Louisville Opens Season With 2-1 Record

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Published on February 18 2013 12:07 pm
Last Updated on February 18 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Millie Lange

DUNEDIN, Fla. - The fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team suffered a 2-0 loss to Indiana on day one of the season-opening BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge on Friday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.  

The Cardinals dropped their season-opener for the second straight season while being shutout for the first time since a 1-0 loss at Seton Hall on May 6, 2011. The loss also halted Louisville’s three-game winning streak against the Hoosiers.

“We missed on some scoring chances early in the game and that gave them life,” said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. “They gained some momentum and you could see it, they played with a lot of passion because we didn’t’ do anything in the first half of the game. In the second half of the game, you have to credit them because they made some great plays. We had some really good at-bats in the second half of the game, but it was very disappointing the way we played in those first four innings. We couldn’t get a two-out hit and we had too many holes in the lineup.”

The Cardinals left six runners on base in the first four innings of the game against IU lefty starter Joey DeNato, while freshman righty Evan Bell followed out of the Hoosiers’ bullpen with four innings of two-hit shutout baseball to earn his first career win in the first collegiate appearance. Righty Ryan Halstead closed out the night with a scoreless ninth inning for the save.

After three scoreless innings to open the night, Indiana struck for a run in the fourth when designated hitter Scott Donley connected for a one-out RBI single to right field off Louisville junior righty starter Chad Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) to plate third baseman Dustin DeMuth for the 1-0 lead. An inning later, the Hoosiers made it 2-0 when senior shortstop Michael Basil was hit by a pitch from junior righty reliever Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) with the bases loaded to score leftfielder Chris Sujka.

Green pitched four innings allowing seven hits, two runs, no walks and two strikeouts.

Louisville 10, USF 1

Junior right-hander Jeff Thompson finished with a career best 12 strikeouts to lead the No. 4 Louisville baseball team to a 10-1 win over USF during day two of the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge on Saturday at Bright House Field.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 1-1 on the season, while Saturday’s game was the season-opener for the Bulls. Louisville will conclude the weekend against Purdue on Sunday at 10 a.m., ET at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Along with setting a new career best total, the 12 strikeouts for Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) also set a new BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge record surpassing the previous record of 11 set by Connecticut’s Matt Barnes in 2010. As a team, the Cardinals finished with 15 total strikeouts to equal the tournament record.

Louisville 9, Purdue 4

Scoring five runs in the final two innings of the game, the fourth-ranked Louisville baseball team closed out the 2013 BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge with a 9-4 win over Purdue on Sunday at Al Lang Stadium.

With the Sunday’s win, the Cardinals improved to 2-1 overall as they begin an eight-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium on Wednesday at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky. The Boilermakers dropped to 1-2 with the loss.

Sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) led the Louisville offense on Sunday going 3-for-5 with two RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Junior outfielder Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS) added two hits, two RBI and a stolen base, while freshman first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS) had two hits, a walk and scored twice.