Louisville junior OF Stewart Ijames had a grand slam in Saturday's win.
April 30, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Fueled by grand slams from junior outfielder Stewart Ijames and junior infielder Ryan Wright, the Louisville baseball team rolled to an 11-3 series-clinching win over Georgetown on a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the series-clinching win, the Cardinals improved to 24-18 overall and 10-7 in BIG EAST action, while the Hoyas dropped to 20-25 on the season and 2-15 in league games with the loss. The two teams will conclude the series on Sunday at noon ET, with the start time being moved an hour earlier due to potential rain later in the afternoon.
Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) finished 3-for-4 and matched a season-high with five RBI, while the grand slam was the first of his career. The grand slam for Wright was also the first of his career. Sophomore outfielder Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) also had a good day the plate going 2-for-2 with three runs scored in the win.
On the mound, sophomore right-hander Justin Amlung (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier HS) earned the win and improved to 8-0 on the season after allowing three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work. Junior righty Travis Tingle (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) and freshman lefty Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) followed out of the bullpen with back-to-back shutout innings of relief to close out the game.
For the Hoyas, right-handed starter Charles Steinman took the loss and dropped to 1-5 on the season after allowing five runs on four hits in 2.2 innings. At the plate, rightfielder Rand Ravnaas led the way for Georgetown going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
After a pair of scoreless innings, Louisville gained command of Saturday's game with a five-run third inning. The big hit of the frame was Ijames' grand slam to left center on a 1-0 pitch from Steinman. The scoring chance was setup as freshman outfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) was hit by a pitch, Grieshaber singled through the right side and Wright walked to load the bases. After the home run by Ijames, Louisville pushed its lead to 5-0 as senior catcher J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by GU catcher Erick Fernandez and scored on an RBI single to left field by freshman Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy).
After the Hoyas plated a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Fernandez to score Ravnaas, the Cardinals answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to push their lead to 7-1. Louisville's first run of the frame crossed on an RBI single through the right side by Ijames, while the final run scored on an RBI groundball by Ethel.
Louisville pushed its lead to 11-1 in the fifth inning with the grand slam to right field by Wright on the first pitch he saw from GU reliever Jack Bender. Scoring on the play for the Cardinals were Engel, who reached base on a fielder's choice, Grieshaber, who walked, and freshman infielder Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep), who also walked.
The Hoyas cut the Cardinals' lead to the final 11-3 margin in the sixth inning with RBI doubles by Fernandez and third baseman Sean Lamont against Amlung.
With Saturday's victory, Louisville holds an 11-3 advantage in the all-time series with Georgetown. The Cardinals improved to 18-4 when scoring first and 23-1 when leading entering the ninth inning.