The Wright State baseball team (1-3) scored four runs over the first two innings on Wednesday afternoon to jump out to an early lead it would never surrender, as the Raiders took down No. 3 Louisville, 10-3, during the Cardinals' home opener at Jim Patterson Stadium for the Raiders' first win of the young season.
The Raiders tallied three separate two-run innings and a three-run ninth, while the pitching staff allowed five hits and 12 total Louisville baserunners.
Louisville (1-3), which dropped two of three to open its season at Ole Miss, held onto the top spot in the Perfect Game rankings this week while sliding from No. 1 to third in the D1Baseball poll and fourth in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper rankings, while moving from No. 2 to sixth in Baseball America's top 25 and eighth in the NCBWA poll.
The Raiders' Wednesday victory was the third in program history over a team ranked No. 1 in at least one of the national polls, joining back-to-back wins over top-ranked teams in 2009 and 2010. The Raiders took down then-No. 1 Georgia by an 8-5 score in March 2009 before Wright State downed then-No. 1 Virginia 2-1 in March of 2010.
"I'm proud of the way the guys played tonight. We competed on the mound and in the box and played great defense," head coach Alex Sogard said. "It was a great team win. We know we can compete with anyone in the country if we play to our ability and we showed that tonight."
All three victories over No. 1-ranked teams have come on the road for Wright State. Wins against ranked opponents are nothing new for the Raiders, who took down then-No. 9 East Carolina, then-No. 10 Ole Miss and then-No. 19 Oklahoma State — all on the road — last season.
The Raiders got on the board early, as Damon Dues and Quincy Hamilton each reached on two-strike singles before Gehrig Anglin's two-out, two-strike triple to right center field put Wright State ahead. The top of the lineup was part of the scoring again in the second inning as Dues and Hamilton pushed the lead to four with back-to-back RBIs.
Louisville cut into the Raider lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a two-run double by Tim Borden, but would never get closer, as Wright State again added to the advantage with two more runs in the fifth. Anglin's fielder's choice ground ball added the first run of the inning before Justin McConnell drove home Tyler Black with his two-out single into left center field.
After giving Louisville a run via a wild pitch in the seventh, the Raiders again extended the lead in the eighth, as Hamilton delivered his second RBI of the night with a single back up the middle. Wright State added on in the ninth, first on a Louisville error before RBI singles from Cameron Rountree and Alec Sayre, to close the scoring.
Four Wright State pitchers combined to surrender the five hits, as starter Sam Wirsing tossed four innings and struck out two while allowing four hits, three walks and a pair of Louisville runs. Bradley Deboutte was the first arm out of the bullpen, sitting down the first six batters he faced before allowing one run on one hit and a walk over 2.2 innings of work as he earned the win.
Brock Nartker came on and induced a cue shot off the end of the bat to end the seventh and strand two Louisville runners. Jake Schrand recorded the final six outs for the Raiders, allowing just one baserunner (via a walk) while recording three groundball outs and a pair of strikeouts — including the final out of the night as he got Danny Oriente swinging.
Louisville's Michael Prosecky took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in his first career start. The five hits were scattered among five different players for Louisville.