May 8, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. -
With the game tied and two outs in the seventh inning, freshman Ryan Wright hammered a two-run home run over the wall in left field to lift the Louisville baseball team to a 10-8 series-opening road win over St. John's on Friday night at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
The entertaining BIG EAST series opener between the second-place Cardinals and third-place Red Storm featured four ties and four lead changes, with the final lead change coming on Wright's fourth home run of the season. The Louisville win, combined with South Florida's 8-5 loss at Notre Dame, moved the Cardinals (35-13, 15-6 BIG EAST) to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Bulls and 1 1/2 games ahead of St. John's (27-17, 14-8).
With Louisville trailing 8-7 to start the seventh inning, junior second baseman Adam Duvall led off with a double to left center off St. John's reliever Eddie Medina. After moving to third on a groundout to the right side by junior first baseman Andrew Clark, Duvall tied the game at 8-8 on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by junior third baseman Chris Dominguez. Sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich followed with a double to set the stage for Wright, who connected on a 2-0 pitch from Medina for his fourth home run of the season.
Overall, the Cardinals finished with 15 hits, including three each from Duvall, who also scored three times, and senior designated hitter Alec Lowrey, who scored once to go with one RBI. Wunderlich finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored, junior catcher Jeff Arnold was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while Clark finished 2-for-5 with an RBI. Dominguez added three RBI, two runs scored and his team-leading 17th home run.
On the mound, Louisville junior lefty Justin Marks
improved to 8-2 on the season and 26-6 in his career. The Owensboro, Ky., native allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 7.0 innings with seven strikeouts, including the final four hitters he faced, while sophomore righty Gabriel Shaw
earned his first save of the season after allowing only one hit in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Medina took the loss for the Red Storm after allowing three runs on five hits in 1.2 innings, while St. John's starter Kevin Kilpatrick allowed seven runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings.
Louisville opened the scoring in the second inning with three runs on three hits. Dominguez led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a single up the middle by Wunderlich, advanced to third on a groundout to the right side by Wright and then scored on an RBI groundout by Lowrey for a 1-0 lead. Arnold followed with an RBI double to left field to score Wunderlich, and then scored moments later on an RBI single to right field by Dao for a 3-0 advantage.
An inning later, the Cardinals pushed their advantage to 5-0 as Dominguez hammered the first pitch of his at-bat from Kilpatrick over the wall in left field for a two-run homer to score Duvall, who led off the inning by being hit by a pitch for the 13th time this season.
St. John's answered back in the bottom of the third inning with five runs on five hits to tie the game. Shortstop Gino Matias started the scoring with an RBI double down the left field line to score rightfielder Carlos Del Rosario, while two hitters later, first baseman Tim Morris capped the scoring with a grand slam to score catcher Danny Benedetti, Matias and centerfielder Jimmy Parque.
The Red Storm added another run in the fourth inning as Del Rosario led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a ground out by Benedetti and then scored on a throwing error by Clark for a 6-5 St. John's lead.
Louisville came back to tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth as Duvall singled to left field, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on an RBI single by Clark. An inning later, the Cardinals regained the lead at 7-6 as Wunderlich was hit by a pitch, moved to second with his fourth stolen base of the season, advanced to third on a groundout to the right side by Wright and then scored on an RBI single by Lowrey.
St. John's bounced back in the bottom of the sixth inning to regain the lead thanks to two runs on two hits and one key Louisville error. The scoring started as Del Rosario singled to centerfield to score third baseman Joe Panik, who led off the inning with a double. Moments later, Del Rosario moved to third following a Louisville error on a fielder's choice to the left side and then scored on an RBI groundout to the right side by Matias for an 8-7 advantage for the Red Storm entering the pivotal seventh inning.
The Cardinals will continue their series with the Red Storm on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, while Sunday's finale is set for 11 a.m.
- Louisville's Chris Dominguez and Phil Wunderlich extended their hitting streaks to 13 and 11 respectively on Friday night. Dominguez hammered his team-leading 17th home run and pushed his team-leading RBI total to 67, while Wunderlich moved back to the top of the Cards' hitting leaders with a .373 average. Dominguez is just behind Wunderlich with a .371 average.
- After trailing 6-5 and 8-7 on Friday night to the host Red Storm, the Cardinals battled back for their 21st come-from-behind win this season.
- With his 2-for-5 day at the plate, junior Andrew Clark pushed his batting average to .351 overall and continued an impressive week at the plate. The New Palestine, Ind., native is 9-for-14 in the Cards' three games this week, all wins, with seven RBI and seven runs scored.