April 19, 2014
Sophomore Anthony Kidston pitched a season-high seven innings while improving to 9-0 in his collegiate career.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Playing its seventh game in eight days, the No. 7 Louisville baseball team got a two-run homer from senior outfielder Jeff Gardner and a strong performance on the mound from sophomore righty Anthony Kidston in a 3-2 road win over UCF on Friday night.
Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) delivered his fourth home run of the season in the first inning to give the Cardinals (28-11, 8-4 American) a lead they would never surrender in halting a season-high three-game losing skid. Kidston (Defiance, Ohio) worked a season-long seven innings striking out five while allowing two runs on five hits with one walk for the win over the Knights (25-16, 12-3 American) improve to 4-0 on the season and 9-0 in his collegiate career.
"It wasn't our best week. We had a chance to win all four games, but we didn't play good baseball and when you're playing good teams, you have to play good, clean, fundamental baseball," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "It's good to finish this weekend with a win. As I told the team, we went to Houston and UCF, two NCAA Regional level teams, on back-to-back weekends and we went 4-2 in those six games. In the big picture, that's a pretty good stretch and now we have to get ready for a six-game homestand."
In addition to the Gardner home run, junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) added a RBI single in the fifth inning which turned out to be the game-winner for the Cardinals. On the mound, sophomore righty Jonah Philley (Louisville, Ky.) followed Kidston with a perfect inning of relief in the eighth before junior righty Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.) recorded the final three outs of the game, including two by strikeout to earn his eighth save of the season.
A day after losing their first weekend series of the season, the Cardinals opened the scoring in the first inning on Friday night when Gardner followed a UCF fielding error by crushing a 3-1 pitch from righty Ryan Meyer sending it over the right field wall for a 2-0 lead. Junior first baseman Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.) also scored on the homer after reaching base on a two-out fielding error by shortstop Tommy Williams.
The Knights cut the Louisville lead in half in the bottom of first inning scoring a run without the benefit of a hit against Kidston. UCF second baseman Dylan Moore was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and advanced to second when outfielder Derrick Salberg was hit by a pitch. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Moore scored on a RBI sacrifice fly to center field by outfielder Erik Barber.
Louisville added to its lead in the fifth inning on the RBI single by Whiting sending freshman catcher Will Smith (Louisville, Ky.) home from second. Smith led off the inning with his second walk of the night and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman outfielder Logan Taylor (Lexington, Ky.).
UCF pulled back within a run at 3-2 in the sixth inning on a RBI sacrifice fly to centerfield by pinch hitter Sam Tolleson scoring Salberg. The inning started with Salberg reaching base on an infield single and after moving to second when Barber was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman James Vasquez.
Meyer was charged with the loss for the Knights and dropped to 3-1 on the season after allowing three runs on three hits in 4.2 innings.
Up next, the Cardinals return to Jim Patterson Stadium where they will begin a six-game homestand with a pair of midweek games on Tuesday (6 p.m., ET) against Western Kentucky and Wednesday (6 p.m.) against Morehead State.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- The Cardinals are 25-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning and have won 80 straight games overall when entering the ninth with a lead going back to May 2012.
- While UCF had a 7-5 edge in hits on Friday, Louisville improved to 6-6 this season when being out-hit.
- The Cardinals improved to 13-2 this season when scoring in the first inning and 18-3 overall when scoring first.
- Louisville improved to 3-10 this season when scoring three or fewer runs in a game.
- Among the nation's top base-stealers entering the week, Sutton Whiting swiped his team-leading 23rd base on Friday.
- The seven innings on Friday for Anthony Kidston equaled the second longest outing of his career matching what he did at St. John's on April 21, 2013.
- Along with his eighth save of the season, Nick Burdi also earned his 24th career save adding to his school record total.
- With two RBI on Friday, Jeff Gardner earned his team-leading 14th multiple RBI game this season.