June 5, 2010

Courtesy UofLsports.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior first baseman Andrew Clark and sophomore second baseman Ryan Wright each hit home runs to lead the No. 7 Louisville baseball team to an 11-2 win over Saint Louis during Friday's opening day of action at the NCAA Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium.

With the win, the top-seeded Cardinals (49-12) advance to the winner's bracket game against No. 2 seeded Vanderbilt, an 8-7 winner in 13 innings over No. 3 Illinois State. First pitch for the Cardinals and Commodores is set for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday and single game tickets will be available at Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday morning.

In Friday's win, Clark (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS) finished 3-for-4, including his 13th home run of the season, with three RBI and two runs scored, while Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) was 2-for-5, including his 16th home run, to go along with two RBI and two runs. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, freshman designated hitter Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run and senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

On the mound, sophomore righty Tony Zych (Monee, Ill./St. Rita HS) came out of the Cardinals' bullpen for 3.1 innings of shutout relief with five strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 5-2 on the season. Sophomore righty Derek Self (Cave City, Ky./Caverna HS) allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in four innings in the starting role, while junior lefty Bob Revesz (Grove City, Pa./Grove City HS) pitched 1.2 innings of shutout relief to close the game for the Cardinals.

For Saint Louis (33-28), righty starter Bryant Cotton allowed eight runs on 12 hits in six innings to take the loss and fall to 9-5 on the season, while first baseman Danny Brock and third baseman Jon Myers each homered for the Billikens only two runs. After a pair of scoreless innings to open the game, Louisville broke through for a run in the third against Cotton. Zak Wasserman led off the inning with an infield single, moved to second on a single by Arnold, advanced to third on a walk to senior shortstop Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Clark for a 1-0 lead.

The Billikens answered back in the top of the fourth with back-to-back home runs from Brock and Myers for a 2-1 advantage.

That lead was short-lived as Louisville scored three runs on four hits to move back in front at 4-2. The inning started with junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) being hit by a pitch. After he moved to third on a single to left by Ijames, Wunderlich scored the first run of inning on an RBI sacrifice fly to left by junior outfielder Josh Richmond (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills HS). Wasserman followed with an RBI double to right field to score Ijames to give the Cardinals the lead again. Later in the inning, junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS) doubled to right center and scored on an RBI single through the left side by Arnold.

Louisville added two more runs with three hits an inning later for a 6-2 advantage. The first run of the inning scored as Duvall was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on an infield single by Wright, advanced to third on a single up the middle by Wunderlich and was plated on an RBI sacrifice fly to left center by Ijames. Moments later, Wright scored on RBI double to left field by Richmond for the four-run cushion.

The Cardinals kept the pedal down in the seventh inning with three runs on four hits. The inning started with a single through the right side by Clark, who then scored on the home run to left center by Wright for an 8-2 advantage. Later in the inning, Ijames doubled to right center, moved to third with his seventh stolen base of the season and then scored on a balk by SLU reliever Jim Foster for the 9-2 lead.

Louisville pushed across two final runs in the eighth inning as Arnold earned a leadoff walk from Andrew Buckham and then scored on the home run to right field by Clark for the final 11-2 margin.