April 26, 2014
Senior Cole Sturgeon earned his team-leading 16th multiple hit game of the season in Saturday's win over UConn.
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LOUISVILLE Ky. - Senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon had two hits and two RBI while the pitching staff continued its stellar weekend work in Saturday afternoon's 6-1 series-clinching win over Connecticut at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) was 2-for-3 overall, including his fifth triple of the season, and scored once to go along with the two runs driven as Louisville (32-11, 10-4 American) won its fifth straight game. Freshman outfielder Corey Ray (Chicago, Ill.) was 2-for-4 with a triple, one RBI and one run scored in his second career start, while junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.) chipped in going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
On the mound, junior righthander Jared Ruxer (Indianapolis, Ind.) delivered his fifth straight quality start and his eighth of the season allowing just one run on five hits with five strikeouts in 6.0+ innings to improve to 7-1 on the season. It was also the 15th career victory for Ruxer, who is the Cardinals' active leader in victories, starts (32), innings pitched (181.0) and strikeouts (123).
After sophomore righty Jonah Philley (Louisville, Ky.) retired the only batter he faced in the sixth, freshman lefty Drew Harrington (Elizabethtown, Ky.) struck out two in 2.2 innings of shutout relief to earn his first career save. Saturday marked the fifth straight game the Louisville pitching staff has allowed two or fewer earned runs.
The Cardinals opened the scoring on Saturday with two runs in the fourth inning against UConn (21-21, 5-8 American) starter Jordan Tabakman. Senior Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) plated the first run of the afternoon with a RBI single through the right side sending Sturgeon home, while senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) followed with a RBI single to right to score Gardner.
An inning later, Louisville pushed its lead to 3-0 on a RBI triple to right center by Sturgeon scoring Lucas, who led off the frame with a single up the middle. The Cardinals added two more runs in the sixth inning starting with a RBI triple by Ray to score freshman outfielder Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.), who led things off with his own triple down the left field line. Lucas scored Ray with a RBI single up the middle for the 5-0 cushion.
After the Huskies plated their only run of the game in the seventh inning on a RBI sacrifice fly by second baseman Aaron Hill, Louisville scored the final run of the afternoon in the eighth inning on a RBI groundball by Sturgeon. Tabakman was charged with the loss for UConn and dropped to 3-2 on the season after allowing five runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 5.1 innings pitched.
The Cardinals and Huskies will conclude their series on Sunday at 1 p.m., ET at Patterson Stadium and admission is free.
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.
Louisville Postgame Notes
- The three triples on Saturday were the most in a single game for the Cardinals since they had three against Eastern Illinois on March 7, 2009.
- Louisville finished with 12 hits for the second straight game in the series with UConn marking the first time they have had 10 or more hits in back-to-back games since finishing with 16 hits against Memphis on April 6 and tallying 10 hits against Purdue on April 8.
- Finishing with a 12-7 edge in the hit column on Saturday, Louisville improved to 25-2 this season when out-hitting its opponent.
- The Cardinals have held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 25 of 43 games this season, including each of the last five.
- Louisville improved to 24-6 at home this season and 238-81 (.746 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since its opening in April 2005.
- The Cardinals are 21-3 this season when scoring first.
- Cole Sturgeon earned his team-leading fifth triple of the season and the 12th of this career placing him in a tie for eighth all-time at Louisville with former All-American Mark Jurich.
- Sturgeon also leads the Cardinals with 16 multiple hit games this season after finishing with two on Saturday.
- Making just his second career start, Corey Ray had his first ever two-hit performance, including his first career triple. He has hit safely in three straight games overall.
- The 2.2 innings for Drew Harrington marked his longest relief outing of the season and was his second longest outing overall trailing only the four innings pitched in his only start on March 11.