April 30, 2014
Jeff Gardner connected for his 19th career home run to give Louisville a first inning lead in Wednesday's win.
LOUISVILLE Ky. - Senior Jeff Gardner belted his team-leading fifth home run of the season while fellow senior Cole Sturgeon had four hits as the No. 8 Louisville baseball team extended its winning streak to seven with a 7-3 victory over Ohio State on Wednesday night at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) finished 2-for-4 overall with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Cardinals (34-11) a lead they would never relinquish. Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) was matched a career high for hits going 4-for-5 with two doubles, one stolen base, one RBI and one run scored as Louisville finished with a 13-5 advantage in hits over the Buckeyes (25-20).
Senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.) added a single and two RBI, while junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) singled, walked, stole two bases and scored twice. On the mound, freshman lefty Drew Harrington (Elizabethtown, Ky.) had a career-high five strikeouts in four shutout innings to earn the win and improve to 2-0 overall.
Louisville kicked off the scoring early in Wednesday's game when Gardner crushed the 0-2 offering from Ohio State starter Curtiss Irving sending it over the wall in right center for his 19th career home run. Whiting also scored on the two-run homer after leading off the inning with a single to right.
An inning later, the Cardinals pushed their advantage to 3-0 on a RBI groundout by Gibson. Freshman outfielder Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.) started the inning with a double to left center and moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring.
Louisville added to lead with a run in the fourth on a RBI single up the middle by Gibson to score senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.). The inning started with a double down the left field line by Chittenden, who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lyman before scoring.
The Cardinals increased the advantage to 6-0 in the fifth inning with a pair of runs against OSU reliever Tyler Giannonatti. Sophomore first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) started the scoring with a RBI double down the left field line to plate Sturgeon. Gardner followed with a RBI double down the right field line to score Rosenbaum for the six-run cushion.
Ohio State plated its first run of the night in the top of the eighth when shortstop Craig Nennig scored from third on a wild pitch by freshman righty Zack Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.). The Cardinals answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth on a RBI double by Sturgeon to score Whiting. The Buckeyes scored the final two runs of the game in the ninth inning on a two-run homer to right by outfielder Troy Montgomery.
Irving was charged with the loss for Ohio State and dropped to 0-1 on the season after allowing four runs on six hits in 3.1 innings.
Up next, Louisville begins a seven-game road stretch with a weekend series at American Conference foe USF starting on Friday at 7 p.m., ET.
Louisville Postgame Notes - The Cardinals have won nine straight against Ohio State and are 10-3 overall in the series.
- Louisville improved to 26-6 at home this season and is 240-81 (.747 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since its opening in April 2005.
- Including Wednesday's game, the Cardinals are 23-3 when scoring first this season and 14-2 when scoring in the first inning.
- After entering the week ranked third nationally in stolen bases, the Cardinals were 5-for-5 in steals on Wednesday increasing their season total to 98 on 122 attempts.
- Louisville improved to 27-2 this season when out-hitting its opponents.
- Dating back to last season, the Cardinals have won 43 straight games when scoring five or more runs.
- Drew Harrington matched a career-high with his four innings of work on Wednesday night.
- Sutton Whiting moved into a tie for fourth on the Cardinals single season leaderboard for stolen bases with 30 equaling the total of Curtis Watson in 1985.
- Jeff Gardner moved into a tie for eighth in career doubles at Louisville connecting for his 49th on Wednesday night.
- Gardner and Sturgeon lead the Cardinals in multiple hit games this season with 17 each.