May 6, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Junior first baseman Andrew Clark finished 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI to lead to the Louisville baseball team to a 12-7, series-clinching win over No. 25 Ohio State on Wednesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The win, which followed a dominating 21-5 win over the Buckeyes on Tuesday night, clinched a sweep in the two-game, mid-week set with OSU and extended the Cardinals' (34-13) winning streak to five overall. Louisville's offense finished the two-game series with 33 total runs, 30 hits and six home runs against Ohio State, which entered the week ranked No 25 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 and 27th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30.
Leading the way for the Cardinals at the plate was Clark with his eighth home run of the season, his 16th double of the season and a pair of singles. For the two games against the Buckeyes (34-13), he went 7-for-9 with six RBI and seven runs scored and pushed his batting average to .349 for the season.
Along with Clark, the Cardinals also got strong performances from junior third baseman Chris Dominguez, sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich and senior designated hitter Alec Lowrey. Dominguez was 3-for-5 with two RBI and four runs scored, Wunderlich finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Lowrey was also 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
Freshman righty Tony Zych earned the win in his first career start on a designated staff day for Louisville after allowing only one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings to improve to 4-2 overall. Ohio State righty starter Ross Oltorik dropped his first game of the season after allowing eight runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings to fall to 1-1 overall.
Following a scoreless top of the first for the Buckeyes, the Cardinals' offense picked up where it left off on Tuesday night with four runs on three hits. The scoring started for Louisville as Clark doubled to left center off Oltorik to score junior second baseman Adam Duvall
for a 1-0 advantage.
Dominguez followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Clark, before moving to second on a wild pitch and then scoring on an RBI double to right center by Wunderlich. The final run of the inning came as Lowrey reached base on a throwing error by OSU shortstop Tyler Engle, which allowed Wunderlich to score from second for a 4-0 lead.
Louisville pushed its lead to 7-0 in the second inning as Clark connected for his eighth home run of the season, a three-run shot over the wall in right field, to score sophomore outfielder Drew Haynes and Duvall after back-to-back one-out walks. The Buckeyes came back to their first run of the day in the third inning as first baseman Matt Streng sent a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right field for his eighth home run of the season to cut the Cards' lead to 7-1.
The Buckeyes plated three more runs in the fifth inning as leftfielder Zach Hurley started the scoring with a two-run homer over the wall in left off senior lefty Gavin Logsdon, who replaced Zych on the mound to start the fifth. The home run for Hurley was his sixth of the season and it scored Streng, who had reached earlier in the inning with a double to left center. The final run of the inning came on a solo home run to left field by centerfielder Michael Stephens, his ninth of the season, to make it 7-4 Louisville in the middle of the fifth.
The Cardinals added two runs in the bottom of the fifth to increase their lead to 9-4. Dominguez led off the inning with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a single to center by Wunderlich and then scored on a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of freshman Ryan Wright for the first run. With two outs, Lowrey followed with a double down the right field line, moved to third on an infield single by junior catcher Jeff Arnold, was followed by a walk to sophomore outfielder Nate Holland and then scored on an infield single up the middle by Haynes for the final run of the inning.
After a scoreless inning on the mound from freshman righty Derek Self in the top of the sixth, Louisville added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth with two runs on three hits. The scoring started as Clark singled to center for his fourth hit of the day, moved to third on a fielding error in center by Stephens and then scored on an RBI single to left center by Dominguez for a 10-4 lead. After Dominguez moved to third on a throwing error by OSU reliever Eric Best on a pick-off attempt at first base, he scored on an RBI single to right center by Lowrey for an 11-4 Cards' advantage.
Ohio State pulled to within five in the seventh inning as Stephens hit his second home run of the day and his 10th of the season, a two-run shot to right center, to score Streng for an 11-6 Louisville lead. After Self was replaced on the mound by sophomore righty Gabriel Shaw to start the eighth, third baseman Justin Miller greeted him with his seventh home run of the season to lead off the inning and cut the Cardinals' lead to 11-7.
Louisville added an insurance run in bottom of the eighth as Dominguez reached base on a fielding error by shortstop Cory Rupert, moved to second a groundout by Wunderlich and then scored on an RBI single to right center by Wright for the final 12-7 margin.
Up next, Louisville will return to the road for a three-game series at BIG EAST foe St. John's. The series will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. ET in Queens, N.Y.
- With his 3-for-5 day at the plate, junior third baseman Chris Dominguez now leads the Cardinals in hitting with a .372 average. He also leads the team in home runs (16), RBI (64) and stolen bases (17-of-21). And with 200 career RBI, he ranks third all-time at Louisville and is only four behind Matt Berger's 204 set from 1994-97.
- With the two-game sweep of the Buckeyes, Louisville improved to 23-6 at home in 2009 and 6-1 against teams from the Big Ten Conference. The Cardinals have also won three straight overall against Ohio State.
- With his 92nd career appearance in the Louisville uniform on Wednesday, senior lefty Gavin Logsdon is now just five behind the Cards' all-time pitching appearance leader Brian Halford with 97 from 2003-06.