Dennison by allowing just one run on three hits in 3.0 innings of relief for his first save.
At the plate for the Hoyas, Garza finished 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored, while Lentz reached base twice and scored twice in the win. The Cardinals finished with an 8-7 advantage in hits, but committed two costly errors as Georgetown played error-free baseball.
Up next, the Cardinals travel to Lexington, Ky., for a matchup against long-time rival and Top 10 foe Kentucky on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports South.
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