April 9, 2012
GAME DAY INFORMATION: #19 Louisville at #1 Kentucky
Location: Cliff Hagan Stadium | Lexington, Ky.
TV: FOX Sports South & WMYO-58 in Louisville
Radio: WNDA 1570 AM in Louisville
Louisville Fr. RHP Jared Ruxer (4-0, 2.37 ERA)
Kentucky Fr. LHP A.J. Reed (4-0, 2.42 ERA)
Louisville Baseball Game Notes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 19th-ranked Louisville baseball team closes its four-game road swing with a midweek showdown at No. 1 ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night.
First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports South regionally and WMYO-58 in Louisville. Live play-by-play of the game can be heard on News/Talk 1570 AM (WNDA) and will be available for CardsTV subscribers at UofLsports.com. Live scoring will be available through the Gametracker feature on the baseball schedule page at UofLsports.com.
Entering this week's game, Louisville trails 58-32-1 in the all-time series with Kentucky, which started in 1925. The Cardinals have lost two straight in the series after dropping both games last season. After a narrow 3-2 loss at home to the Wildcats on April 12, 2011, Louisville struggled in a 7-1 loss at UK on April 26, 2011. Last season marked the first time since 2006 the Cardinals were swept in the two-game series with the Wildcats. Louisville has lost each of the last two games in the series at Cliff Hagan Stadium with the last win coming in an 11-2 decision on April 28, 2009.
Cardinals One Game Out of First in BIG EAST Standings After Three Weeks
After opening BIG EAST Conference play with a series sweep against Cincinnati, the Cardinals followed with series wins againt Villanova and Georgetown for a 7-2 league record through the first three weeks of conference action. Louisville is one game out of first place in the BIG EAST standings behind 8-1 USF and Connecticut. St. John's is fourth with a 6-3 record, while Seton Hall, which visits Patterson Stadium this weekend for a three-game series, is fifth at 5-4.
Early Scoring and Steady Bullpen Two Key Ingredients for Louisville
Through the first eight weeks of action, the Cardinals have a 55-7 scoring advantage in the first inning and an 86-22 margin through the first two innings... Louisville is 18-3 when scoring first and 13-4 when scoring in the first inning this season... The Cardinals' bullpen has been very good recently allowing only two earned runs in the last 12 games for an ERA of just 0.51 over 35.0 innings... During that span, the U of L bullpen has 42 strikeouts to just 12 walks and opposting batters are hitting just .142.
Notes and Trends to Follow...
The Cardinals are 22-0 this season when leading after the seventh inning... Louisville is 11-1 against left-handed starters in 2012... U of L is 6-0 in night games this season... As a team, the Cardinals are 57-of-70 on stolen bases this season, while last season they were just 67-for-94... With his team-leading 10th home run of the season last Friday, senior Stewart Ijames moved into a tie for eighth on the Cardinals' career home run list with Richie Hawks (1988-91) with 43 home runs... Ijames has 184 in his career, which places him tied for eighth on the Cardinals' career list with Rob Newman (1989-92)... With his nine career saves, senior righty Derek Self is tied for 10th on the Cardinals' career list with B.J. Rosenberg (2004-08) and David Sonson (1995-97)... With 40 stolen bases in less than two full seasons, sophomore Adam Engel is tied for eighth on the U of L's career list with Rick Siriano (1978-80)... With 21 career wins, junior righty Justin Amlung is tied for third on the Cards' career list with Mike Shields (1975-78)... And with 192 career strikeouts, Amlung ranks ninth all-time at Louisville... Engel leads the Cardinals in 2012 with 12 multiple hit games, while Ijames, Nick Ratajczak and Ty Young are next with 11 each... Ijames leads the Cardinals with 12 multiple RBI games this season, while freshman Zach Lucas is next with seven.
Louisville Offense Shows Improvement in 2012
After struggling for much of 2011, the Louisville offense has shown considerable improvement during the first 32 games of 2012. Entering the week, the Cardinals are hitting .316 as a team, more than 60 percentage points higher than the .253 team average they had in 2011. In the 32 games this season, Louisville has finished with 10 or more hits 20 times, while last season, they achieved that total just 16 times in 61 games. In the scoring column, the Cardinals have scored seven or more runs 17 times, while in 2011, they did it just 15 times overall.
Kentucky enters the week at 30-3 overall after taking two of three from Ole Miss last weekend in Lexington. UK is ranked in the top three in every major poll this week, including No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball newspaper for the second straight week. The Wildcats are led by coach Gary Henderson, who is 114-84 in his fourth season at the helm at UK. Last season, Kentucky finished 25-30 overall and was 11th in the SEC with an 8-22 record.