April 26, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Louisville junior second baseman Adam Duvall had the best day of his career at the plate with three home runs and seven RBI, but it was not enough as the Cardinals' baseball team dropped Sunday's BIG EAST series finale against Notre Dame 13-12 at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With Sunday's defeat, the Cardinals (29-13, 12-6 BIG EAST) dropped their first BIG EAST series since late March and just their second of the season to fall into a tie for second place in the conference standings with St. John's, while Notre Dame (25-16, 10-8) moved into a tie for fifth place in the league with Cincinnati.
Duvall, a native of Louisville and a graduate of Butler High School, had a two-run home run in each of his first three at-bats in the first, second and fourth innings, picked up an RBI double in his fourth at-bat in the fifth inning and was walked in his final plate appearance in the eighth inning to finish 4-for-4 on the day. The three home runs and seven RBI were both career highs for Duvall.
Along with Duvall, Louisville also got multi-hit days from junior third baseman Chris Dominguez, who was 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, while freshman Ryan Wright was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
For the second straight day, Notre Dame took an early lead in the first, this time with two runs on three hits. The scoring started as centerfielder AJ Pollock scored from third on an RBI groundout by shortstop Jeremy Barnes for a 1-0 lead. After a double to right center by designated hitter Matt Scioscia off Louisville starter Bob Revesz, he then scored on an RBI single through the left side by third baseman Mick Doyle for the 2-0 lead.
Louisville came back in the home half of the first inning to tie the score at 2-2 as Duvall hit his first home run of the day, a two run bomb to left center to score sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond
, who led off the inning by being hit by Notre Dame starter Eric Maust.
The Fighting Irish regained the lead in the top of the second inning at 3-2 as second baseman Greg Sherry reached base on a two-out single, moved to third on a double to left by Pollock and then scored as Cards' leftfielder Phil Wunderlich misplayed the ball. However, Duvall pushed the Cardinals in front for the first time in the bottom of the second as he followed a two-out walk to Richmond with his second two-run homer of the day to make it 4-3 Louisville.
After Notre Dame tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the third with another unearned run off Revesz, Louisville regained the lead in the bottom of the third as junior third baseman Chris Dominguez led off with a single to left center, moved to second with his team-leading 16th stolen base in 20 attempts and then scored on an RBI single to right by Wunderlich off Irish reliever David Mills to make it 5-4 Louisville.
UND regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning with three runs, including a key two-run double to left center by Doyle off Cards' reliever Gabriel Shaw, to make the score 7-5. The first run of the inning for the Irish came on a sacrifice fly to left by pinch hitter David Casey. The inning started with back-to-back walks by Cards' freshman reliever Derek Self, who replaced Revesz to start the fourth. Revesz, making his second start in three days, allowed only two earned runs in his 3.0 innings of work.
The Cardinals came back to tie the game again in the bottom of the fourth as Duvall hammered his third two-run homer of the day, this one to deep center, to make it 7-7 after four innings.
After Louisville sophomore righty Tyler Mathis took the mound in the top of the fifth for the first scoreless half inning of the game, the Cardinals regained the lead in the home half of the fifth thanks to five runs on seven hits. Dominguez led off the inning with his 12th home run of the year to give U of L an 8-7 advantage. Wright followed with a double to left field and then scored on an RBI single to right center by senior Alec Lowrey for a 9-7 lead.
Freshman Tim Hayes, pinch hitting for Kyle Cheesebrough, followed with his first career hit, an RBI double down the left field line to score Lowrey to push the lead to 10-7. After an infield single by senior shortstop John Dao put runners on the corners, Hayes was caught stealing on a failed squeeze play with sophomore Drew Haynes at the plate. However, moments later Haynes connected for an RBI single to right center to score Dao for an 11-7 lead. Duvall closed the inning with his fourth hit of the day, an RBI double down the left field line, to score Haynes for a 12-7 Cards' lead after five innings.
Following a scoreless sixth inning for both squads, Notre Dame came back to tie the game at 12-12 with five runs on two hits. After the Irish loaded the bases on a walk, a single and hit-by-pitch against Mathis, he was replaced by freshman Tony Zych. Following a 1-2 fielder's choice ground ball off the bat of Golden Tate and a walk to Barnes for the first run of the inning, designated hitter David Casey hammered a 2-0 pitch from Zych over the wall in left for his third home run of the season to even the score again.
After another scoreless inning in the eighth, Notre Dame regained the lead for good in the ninth as Tate homered to left field with two outs for his first hit of the day and his first home run of the season to make it 13-12 Irish. Zych took the loss for the Cardinals after allowing three runs on two hits in his 2.2 innings of relief to fall to 3-2 overall this season, while Ryan Richter earned the win to improve to 5-1 after 3.0 innings of scoreless and hitless relief. Will Hudgins pitched the ninth inning for the Irish to earn his second save of 2009.
Up next, the Cardinals will travel to Lexington, Ky., to face the Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in the first of four straight games on the road overall. Following the mid-week game, Louisville will play a three-game BIG EAST series at Villanova, starting Friday at 3:45 p.m.