May 12, 2009
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -
Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez hammered a pair of two-run home runs and freshman righty Derek Self pitched four scoreless innings in his first career start to lead the No. 23 ranked Louisville baseball team to a 10-2 road win over Western Kentucky on Tuesday night at Nick Denes Field.
For the Cardinals (37-14), ranked 23rd in this week's Baseball America Top 25, it was their 10th win in their last 11 road games, their eighth win in their last nine games overall and their second win in two games against the Hilltoppers (37-14) this season after taking a 7-6 decision on March 25 in Louisville.
Dominguez, from Miami, Fla., led the Cardinals at WKU with a 2-for-5 night with the two home runs to take his season total to 19, four RBI and three runs scored, while sophomore outfielder Phil Wunderlich added a two-run single to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. Junior first baseman Andrew Clark added two hits and three runs, junior second baseman Adam Duvall scored twice with one hit and one RBI, while senior shortstop John Dao added two hits in the win.
On the mound, the Louisville pitching staff had a strong night as five Cardinal pitchers allowed only two earned runs and combined for 10 strikeouts in the win. Self led the way on a designated staff day for Louisville as the Cave City, Ky., native allowed only two hits with three strikeouts in his four scoreless innings to improve to 5-0 on the season. Senior lefty Gavin Logsdon finished with four strikeouts in his two innings and was followed by back-to-back scoreless innings from sophomore Neil Holland and sophomore Dean Kiekhefer. Sophomore Gabriel Shaw pitched the ninth for the Cardinals, while WKU senior starter Chad Adcock took the loss after giving up three runs on two hits in two innings to fall to 0-2 on the season.
Louisville jumped on Adcock early on Tuesday night with three runs on two hits in the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Josh Richmond
led off the inning by being hit by a pitch from the WKU starter, moved to second on a single by Duvall and then scored on a fielding error by Hilltopper shortstop Terrence Dayleg for a 1-0 advantage. Wunderlich then followed with his two-run single through the right side to score Duvall and Dominguez for a 3-0 lead.
Following a scoreless second inning, the Cardinals added to their lead in the third as Clark led off the inning with the first of two singles on the day for the New Palestine, Ind., native and then scored on the first homer of the day for Dominguez, a bomb to left field off WKU reliever Garrie Krueger, for a 5-0 lead.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Louisville made it 7-0 in the fifth as Clark led off the inning with another single and then scored on the second home run of the day for Dominguez, this one to left field off Western Kentucky reliever Ben Paxton.
The Cardinals added another run in the sixth as junior catcher Jeff Arnold led off the inning with a double to left center, moved to third on a single through the left side by Dao and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to left by Duvall for an 8-0 lead. The Hilltoppers finally broke through in the home half of the sixth as catcher Matt Rice singled down the right field line to score designated hitter Matt Hightower from second to cut the Louisville lead to 8-1.
Following a pair of scoreless innings in the seventh and eight, Louisville pushed its lead to 10-1 in the ninth as senior designated hitter Alec Lowrey picked up a two-run single to center field off reliever J.B. Paxson to score Clark and Duvall after they had reached with walks earlier in the inning. The Hilltoppers added a run in the bottom of the ninth as Rice scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to left by centerfielder Kes Carter for the final margin.
Up next, the second-place Cardinals will host a three-game series with BIG EAST leader South Florida to close the regular season. The series with the Bulls, which will determine the league's regular-season champion, is set to begin on Thursday at 6 p.m., followed by Friday's second game at 6 p.m., and Saturday's finale at 1 p.m. Admission is free for all three games with USF.
- Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez hammered two more home runs to take his team-leading total to 19 and added four more RBI to become Louisville's career leader in that category with 207. He passes Matt Berger, who had 204 RBI from 1994-97, for No. 1 on the all-time list. Dominguez is also No. 2 on the Cards' career home run list with 55, just nine behind Berger's 64.
- With his two-run single in the first inning, sophomore Phil Wunderlich extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. He enters the final weekend of the season as the Cards' leading hitter at .369 and is second on the team with 14 home runs and 60 RBI.
- With the win on Tuesday, Dan McDonnell earned win No. 125 as the Louisville head coach in less than three seasons on the job. At 125-59, McDonnell has a winning percentage of nearly 68 percent and just three wins away from his third straight 40-win season.