May 27, 2006
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 12-game winning streak for the University of Louisville baseball team came to an end in the 2006 BIG EAST Championship game Saturday in a 7-0 loss to Notre Dame. U of L finishes the season with a 31-29 record.
The Irish (45-15-1), who earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals with their fifth consecutive league title, scored three runs on three hits, a walk and two hit batters in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Sean Gaston and Greg Lopez hit RBI singles and 2006 BIG EAST Player of the Year Craig Cooper added a sac fly.
An RBI single by Cooper in the fourth extended the advantage to 4-0 Irish, and Ross Brezovsky's third home run of the year, a three-run shot in the seventh, closed the scoring and the door on the Cardinal season.
Tournament MVP Wade Korpi (7-2) tossed 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and walking two, while striking out a pair in his second win of the championship.
Cardinal starter Brian Halford (5-4) battled for 6.1 IP, surrendering five runs on 10 hits and two walks, striking out one in the loss. David Torcise was touched for two runs on a hit and a walk, while fanning one in two-thirds of an inning, while Jon Harbridge closed things out allowing a hit in an inning of work.
The Cardinal defense equalled a season-high, turning four double plays on the afternoon, ending the season with a school record 75.
U of L was limited to six hits, but despite the offensive drought they still mananged to establish a new conference record for team batting average in a championship, batting .409 over four games.
Cates had 16 sac bunts on the season and now has 35 on his career, setting new marks. Logan Johnson now holds the single season (25) and career (42) records for HBP. His 18 doubles is tied for the 10th best single season in school history.
Haley finishes his career as one of the most accomplished players in Cardinal history, placing third in games played (208) and at bats (776), fourth in hits (246) and walks (138) and eighth in runs (168), despite missing 21 games due to injury over his four seasons. His 572 assists is a Cardinal record and he finishes up his career with a fielding percentage of .973 over his four years, committing just two errors this season.
Howes completes his junior year with 13 triples during his three seasons, tying him for fifth at U of L.
Seniors Griffin Bailey and Halford ended their careers as the busiest pitchers in Cardinal history with Halford taking the hill 97 times in his four seasons and Bailey 96, including a record-setting 33 in 2006.
Halford is sixth in IP (236.1), ninth in ERA (4.38), seventh in strikeouts (180), second in saves (17) and third in wins (18).
Bailey's five saves this year is tied for 10th, while his seven during his career place his tied for seventh.
Junior B.J. Rosenberg's 15 starts this year is tied for fifth all-time, giving him 42 for his career, good for second in the school books. He is fourth in IP with 252.1.
The Cardinals collected their 12th 30-win season and seventh under the guidance of 11-year Head Coach Lelo Prado, who is the winningest coach in U of L history at 320-301-1.