Louisville storms past Pittsburgh

Louisville jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Pittsburgh in the Big East Championship first round, then finished the Panthers with four more runs in the bottom of the eighth for an 8-3 win. The Cardinals

Louisville, the top seed in the Big East Championship, advanced to the winner's bracket to play the winner of the UConn-USF Thursday with an 8-4 win over No. 8 Pittsburgh.

"It was a grind, but the offense was the star of the night," Dan McDonnell said. "We put the ball in play and put some pressure on them and got some balls to drop in. We had a lot of timely hits."

Starting pitcher Chad Green was credited with the win for the Cardinals, allowing one run on four hits with three strike outs in five innings of work. Cole Sturgeon recorded the save, giving up one run in the final two innings to close out the Panthers.

"Now we get to throw our ace, Justin Amlung in the 1-0 game," McDonnell said.

Zac Wasserman drove in Stewart Ijames to give Louisville a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

Sturgeon hit a two-out triple in the bottom of the third before Mason Snyder delivered an RBI single to put the Cardinals ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third.

Alex Chittendon, who went 4 for 4 against the Panthers, scored on Kyle Gibson's single up the middle for a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Ratajczak followed with an RBI single to score Wasserman for a 4-0 lead.

Elvin Soto led off the fifth inning with a solo home run for Pittsburgh's first run. The Panthers added two more runs in the seventh to cut UofL's lead to 4-3. Stephen Vranka drove in Pitt's second run with a two out double, before Anthony DeFabio's RBI single cut UofL's margin to one.

Louisville responded with four runs in the eighth. Gibson's two-out triple scored Chittendon to give Louisville a 5-3 lead. Engel singled to center to drive Gibson for a 6-3 advantage. Sturgeon and Mike White both had RBI hits to give the Cardinals an 8-3 lead heading into the last inning.

Pittsbugh scored the game's final run with two outs in the ninth.


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