April 28, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Louisville baseball team erupted for six runs in the seventh inning and added three more in the eighth, while the pitching staff did not allow an earned run in a dominating 11-2 win over Kentucky on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium for the Cardinals' largest margin of victory ever over the Wildcats in Lexington.
The win for the Cardinals, which evened the season series with the Wildcats at 1-1, was their first in Lexington since 2004 and ended a four-game losing streak against UK at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Along with being the Cards' largest margin of victory over the Wildcats in Lexington, the nine-run margin is the Cardinals' biggest win overall since a 15-4 victory on March 7, 1992 in Louisville.
At the plate, the Cardinals (30-13) were led by junior third baseman Chris Dominguez, junior first baseman Andrew Clark and sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich with two hits each and at least two RBI each. Dominguez finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and his team-leading 13th home run, while Clark was 2-for-4 with two RBI, three runs scored and his seventh home run of the year. Wunderlich, named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week on Monday for his performance last week, was 2-for-5 with two RBI to lift his team-leading batting average to .360.
On the mound, the Cardinals got strong performances from senior lefty Gavin Logsdon and freshman righty Derek Self. Logsdon, making his 90th career appearance on the mound in the Louisville uniform, allowed only one unearned run on two hits with one strikeout in 3.1 innings of relief to keep the Cardinals close early. He then gave way to Self, who allowed only two hits in 3.0 innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts to get the win and improve to 4-0 on the season.
Following a walk to junior second baseman Adam Duvall to load the bases with one-out, Clark reached base on a throwing error by Darnell, which allowed Arnold and Haynes to score to push the Louisville lead to 5-2. After Darnell was replaced on the mound by closer Braden Kapteyn, he hit Dominguez with his first pitch to load the bases for Wunderlich. The Chicago native came through with a two-run single through the right side to score Duvall and Clark to make it 7-2. Freshman outfielder Ryan Wright closed the scoring for the Cardinals with an RBI single up the middle to score Dominguez for an 8-2 advantage for Louisville.
Following another scoreless inning on the mound by Self in the seventh, Louisville pushed its lead out to 11-2 in the eighth as Dominguez followed back-to-back, two-out walks to Duvall and Clark with his home run, a three-run screamer over the wall in the left field to close the scoring.
Kentucky (22-22) opened the scoring with a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Burns earned a one-out walk from Louisville starter Neil Holland, moved to second with his second stolen base of the season, advanced to third on a throwing error by Arnold on the stolen base and then scored on an RBI groundout by second baseman Chris Bisson for the unearned run.
Following three scoreless innings for both squads, Louisville broke through against Kentucky starter Clint Tilford in the fifth inning as Arnold sent an RBI single through the left side of the infield and into left field to score Wright from third base to tie the score at 1-1. Wright led off the inning by reaching base and moving to second on a fielding error by UK third baseman Chris McClendon and then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Tilford.
The Wildcats came back for another unearned run in the home half of the fifth on an RBI infield single by Burns off Logsdon to score catcher Marcus Nidiffer from third with two outs to regain the lead at 2-1. The inning was prolonged due to an error by Duvall at second base after a mishandled the ball on a fielder's choice off the bat of Nidiffer.
However, the UK lead was short-lived Clark led off the sixth inning with his seventh home run of the season, this one over the left field wall, to even the score at 2-2 and set the stage for the Cards' big seventh inning.
On the mound for Louisville, Holland allowed only one unearned run on two hits in 1.2 innings in his first start of the season, while Lea pitched a scoreless ninth inning. For the Wildcats, Darnell took the loss after allowing five runs, only one earned, on two hits in 1.0 inning of relief to fall to 4-5 on the season, while Kapteyn allowed four runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. Tilford gave up two runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings in the starting role.
Up next, the Cardinals will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., for a three-game BIG EAST series at Villanova starting Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Saturday's second game is set for 12:45 p.m., while Sunday's finale is scheduled for a 12:15 p.m., start.
- After trailing early against UK at 1-0 and 2-1, Louisville came roaring back to earn its 20th come-from-behind win this season.
- The Louisville pitching staff bounced back from a tough weekend against Notre Dame by limiting the Wildcats to no earned runs on just six hits in their worst home loss of the season.
- Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez is now fourth on the Cards' career home run list with 49 and he is just three behind Rob Newman (1989-92) and Charlie Allen (1990-93) in second with 52.