Louisville freshman RHP Matt Koch
April 30, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Led by home runs from Andrew Clark, Stewart Ijames and Phil Wunderlich and a winning performance on the mound in the first career start for freshman righty Matt Koch, the No. 11 Louisville baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep of Rutgers with a 9-4 victory on Friday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the nightcap win, which followed a 5-3 win in game one of the doubleheader, Louisville improved to 35-7 overall, 13-4 in BIG EAST Conference games and 9-1 in weekend series, while Rutgers dropped to 21-19 and 10-7.
Weather permitting, Louisville and Rutgers will conclude their weekend series on Saturday at noon ET at Jim Patterson. If weather does not allow for Saturday baseball, the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights will conclude the series on Sunday at noon ET.
Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) led the way for the Louisville offense going 2-for-3 with three RBI, including his ninth home run of the season, while Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) was 2-for-4 with two RBI, including his eighth home run. Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) added his team-leading 16th home run of the year and two RBI, while senior shortstop Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
On the mound, Koch (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) allowed four runs on eight hits in a career-long 5.1 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. Junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS) came out of the Cardinals' bullpen for 3.0 innings of shutout relief to earn his third save of the season.
For the Scarlet Knights, starter Casey Gaynor took the loss after giving up seven runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 7.0 innings to fall to 5-5, while Pat Biserta was 3-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and one run scored in the losing effort.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the third inning with five runs on six hits off Gaynor. Junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) led off the inning, Louisville's ninth this season with at least five runs, with a perfectly placed bunt single to second base. After stealing second base and advancing to third on a throwing error by Scarlet Knights' catcher Jayson Hernandez, Haynes scored the first run of the inning on an RBI double to right center by senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS).
Following a single by Duvall to move him to third, Arnold scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field by Clark for a 2-0 lead. After his RBI double off the wall in left field scored Duvall, sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) scored moments later on a two-run homer to center field Wunderlich for a 5-0 Louisville advantage. The home run for Wunderlich was his second of the day after hitting a solo shot in game one and his third this week.
Rutgers scored its first run of the game in the fifth inning on the third home run of the season for Hernandez, a solo shot to left field to cut the Cards' lead to 5-1.
The Scarlet Knights pulled closer in the sixth with three runs on four hits to cut the deficit to 5-4. Dan Betteridge led off the inning with a double down the left field line and scored one batter later on an RBI double to left field by Michael Lang for the first run of the inning. After his RBI double to right center scored Lang, Biserta scored the final run of the inning on an RBI single up the middle by Steve Nyisztor to trim the Louisville lead to one.
The Cardinals bounced back to push their lead to 7-4 in the seventh inning on the home run by Clark, a two-out, two-run shot to center field off Gaynor. Duvall, who also scored on the home run, extended the inning with his two-out single to left field to set the stage for Clark.
Louisville added two more insurance runs in the eighth as Wunderlich earned a leadoff walk from Rutgers reliever Jerry Elsing and then scored on the two-run home run by Ijames, a bomb off the scoreboard in right center on a 2-0 pitch, for the final margin.
- Prior to game one of Friday's doubleheader, Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell presented Rutgers head coach Fred Hill a commemorative Louisville Slugger baseball bat to honor his 1,000th career win achieved earlier this season.
- With the doubleheader sweep, Louisville extended its winning streak over Rutgers to five straight and its lead in the all-time series to 14-4.
- Friday marked the fifth doubleheader of the season for Louisville, with all of them coming due to weather. The Cardinals are 8-2 in those 10 doubleheader games, including four straight wins.
- Louisville improved to 23-3 at Jim Patterson Stadium this season with Friday's sweep and is now 131-46 all-time at the ballpark since it opened in 2005.