April 16, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - A walk-off RBI single by Jeremy Baltz completed a three-run ninth inning for homestanding St. John's in a 6-5 series-clinching win over the 28th-ranked Louisville baseball team on Saturday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
With their fourth straight loss overall, the Cardinals dropped to 20-14 on the season and 6-5 in BIG EAST action, while the Red Storm improved to 18-13 overall and 7-4 in league games with the win. The series is set to conclude on Sunday at noon ET.
The four-game losing skid is the longest for Louisville in Dan McDonnell's five seasons as head coach. The loss clinched the Cardinals' first BIG EAST series loss of the season and ended their streak of nine-straight BIG EAST series wins dating back to last April.
The single by Baltz capped a wild ninth inning, which started with the two teams tied at 3-3. Louisville, which led 3-0 earlier in the day, regained the lead in the top of the ninth with four straight singles off St. John's reliever Eddie Medina. After reaching base with a one-out single and moving to second on a single by senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS), freshman outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) scored on an RBI single to center by freshman infielder Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) for the 4-3 lead. Moments later, Haynes scored on an RBI single through the left side by junior infielder Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) for the 5-3 advantage.
However, the Red Storm answered in the bottom of the inning with three runs on four hits and one Louisville error to escape with the victory. The final frame started with a double to left field by designated hitter Robert Case off Louisville junior closer Tony Zych (Monee, Ill./St. Rita HS), a single by rightfielder Rowan Wick and an RBI single by catcher Frankie Schwindel, which plated Case to cut the Cards' lead to 5-4. Two hitters later, pinch runner Kevin Grove scored from third on an RBI groundball off the bat of shortstop Joe Panik to even the score at 5-5. With the bases loaded and only one out, Baltz ended the game with his single up the middle to score centerfielder Jimmy Brennan.
Zych suffered the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season, while Medina earned the win despite allowing two runs on four hits in his 2.2 innings of relief. At the plate, Wright finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings
(Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) was 2-for-4 with two RBI as Louisville out-hit the Red Storm 14-8. No St. John's player had more than one hit, while first baseman Paul Karmas did lead the way with two RBI on his 1-for-4 day at the plate.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in Saturday's game in the fourth inning as Wright and junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) reached base with back-to-back singles and later scored on a two-run double to right center by Stallings for the 2-0 lead. Louisville pushed the advantage to 3-0 an inning later as Young reached base with a two-out double off Red Strom starter Kevin Kilpatrick and scored on an RBI single to left field by Wright.
The score remained that way until the seventh inning when St. John's finally broke through for two runs, one earned and one unearned, against Louisville starter Justin Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS). Panik led off the inning by reaching base on an error by first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) and moved to second when Baltz was hit by a pitch. After advancing a base on a balk, both Panik and Baltz scored moments later on two-run double by Karmas, which was the first hit of the game allowed by Amlung.
An inning later, St. John's tied the score at 3-3 in the eighth inning as Brennan reached base with a one-out single, moved to second on a bunt single by second baseman Pat Talbut, advanced to third on a single to left by Panik and then scored on a throwing error by Cards' leftfielder Cole Sturgeon following the hit by Panik. That led to the wild finish in the ninth inning.
Amlung, 6-0 on the season, finished with his second straight no-decision after allowing two earned runs and three total runs on three hits with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work. Kilpatrick also finished with a no-decision for the Red Storm after allowing three runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings.
- Louisville trails 10-6 in the all-time series with St. John's, which has a four-game winning streak in the series.
- The Cardinals dropped to 14-4 this season when scoring first. Louisville scored first in each of its two losses at St. John's.
- U of L committed five errors in the loss on Saturday, a day after committing five in Friday's loss. Louisville has committed at least one error in nine-straight games overall, while in seven of those games, the Cardinals have finished with two or more errors.
- The current four-game losing streak is the longest for Louisville since 2006, when the Cardinals lost five straight from April 22-29.