May 22, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -
Senior shortstop Adam Duvall's two-out, two-run triple to right field in the top of the seventh and final inning gave the 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team the lead for good in a 4-3 comeback win over Notre Dame in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at Frank Eck Stadium.
With the win, Louisville improved to 45-10 overall and 20-6 in BIG EAST Conference games, while the loss dropped Notre Dame to 22-31 overall and 10-16. The win for the Cardinals, combined with Seton Hall's 3-2 upset of Connecticut on Saturday, moved Louisville into a first-place tie with the Huskies in the BIG EAST entering the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. With a win in the finale against the Fighting Irish, the Cardinals will clinch their second straight BIG EAST regular season title.
With Louisville trailing 3-2, junior outfielder Josh Richmond (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills HS) on third and senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) at first, Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS), who finished the day 2-for-3 overall with three RBI, sent a 1-0 pitch from Notre Dame closer over the head of right fielder Billy Boockford and off the wall to clear the bases for the game-winning triple. Junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) entered in the bottom of the seventh to record the final three outs for his 15th save of the season, which leads the nation.
On the mound, freshman righty Matt Koch (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings before giving way to junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS), who allowed one run on three hits in 1.1 innings to earn the win and improve to 5-2 on the season.
After three scoreless innings, Louisville opened the scoring in Saturday's first game on the 14th home run of the season for sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright
(Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS), a solo shot to left on the first pitch of the inning from Notre Dame lefty starter Steve Sabatino for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals added to their lead in the fifth as junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) led off with a single to right center, moved to second with his 14th stolen base of the season and scored on a two-out, RBI single through the left side by Duvall for a 2-0 advantage.
Notre Dame came back to even the score in the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs on four hits against Koch. Center fielder David Mills started the scoring with his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to right field to cut the Louisville lead in half. The Irish then tied the score at 2-2 on an RBI single through the left side by Ryan Connolly to plate Joe Hudson.
The Fighting Irish gained their first lead of the game an inning later in the sixth on three straight singles, including an RBI hit by Hudson to score David Mills for the 3-2 advantage. That set the stage for the Cardinals' dramatic comeback in the seventh.
It was Louisville's second two-out, game-winning extra base hit of the weekend against Notre Dame as junior J.J. Ethel (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning of Thursday's 6-3 win for the Cardinals. Game one of Saturday's doubleheader was seven innings as dictated by BIG EAST Conference rules for the final day of a three-game series weekend.