Louisville Baseball Game Notes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 22nd-ranked Louisville baseball team begins a four-game road swing with a Tuesday visit to Sembower Field in Bloomington, Ind., for the second meeting of the season with the Indiana Hoosiers.
Live play-by-play of the game will be available to subscribers of CardsTV online at UofLsports.com. Live scoring will be available through the Gametracker feature on the baseball schedule page at UofLsports.com.
Entering Tuesday's game, Louisville and Indiana are tied at 19-19 all-time in a series which dates back to 1937. Earlier this season, the Cardinals earned a 13-4 win over the Hoosiers at Jim Patterson Stadium. Last season, the teams split two games as the Cardinals earned an 8-4 win at Sembower Field in May after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Hoosiers in Louisville in April. Prior to last April's loss, U of L had won seven straight against IU. Overall, the Cardinals have won 10 of the last 12 in the series. Since coach Dan McDonnell was hired prior to the 2007 season, Louisville has been dominant against the Big Ten competition holding a 28-6 record overall.
CARDINALS TWO GAMES OUT OF FIRST IN BIG EAST STANDINGS AFTER FOUR WEEKS
After suffering its first BIG EAST Conference series loss at home since 2009 last weekend against Seton Hall, Louisville is tied for third place in the BIG EAST standings with St. John's at 8-4, two games behind first place USF at 10-2. Reigning league champion Connecticut sits in second with a 9-3 league record. The Cardinals will visit conference leader USF this weekend before hosting second-place UConn the following week at Patterson Stadium.
RUXER NAMED BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 16
Freshman right-hander Jared Ruxer was named BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 16 after his impressive performance in the Cardinals' 12-0 win at No. 1 Kentucky on April 10. Ruxer pitched 6.0 shutout innings allowing only three hits with a career-best six strikeouts to earn the victory as the Cardinals became the first team this season to shut out the Wildcats. Overall, Ruxer is 5-0 with a 1.98 in 2012 and has won five of his six starts as a Cardinal.
NOTES AND TRENDS TO FOLLOW...
The Cardinals are 25-0 this season when leading after the seventh inning... As a team, the Cardinals are 62-of-75 on stolen bases this season, while last season they were just 67-for-94... With his team-leading 10th home run of the season on April 6, 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 187 RBI in his career, which places him in eighth on the Cardinals' career list, six behind No. 7 Darren Oppel (1990-93)... 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 44 stolen bases in less than two full seasons, sophomore Adam Engel is sixth on the Cardinals' career list, four behind No. 5 Dave Williams, Jr. (2000-03)... With 21 career wins, junior righty Justin Amlung is tied for third on the Cards' career list with Mike Shields (1975-78)... And with 196 career strikeouts, Amlung ranks ninth all-time at Louisville... With 28 stolen bases this season, Engel is already fourth on the Cardinals' single season list, just one behind No. 3 Mike Hook (2000)... With 17 HBPs this season, junior Nick Ratajczak is tied for sixth on U of L's single season list with Boomer Whiting (2007) and just one behind Adam Duvall (2009) and Phil Wunderlich (2010) in fourth... Engel leads the Cardinals in 2012 with 14 multiple hit games, while Cole Sturgeon is next with 13... Ijames leads the Cardinals with 12 multiple RBI games this season, while sophomore Ty Young is next with eight.
LOUISVILLE OFFENSE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN 2012
After struggling for much of 2011, the Louisville offense has shown considerable improvement through 36 games of 2012. Entering the week, the Cardinals are hitting .315 as a team, more than 60 percentage points higher than the .253 team average they had in 2011. In the 36 games this season, Louisville has finished with 10 or more hits 22 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 19 times (18-1 record), while in 2011, they did it just 15 times overall.
SPEEDY ENGEL ONE OF THE NATION'S BEST BASE STEALERS
Sophomore outfielder Adam Engel has established himself as one of the nation's elite base stealers and has emerged as one of the key components to the Louisville offense. Entering the week, Engel is ranked fifth nationally with 28 stolen bases (in 29 attempts), while his 44 career stolen bases (in less than two full seasons) place him sixth on the Cardinals' all-time list. Having served as Louisville's leadoff hitter in every game this season, Engel also ranks 32nd in the nation in runs scored with 38.
CARDINALS KNOCK OFF NO. 1 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2005
With their dominating 12-0 victory against long-time rival and No. 1 Kentucky on April 10 in Lexington, the Cardinals clinched their first win over a top-ranked team since winning two of three in a series victory against No. 1 Tulane on March 25-26, 2005 in Louisville. In the win over the Wildcats, freshman righty Jared Ruxer was the star allowing just three hits with a career-best six strikeouts in six impressive innings as the Cardinals became the first team to shutout the Wildcats this season.
Indiana enters the weekend at 16-20 overall after dropping two of three at home to Michigan State last weekend. The Hoosiers are led by coach Tracy Smith, who is in his seventh season at the helm of the IU. Last season, Indiana finished 30-25 overall and was seventh in the Big Ten at 11-13.