May 2, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. -
Junior lefty Justin Marks allowed only three hits and one earned run, while six Louisville batters finished with two hits on the day as the Cardinals rolled to a 9-2 series-clinching win over Villanova on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Ballpark.
The 9-2 win, which was preceded by a 10-4 Louisville victory in the completion of Friday's suspended game, clinched the Cards' fifth conference series win and their seventh series victory overall this season. The series finale is set for Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Louisville's career leader in wins, strikeouts and ERA, Marks improved to 7-2 on the season with Saturday's win and is now 25-6 in his career with 263 strikeouts in 266.2 innings and an ERA of 2.77. Villanova starter Brian Streilein allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings to earn the loss and fall to 3-8 on the season.
At the plate, sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes led the way for the Cardinals (32-13, 14-6 BIG EAST) going 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. Senior shortstop John Dao, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez and sophomore Phil Wunderlich all finished with two hits each to go with one run and one RBI each. Junior first baseman Andrew Clark scored three times to go with his two hits, while senior Alec Lowrey had two hits and scored twice on the day.
Following three scoreless innings to open the game, Louisville scored first for the second straight game in the series with three runs on four hits in the fourth. Wunderlich started the scoring with an RBI double down the right field line to score Clark, who led off the inning with a single through the right side. After moving to third on a wild pitch by Villanova starter Brian Streilein, Wunderlich then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by freshman outfielder Ryan Wright to make it 2-0 Louisville.
The Cardinals continued their scoring with two outs as Lowrey doubled off the wall in left field, was followed by a walk to junior catcher Jeff Arnold
and then scored on an RBI single through the right side by Dao to make it 3-0 Louisville.
Villanova broke through against Marks in the bottom of the fourth as Matt Szczur led off the inning with a double to right center, moved to third on a bunt single by Joe Rosati and then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Matt McFolling to cut the Cards' advantage to 3-1 after four innings.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Louisville built on its lead with five runs on four hits in the sixth. Lowrey led off the inning with a single to left field and moved to second on a bunt single by Dao, which finished day for Streilein on the mound. After senior righty Kyle Carver replaced Streilein, both Lowrey and Dao advanced to third on a passed ball by catcher Adam Nelson and then scored on a two-run single up the middle by Haynes to make it 5-1 Cardinals.
Following a walk to Clark, Dominguez hit an RBI single up the middle to score Haynes from second and move Clark to third. Clark then scored on a fielding error in centerfield by Joe Cotter, which allowed Dominguez to advance to third. Moments later, Dominguez scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch by Carver to give the Cardinals an 8-1 lead.
Villanova came back to score an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth as Szczur reached base on a fielding error by Dominguez, moved to third on a throwing error by Dominguez on a fielder's choice off the bat of Rosati and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field by Dain Hall to cut the Louisville lead to 8-2.
Following a scoreless eighth inning, the Cardinals added a final run in the ninth inning as Clark led off with a single through the right side, moved to third on a single up the middle by Dominguez and then scored on a groundout by Wunderlich for the final 9-2 margin.
Sophomore righty Tyler Mathis replaced Marks on the mound in the eighth inning to record the final six outs and give the Cardinals 2.0 innings of scoreless relief with only one hit.
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.
- With a win in the completion of Friday's game and a win in Saturday's regularly-scheduled game, Louisville improved to 14-6 in BIG EAST play to stay in second place in the league race.
- With the win, the Cardinals improved to 32-13 overall for their best 45-game record in Dan McDonnell's three seasons in Louisville. The 2009 Cards' record is one win better than Louisville's 2007 College World Series squad, which was 31-14 after 45 games.
- After going 2-for-4 in each of the first two games of the series at Villanova, sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich has lifted his team-leading batting average to .366. The Chicago native also leads the team with 19 multi-hit games this season, is second on the team with 12 home runs and 51 RBI and currently owns an eight-game hitting streak overall.