No. 10 Louisville runs away with series opener against No. 15 Notre Dame
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Junior third baseman Ty Young went 3-for-5 with two triples and a career-best five RBIs to lead 10th-ranked Louisville to a 10-5 series-opening win against No. 15 Notre Dame on Thursday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals improved to 20-5 overall and evened their record to 2-2 in Big East Conference games, while the Fighting Irish dropped to 15-7 on the season and 2-2 in league games. The two teams will continue their series on Friday at 6 p.m. ET before concluding the weekend on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Young, who became the first Cardinal with two triples in a game since Andrew Clark did it in 2008, led the way as four Louisville players finished with at least two hits in the win. Sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while senior first baseman Zak Wasserman and junior catcher Shane Crain added two hits each. Junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon also chipped with a double and three RBIs while scoring once in the win.
On the mound, junior righthander Chad Green earned the win and improved to 4-2 overall after allowing four runs on five hits in five innings, while sophomore lefty Kyle McGrath pitched 2.1 innings of shutout relief with five strikeouts to pick up his first career save. Junior righty Dace Kime bridged the gap between those with allowing only an unearned run with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief.
For the 11th time this season, the Cardinals scored in the first inning, plating a run on one hit against Notre Dame starter Sean Fitzgerald. Junior outfielder Adam Engel led off the frame with a double to left center and after moving to second a deep flyout by senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak scored on an RBI groundout by Young for the 1-0 lead.
Following a scoreless second inning, Louisville added a pair of runs in the third inning for a 3-0 cushion. After leading off the frame with a single to center, Ratajczak scored on Young's first run-scoring triple of the day. One batter later, Sturgeon connected for an RBI sac fly to plate Young for the second run of the inning.
After the Irish plated their first run of the game in the top of the fourth on an RBI double from first baseman Trey Mancini, the Cardinals answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-out, bases loaded triple by Young. After singles from sophomore outfielder Mike White and Whiting, Engel was hit by a pitch from Fitzgerald to load the bases. One batter later, Young hammered a 1-0 pitch from lefty reliever Zak Kutsulis into deep right center field to clear the bases for the 6-1 lead.
Notre Dame answered quickly with a three-run inning of its own in the fifth when third baseman Eric Jagielo popped his team-leading seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot to right center on a 3-2 pitch from Green with two outs in the inning. The Irish pulled even closer an inning later with an unearned run against Kime to cut the deficit to 6-5. However, that was as close as they got as Louisville pushed the lead to 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth with an unearned run of its own.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Cardinals put the game away in the eighth plating three runs on three hits, all with two outs, against reliever Matt Ternowchek. Young started the threat with a single to center and after stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch, was followed by a walk to junior pinch hitter Coco Johnson. Sturgeon followed with a two-run double before scoring the final run of the night on an RBI single by Wasserman.
Fitzgerald took the loss and dropped to 1-3 overall after allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits in 3.1 innings, while Jagielo finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored for Notre Dame.