May 14, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - David Torcise and the University of Louisville bullpen combined for seven innings of three-hit baseball as the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of Villanova with a 9-4 win Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Louisville has clinched no worse than the #7 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament which will take place May 23-27 in Clearwater, Florida and feature the top eight teams in a double-elimination format. U of L can finish as high as third, depending on the final weekend's results.
The Wildcats (26-24, 8-15 BIG EAST) struck first Sunday with a three-run second inning. Back-to-back doubles by Jeremy Hunt and Joe Rosati made it 1-0, and RBI singles by Jim Gillin and Ryan Arcadia gave the Cats an early 3-0 lead.
Louisville (24-28, 14-10 BIG EAST) responded in the bottom of the second, evening the ledger at three.
Walks to Derrick Alfonso and Pete Rodriguez put runners at first and second with one out and a ground out by Daniel Burton moved them both into scoring position. Alec Lowrey stroked the first pitch he saw into center to plate two and cut the lead to one. After a double down the left field line by Nick Haley, Chris Cates singled in Lowrey to knot the score at three.
Burton doubled to center to lead off the fourth and later scored on a sac fly to right by Cates, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.
In the middle of the fifth, as a steady rain began to fall, Villanova first base coach Rick Clagett got into a rhubarb with first base umpire Bob Howard and was given the gate. Head Coach Joe Godri, who was tossed in Friday's game by Howard, then picked up the conversation and was also ejected.
Rodriguez tripled to deep center to plate Jorge Castillo
, who had opened the fifth inning with a walk making it 5-3 Cards.
In the top half of the sixth, Torcise walked the first two batters and was replaced by Andrew Salgueiro. Hunt reached on a fielding error to load the bases with nobody out.
Gavin Logsdon next entered for the Cards and struck out Rosati for the first out of the inning and was replaced by Griffin Bailey. Cats catcher Jim Gillin bounced into a fielder's choice, forcing a runner at home and Matt McFolling struck out to end the threat and leave the bases loaded.
Castillo doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on Isaiah Howes' double to right to give U of L a three-run cushion.
With the bases loaded for the fourth time on the afternoon in the eighth inning, Nova's Frank Cirone's infield single cut the lead to 6-4, but a comebacker by Kris Molloy ended that threat.
In the Louisville eighth, Cates reached on an error, Logan Johnson walked and Castillo doubled for the second time in the game, making it 7-4. Alfonso was hit to load the bases and Rodriguez was plunked pushing another run across. A wild pitch scored Castillo to close the scoring.
Bailey then twirled a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the sweep and earn his fifth save of the season, tying him for 10th on the single season list.
Torcise earned his first win as a Cardinal, improving to 1-4 on the season. He gave up two hits and walked five in three scoreless innings. Since moving into the bullpen, the junior has posted an ERA of 1.59 in 22.2 innings of work.
Villanova starter Josh Eidell allowed six runs on seven hits and five walks in 6.1 innings, striking out five in the loss. He falls to 2-4 on the year.
Cardinal starter Trystan Magnuson pitched into the third, but was chased after facing the first two batters, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out two.
Bailey gave up a run on a hit and three walks in 3.2 innings, striking out five. He is tied for second in appearances, taking the mound for the 29th time of the season, matching his own total from 2005. Bailey sits in second place on the career list with 91 appearances, ninth in ERA (4.39) and tied for seventh in saves (7).
Haley became the sixth Cardinal to play in 200 games and is now fifth in at bats (747), tied for 10th in runs (155), eighth in hits (230) and fifth in walks (128).
Cates and Castillo each had two hits, while Cates, Lowrey and Rodriguez each drove in two runs. Castillo also scored three runs as the Cards had seven extra-base hits for the second day in a row.
Cardinal pitchers stranded 17 Wildcat runners on base on the afternoon.
The Cards have a midweek tilt on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. ET when they host Morehead State in Patterson Stadium before closing out the regular season hosting Seton Hall for three games beginning Thursday at 6:00 p.m. ET. Admission to all U of L home baseball games is free.