Big East Champions!

Louisville (41-19) slowed high-scoring Cincinnati Saturday afternoon and beat the Bearcats, 6-3, to win the 2008 Big East Tournament in Clearwater, Florida. The win gives the Cardinals the Big East's automatic bid to the NCAA regional tournament.

Stewart Ijames' came up big in Louisville's Big East tournament championship game win over Cincinnati Saturday afternoon in Clearwater, Florida.

With the score tied at 3, the UofL freshman, one of five in Louisville's starting lineup, doubled down the right field line in the top of the eighth inning, driving in two runs - the game's decisive runs.

While Ijames delivered for the Cardinals at the plate, Louisville's got a solid effort from starting pitcher Bob Revesz, another freshman. Revesz gave up two runs in five innings and kept the Cardinals in position for the win.

Though Louisville trailed 3-1 heading into the seventh inning, the Cardinals got hot at the plate after Cincinnati's starting pitcher Dan Osterbrock left the game. The Cardinals scored five runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Cincinnati jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Mike Spina's fourth inning home run. Spina added a solo homer off UofL reliever Gabe Shaw in the sixth inning to put the Bearcats up 3-1.

After Cincinnati intentionally walked Chris Dominguez in the eighth to put runners on first and second, Ijames delivered the key hit down the first base line that gave Louisville the lead - and command of the game. Ijames scored Louisville's final run on a hit by Andrew Clark.

B.J. Rosenberg closed the door on Cincinnati in the ninth, retiring the Bearcats in order to preserve a title for the Cardinals.

After Rosenberg's final strikeout, the Louisville players piled on near the mound in a frenzied, mass celebration.

The Cardinals now enter NCAA regional play red-hot. Louisville has won 17 of their past 20 games, including an impressive 4-0 mark in the Big East Tournament.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories