April 14, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -
Back-to-back two-out singles in the eighth inning by seniors Jeff Arnold and Adam Duvall and a solo home run in the ninth inning by redshirt sophomore Stewart Ijames lifted the No. 11 Louisville baseball team to a 7-6 road win over No. 19 Western Kentucky on Wednesday night at Nick Denes Field.
With their third road win of the season over a Top 20 team, the Cardinals improved to 26-6 overall, while the Hilltoppers dropped to 27-9 on the season. The win also extended a four-game winning streak for Louisville over WKU. The two teams will play again in one week as the Cardinals host the Hilltoppers at Jim Patterson Stadium on April 21 at 6 p.m. ET.
Five Louisville players had at least two hits as the Cardinals out-hit Western Kentucky 14-11. Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) led the way going 3-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season, while Arnold, Duvall, senior Andrew Clark and junior Phil Wunderlich had two hits each in the win. Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) finished 2-for-5 with two RBI. Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored and Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) finished 2-for-5 in the game.
On the mound, sophomore righty Derek Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS) allowed only one run on one hit in 2.2 innings of relief for the win to improve to 5-0 on the season and 12-0 in his career, while junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) recorded the final four outs of the game allowing only one unearned run to collect his eighth save of the season. For WKU, closer Rye Davis picked up the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in 1.0 inning of relief to fall to 2-1 on the season.
With the game tied at 4-4 in the eighth inning and two outs, Arnold sent a 2-2 pitch from Davis into right field to score freshman Drew Fitzpatrick
(Warren, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney HS) from third base for a 5-4 lead. Duvall followed Arnold with an RBI single to left field to score junior J.J. Ethel
(Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) for the 6-4 advantage.
After the Hilltoppers pulled to within a run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run by Kory Perti, Louisville pushed its advantage to 7-5 in the top of the ninth with Ijames' one-out solo shot over the wall in right field off WKU weekend starter Shane Cameron. Western Kentucky added one unearned run in the ninth inning on an RBI groundout by Kes Carter before Holland got Perti on a groundout to end the game.
Louisville opened the scoring in the first inning as Arnold led off the game by being hit by a pitch from WKU starter Brian Edelen and scored moments later on the seventh home run of the season by Clark, a two-run bomb to right field for a 2-0 advantage.
WKU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first as Jared Andreoli scored from second on an RBI single by Carter. After a scoreless second inning, the Hilltoppers took their first lead of the night on a three-run triple down the right field line by Jake Wells for a 4-2 advantage.
The Cardinals bounced back to tie the game in the fifth inning thanks to two runs on three hits. Ethel led off the inning with his first home run of the season, a solo shot over the wall in left center off Edelen to cut the deficit to 4-3. Junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) followed with single up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on an RBI single to left field by Duvall to tie the score at 4-4.
After two more scoreless innings, the stage was set for the final two innings and the Louisville win.
Up next, Louisville concludes its eight-game road swing with a three-game series at BIG EAST Conference foe West Virginia on Friday-Sunday in Morgantown, W.Va.
- With his 2-for-5 day at the plate, senior Adam Duvall moved back to the top of the Cardinals' hitting list with a .367 average. Duvall was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday after being out of the lineup for the three games at Pittsburgh last week due to a minor hamstring injury.
- With his performance on Wednesday night, junior Neil Holland lowered his ERA to just 1.09 overall. The righty has a 5-0 record to go along with his team-leading eight saves.
- Louisville overcame a 4-2 deficit midway through the game to earn its 16th come-from-behind win this season.
- At 3 hours, 31 minutes, Wednesday's game was the longest nine-inning game of the season for Louisville and second longest overall behind only the 12-inning, 4-hour win at Ole Miss on March 12.