Louisville Baseball Game Notes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 14th-ranked Louisville baseball team continues its nine-game homestand with a mid-week matchup against Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Illinois on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Live play-by-play of the game can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA). Live video of the game as well as live audio will be available to subscribers of CardsTV online at UofLsports.com. Live scoring for the game will also be available through the Gametracker feature on the baseball schedule page at UofLsports.com.
Tuesday's game will be just the fourth all-time between Louisville and Eastern Illinois with the Panthers holding a 2-1 edge. After dropping a pair of games against EIU on March 12, 1995, in Louisville at the Derby City Classic, the Cards won the most recent matchup 10-6 on March 7, 2009 at Patterson Stadium.
EIU is the second of three OVC opponents in 2012 for the Cardinals, who defeated Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 22. Louisville, which will host Morehead State on May 15, is 140-117-1 all-time against current members of the OVC.
Cardinals Open First of Two Nine-Game Homestands with Four Wins
With last Wednesday's 7-2 triumph over in-state foe Eastern Kentucky and the three-game weekend sweep of Oakland, the Cardinals successfully began the first of two scheduled nine-game homestands at Jim Patterson Stadium this season. The EKU game also started a stretch in which Louisville is playing 22 of 26 games at home from Feb. 22 through April 3.
Ijames Named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Feb. 27
Senior outfielder/first baseman Stewart Ijames was selected as the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Feb. 27 after leading the Cardinals to a 4-0 record the week prior. Ijames was 6-for-12 at the plate with three home runs, seven RBI, seven runs scored, a .625 on-base percentage and a 1.333 slugging percentage. He reached base in 10 straight plate appearances starting with his second plate appearance in the 7-4 win over Oakland on Feb. 24 and concluding with his fourth in the 6-3 win over the Grizzlies on Feb. 26. That stretch included a pair of home runs in the 10-7 win on Feb. 25. Overall, Ijames is hitting .375 and leads the Cardinals with three home runs and seven RBI.
About Eastern Illinois
Eastern Illinois enters the week at 1-4 overall after being swept in a three-game weekend series at Southeastern Louisiana last week. The Panthers are led by head coach Jim Schmitz, who is 448-460 in his 18th season at the helm of the Charleston, Ill., school. Last season, EIU finished 18-33 overall and was seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference at 9-12.
Former Cardinal Skylar Meade, a member of Louisville's 2007 College World Series squad and a U of L letterwinner from 2003-07, is in his fifth season as an assistant at Eastern Illinois. Meade was 9-4 with a 4.24 ERA for the Cardinals in 2007.
Notes and Trends to Follow...
The Cardinals have won six straight games, their longest winning streak since taking seven straight from May 15-26, 2010... Stewart Ijames has three home runs this season and 36 home runs in his Louisville career. The rest of the Cardinals on the 2012 roster have a combined eight career home runs (Gardner, 3; Wasserman, 3; Seiz, 2)... In his five starts at third base in the last five games, sophomore Ty Young is hitting .643 (9-for-14), including four extra-base hits, with five runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases. He has also hit safely in all five games he has started... With hits on Sunday, sophomore Adam Engel and junior Nick Ratajczak extended their hitting streaks to six games each. Both players have hit safely in all six Louisville wins... Atop the Cards' lineup in the leadoff position, Engel is hitting .419 with seven runs scored, four RBI and five stolen bases while starting all seven games in centerfield... After just two stolen bases in the first three games of the season, Louisville had 14 stolen bases in 18 attempts in the four wins this week.
Louisville Offense Hitting its Stride Early in 2012
After struggling for much of 2011, the Louisville offense is off to a much better start in 2012. Entering Tuesday's game, the Cardinals have finished with 10 or more hits in six straight games (all wins), the longest such streak since they had 10 or more hits in six straight from April 11-21 during the 2010 season. U of L has not finished with 10 or more hits in seven straight games since going 12 straight April 24-May 12 in 2009.
The Cardinals also scored seven or more runs in four straight games from Feb. 19-25, their longest streak since scoring seven or more in six straight (all wins) from April 11-21 in 2010.
Five Cardinals Made Louisville Debuts in Florida; Four More in Week Two
Five different players made their Louisville debuts at the season-opening Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. Position players Shane Crain (vs. Michigan State), Matt Helms (vs. Minnesota), Nick Ratajczak (vs. Minnesota) and Mason Snyder (vs. Illinois) and pitcher Jared Ruxer (vs. Michigan State) saw game action for the first time as Cardinals.
Three more Louisville players debuted in the home-opening win against EKU as pitcher Nick Burdi pitched 4.0 scoreless innings to earn the win, lefty Joe Filomeno struck out the side in order in the eighth inning in his first ever appearance and infielder Sutton Whiting scored as a pinch runner in his first action as a Cardinal.
Freshman catcher Cameron O'Brien became the ninth first-year Cardinal to see game-action in 2012 when he earned the start behind the plate in Louisville's Feb. 26 win over Oakland.
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