LOUISVILLE Ky. -- Cole Sturgeon had two hits and two RBI while the pitching staff continued its stellar weekend work in Saturday afternoon's 6-1 series-clinching win against Connecticut.
Sturgeon was 2-for-3, including his fifth triple of the season, 2 RBI and a run scored as Louisville (32-11, 10-4 American) won its fifth consecutive game. Corey Ray was 2-for-4 with a triple, one RBI and one run scored in his second career start, while Zach Lucas chipped in going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
On the mound, righthander Jared Ruxer delivered his fifth consecutive quality start and his eighth of the season allowing just one run on five hits with five strikeouts in 6.0 innings to improve to 7-1 on the season. It was also the 15th career victory for Ruxer, who is the Cardinals' active leader in victories, starts (32), innings pitched (181.0) and strikeouts (123).
After righty Jonah Philley retired the only batter he faced in the sixth,lefty Drew Harrington struck out two in 2.2 innings of shutout relief to earn his first career save. Saturday marked the fifth consecutive game the Louisville pitching staff has allowed two or fewer earned runs.
The Cardinals opened the scoring with two runs in the fourth inning against UConn (21-21, 5-8 American) starter Jordan Tabakman. Jeff Gardner plated the first run of the afternoon with a RBI single through the right side sending Sturgeon home, while Alex Chittenden followed with a RBI single to right to score Gardner.
An inning later, Louisville pushed its lead to 3-0 on a RBI triple to right center by Sturgeon scoring Lucas, who led off the frame with a single up the middle. The Cardinals added two more runs in the sixth inning starting with a RBI triple by Ray to score Colin Lyman, who led things off with his own triple down the left field line. Lucas scored Ray with a RBI single up the middle for the 5-0 cushion.
After the Huskies plated their only run of the game in the seventh inning on a RBI sacrifice fly by Aaron Hill, Louisville scored the final run of the afternoon in the eighth inning on a RBI groundball by Sturgeon. Tabakman was charged with the loss for UConn and dropped to 3-2 on the season after allowing five runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 5.1 innings pitched.