April 15, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 19th-ranked Louisville baseball team suffered its first series loss of the season with Sunday's 9-4 defeat to visiting Seton Hall at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With Sunday's loss, which clinched their first BIG EAST Conference series loss at home since 2009, the Cardinals dropped to 25-11 overall and 8-4 in BIG EAST action. With their first ever series win in Louisville, the Pirates improved to 19-16 overall and 7-5 in league games.
After taking a 2-0 lead through the first three innings on Sunday, Louisville allowed Seton Hall to gain command with a trio of three-run frames in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings. The Cardinals rallied for two runs in the ninth and had the tying run on deck with one out before the Pirates halted the final comeback attempt to clinch the series.
On the mound, Louisville used six different pitchers on Sunday starting with senior righty Travis Tingle (Louisville, Ky./Cleveland State CC), who allowed three runs on a career-high nine hits with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings to take the loss and drop to 5-3 on the season. At the plate, sophomore lefty Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while junior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) added three hits in the loss.
Following a scoreless first inning, Louisville plated the first run of the day in the second inning on an RBI single by Sturgeon off SHU starter Brian Gilbert to score freshman shortstop Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS), who reached base earlier in the inning with a double off the wall in center field. An inning later, the Cardinals pushed their lead to 2-0 in the third when sophomore outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS).
However, that was the last time Louisville would lead on Sunday as the Pirates plated three runs on five hits against Tingle in the fourth to take control. The scoring started with an RBI single by third baseman Kyle Grimm and continued with an RBI sac fly by designated hitter Dale Anderson and an RBI single by second baseman Mike Genovese.
Seton Hall added to its lead in the sixth inning with three runs on six hits off Louisville reliever Matt Koch (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS). The inning started with a solo home run to left field by first baseman Sal Annunziata, his first of the season. Genovese added an RBI single while rightfielder Will Walsh's RBI double down the right field line increased the SHU advantage to 6-2.
The Pirates added their final three-spot in the eighth inning on a two-run double by Walsh and an RBI sac fly by outfielder Ryan Sullivan while facing Cards' senior righty Derek Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS).
Louisville made things interesting in the ninth with an RBI double from Sturgeon to score pinch runner Mike White (East Orange, N.J./Salisbury HS), who replaced Wasserman after his one-out single started the threat. Later in the inning, Sturgeon scored on a one-out bases loaded RBI walk by sophomore infielder Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central HS) from Seton Hall reliever Rick Mangione to cut the deficit to 9-4. However, Mangione followed by getting a flyout and a strikeout to end the game.
Seton Hall righty Ryan Harvey, who took the loss in Saturday's game after recording only one out as the starter, came out of the bullpen on Sunday for 6.0 innings of shutout relief allowing just three hits with five strikeouts to earn the win and even his record at 3-3. Walsh led the Pirate offense going 3-for-5 with three RBI while Genovese was 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
Up next, the Cardinals will travel to Bloomington, Ind., for a midweek road game at Indiana on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET.
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.