May 14, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
St. John's freshman outfielder Jeremy Baltz finished with four home runs and seven RBI to lead the Red Storm baseball team to an 8-5 win over the No. 8 Louisville in Friday night's series opener at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the loss, the Cardinals dropped to 40-10 overall and 16-6 in BIG EAST Conference games, while the Red Storm improved to 34-14 and 15-7. The two teams will continue the weekend series on Saturday at 4 p.m.., while Sunday's finale is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be preceded by the 2010 Senior Day ceremony. Admission is free for the entire weekend series and all games will be aired live on KOOL 1570 AM as well online through CardsTV at www.UofLSports.com.
Baltz, who leads St. John's in hitting, home runs and RBI, finished 4-for-5 overall, including the four home runs to take his season total to 18. For Louisville, redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) was 2-for-4 with two RBI and his 10th home run of season, while senior first baseman Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) also added two hits and an RBI in the loss.
On the mound, junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS) took the loss for the Cardinals after allowing two runs on three hits in one inning of relief. Junior righty Thomas Royse (Lexington, Ky./Dunbar HS) finished with the no-decision after allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings, while junior lefty Dean Kiekhefer (Louisville, Ky./Oldham County HS) allowed two runs on one hit in his one inning of relief. For the Red Storm, Ryan Cole earned the win after allowing one run in 1.1 innings of relief to improve to 2-0, while Daniel Burawa earned his eight save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
St. John's opened the scoring in Friday's game as Baltz sent the first pitch of the second inning from Royse over the wall in right center for a 1-0 lead. The Cardinals evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second as Ijames belted his home run, a solo shot to right field off SJU starter Kyle Hansen.
The Red Storm regained the lead in the top of the third inning as Baltz hit his second home run of the night, a two-run shot to right center to score shortstop Joe Panik for the 3-1 advantage.
Louisville cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third as Clark reached base with a one-out single up the middle and later scored on an RBI double to left center Wunderlich to make it 3-2 Red Storm.
Following three scoreless innings, the Cardinals gained their first lead of the night in the seventh with two runs on three hits. After being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) moved to third on a single by Clark and then scored on an RBI single up the middle by sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) for the first run of the inning. Later in the inning, Clark scored on an RBI single up the middle by Ijames for a 4-3 Louisville lead.
However, the advantage was short-lived as the Red Storm came back with three runs in the top of the eighth to regain the lead for good. After a leadoff single to right by Panik, Baltz sent a 1-1 pitch from Shaw over the wall in left field for a 5-4 advantage. They added another run in the inning on an RBI double to left field by Paul Karmas.
The Cardinals cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the eighth as freshman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) earned a leadoff walk and was then replaced by pinch runner Jarred Clarkson (Shelbyville, Ky./Shelby County HS). After moving to second a wild pitch by Cole, Clarkson moved to third on a groundout by junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) and then scored on an RBI groundout by Arnold to make it 6-5 St. John's.
However, the Red Storm and Baltz ended any chances at a Louisville rally in the top of the ninth with two more runs. After Panik reached base by being hit by a two-strike pitch from Kiekhefer, Baltz sent a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right center for his fourth and final home run of the night and the final 8-5 margin.