Louisville sophomore RHP Justin Amlung had a career-best eight strikeouts on Friday.
April 22, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior infielder Ryan Wright hit a pair of home runs, while Justin Amlung had a career-best eight strikeouts as the Louisville baseball team picked up a 7-2 series-clinching win over USF on a rainy Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 22-16 overall and 8-6 in BIG EAST games, while the Bulls dropped to 18-20 on the season and 7-7 in league action with the loss. The two teams are scheduled to conclude the weekend series on Saturday at 1 p.m. Visit www.UofLSports.com for any weather related schedule changes for Saturday's game.
Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base and became the first Louisville player to hit two home runs in a game since Adam Duvall had two at Notre Dame on May 22, 2010. Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS) allowed two runs on six hits with the eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings to improve to 7-0 on the season. The strikeout total was one better than his previous best seven strikeouts achieved on two occasions this season.
Senior catcher J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, while freshman right-hander Chad Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) followed Amlung with 2.0 shutout innings of relief to close the game.
For USF, right-handed starter Kyle Eastham took the loss to fall to 3-4 on the season after allowing six runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 3.1 innings. At the plate, third baseman Jonathan Koscso was 3-for-5 with an RBI, while leftfielder Junior Carlin was 3-for-4 with a run scored in the loss.
Louisville opened the scoring in the first inning when Wright sent a 2-0 pitch from Eastham over the wall in left field for his fifth home run of the season and a 1-0 advantage. The Bulls answered back to even the score at 1-1 in the top of the second as outfielder Jimmy Falla scored on an RBI single to right by Koscso.
The score remained that way until the fourth, when Louisville scored five runs on just two hits to take command for good. The scoring started with four straight one-out walks from Eastham to junior outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), freshman Ryan Seiz (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock HS), sophomore infielder Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS) and sophomore first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS). Ethel followed with a two-run double to left field to plate Seiz and Stallings to push the lead to 4-1. Senior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) continued the scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly to left field to score Wasserman, while freshman outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) closed the scoring with an RBI single to plate Ethel for the 6-1 advantage.
USF scored its final run of the night in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by first baseman Todd Brazeal, while Wright scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth with his second home run of the game and his sixth of the season, a solo shot to left on a 3-2 pitch from Bulls' reliever Zach Pietrzyk.
The Cardinals have won six straight against the Bulls and 10 of the last 11 overall in the series. After Friday's victory, Louisville is alone in fifth in the BIG EAST Conference standings, one game behind fourth-place West Virginia and one game ahead of USF and Cincinnati in sixth. Friday marked the second straight game and the fifth time this season Louisville has scored at least five runs in a single inning.
Friday's game was delayed 33 minutes due to heavy rain.