Louisville sophomore LHP Dean Kiekhefer
May 1, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - The Louisville Cardinals added three runs in the ninth inning to earn a 10-4 win over Villanova on Saturday at Villanova Ballpark in the completion of Friday's suspended series-opening game. The two teams played the first six innings on Friday evening before darkness led to the game being suspended.
As the game resumed on Saturday, Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell sent out freshman righty Derek Self to take over on the mound for sophomore lefty Dean Kiekhefer, who allowed only one earned run on six hits with six strikeouts in 6.0 innings to pick up the win and improve to 4-4 on the season in his eighth start overall. Self earned his first career save with 3.0 innings of scoreless relief allowing three hits with three strikeouts. Villanova's starter on Friday, sophomore righty Chris Pack, allowed seven earned runs on six hits in 3.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 3-5 on the season.
At the plate, the Cardinals (31-13, 13-6) were led by freshman outfielder Ryan Wright, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez, sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich and junior first baseman Andrew Clark with two hits each. Wright finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Dominguez was 2-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. Wunderlich finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Clark was 2-for-4 on the day.
After a pair of scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth on Saturday, Louisville added three more runs in the ninth inning on three hits to put the game out of reach of the Wildcats (19-23, 4-15). Dominguez started the inning with a double off the wall in left field and moved to third on his team-leading 17th stolen base in 21 attempts. After Wunderlich was hit by a pitch for the 16th time this season and moved to second on a wild pitch by Villanova reliever Kyle Helisek, he scored behind Dominguez on a two-run single up the middle by Wright to make it 9-4. After Wright moved to second on the Wildcats' throw home, he then scored on senior designated hitter Alec Lowrey's RBI single to right center to give the Cardinals a 10-4 advantage.
After a walk to Lowrey loaded the bases with no outs, junior catcher Jeff Arnold picked up an RBI walk on four pitches to score Wundlerich and make it 2-0 Louisville. Senior shortstop John Dao then followed with a two-run double over the head of centerfielder Joe Cotter to score Wright and Lowrey for a 4-0 Cards' advantage. The Cardinals increased their lead to 5-0 moments later as Arnold scored on a throwing error by first baseman Kevin Wager following a groundout by sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes.
Junior second baseman Adam Duvall kept the inning going with his second career triple, this one to left center, to score Dao from second to make it 6-0 Louisville and finish the day for Pack, who was then replaced by righty Jerry Battipaglia. The new Villanova pitcher then hit Clark and followed that with a wild pitch to allow Duvall to score from third for the final run of the seven-run fourth, the Cards' 13th inning this season with at least five runs.
The Wildcats finally broke through in the scoring column against Kiekhefer with a run in the home half of the fourth on a two-out, RBI double to right center by Dain Hall to score Kevin Wager to cut the Cardinals' lead to 7-1 after four innings. Following a scoreless fifth inning, Villanova added three more runs in the sixth to cut the Cards' lead to 7-4 before the game was stopped. The scoring started as David Koczirka scored on an RBI single to right center by Hall, while two more runs came home on an RBI double to left center by Adam Nelson to score Wager and Hall before the game was halted due to darkness.
The start of Friday's game at Villanova Park, which does not have lights, was delayed 1 hour, 32 minutes due to rain, which allowed darkness to delay the game after approximately two hours and six innings of baseball.
Sunday's finale is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Following the Villanova series, Louisville will return home to host two mid-week games against Ohio State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, and Wednesday at noon at Jim Patterson Stadium.