"For the fans and our team, we had a little bit of everything this weekend with a game we took command of early yesterday, a game that was very tight earlier today and a game where we fell behind big early and came back to win," said McDonnell. "It's great to get wins and it's great to learn about your team while you're getting wins. I'm pleased that we got the wins, but we know there are a lot of areas where we must improve. That was a very good team that we played this weekend and it's easy to see after three games why they're picked to win the MAC."
Wright hammered an 0-1 pitch from Bowling Green reliever Cody Apthorpe off the wall in right center to score senior second baseman Adam Duvall and finish the Cardinals' largest comeback in head coach Dan McDonnell's four seasons in Louisville. The final run scored nearly three hours after the Falcons opened the game with a seven-run first inning to take a commanding lead in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
The game-winning double was Wright's only hit on the day as junior outfielders Drew Haynes (4-for-5, one RBI, one run) and Josh Richmond (3-for-6, one RBI) led another solid day at the plate for Louisville. Duvall finished 2-for-6 with two RBI and three runs, junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 2-for-4 with two RBI and junior catcher J.J. Ethel was 2-for-4 with one run scored in his Louisville debut.
"Being down 7-0 in the first inning was a tough spot for us, but we know we have a lot of talent on this team and we didn't want to put too much pressure on ourselves to do too much," said Wright. "On the game-winning hit, I was supposed to bunt, so I guess it's a good thing I messed that up on the first pitch. I figured they would be expecting me to bunt again and would lay a fastball down the middle, so I was sitting fastball and hit it well."
For the third straight game to open the 2010 season, the Cardinals trailed early as Bowling Green exploded for seven runs on seven singles and one Louisville error in the first inning. U of L sophomore righty starter Tony Zych was charged with all seven earned runs before being replaced by junior righty Neil Holland out of the Cards' bullpen.
Overall, Holland led a masterful day for the Louisville bullpen, which sat down 23 straight Bowling Green hitters during one stretch, with five shutout innings of relief and only one hit allowed. He was followed by junior lefty Bob Revesz, who allowed only one hit in 3.1 innings, while junior righty Gabriel Shaw closed the game out with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win in his second appearance of the day. The Paducah, Ky., native pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the save in the Cardinals' 5-2 win over Bowling Green in game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Louisville started its come back in the bottom of the first inning as Duvall connected for his first home run of the season over the wall in right field off Bowling Green starter Kevin Leady.
Following two scoreless innings, the Cardinals added a pair of runs on four hits to cut the Bowling Green lead to 7-3. Senior Jeff Arnold led off the inning with a double to left field and scored on an RBI single through the right side by sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames. After advancing to second on groundout, Ijames scored on an RBI single to left by Haynes.
Louisville continued its rally in the sixth inning with four runs on four hits to even the score at 7-7 and eliminate the Falcons' advantage. Ethel started the inning with a leadoff single up the middle, moved to third on a single to right by Haynes and then scored on an RBI single through the left side by Richmond. After reaching with a fielder's choice to score Haynes, Duvall, along with Wright who walked, both scored on a two-run double to left center by Wunderlich to tie the game.
The score remained that way until Wright's dramatic game-winning hit in the 10th inning. Apthorpe took the loss for the Falcons after allowing one run on three hits in the 10th inning, while Bowling Green starter Kevin Leady allowed three runs on six hits in 3.1 innings. The Cardinals will close out their season-opening four-game homestand on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium against Morehead State.
No. 12 Cardinals Clinch Series with 5-2 Win Over Bowling Green
The 12th-ranked Louisville baseball team came from behind to clinch its season-opening series against Bowling Green with a 5-2 win in the first of two games on Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the eighth, sophomore shortstop Ryan Wright connected for an RBI single up the middle off Falcon reliever Charles Wooten to give the Cardinals their first lead of the day. Louisville pushed its advantage to the final 5-2 margin moments later as senior first baseman Andrew Clark and Wright scored on an RBI single to right by senior catcher Jeff Arnold.
Sophomore righty Derek Self came out of the bullpen for three strong innings to earn his first win of the season and improve to 8-0 in his career, while junior righty Gabriel Shaw pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of 2010. Wooten took the loss for the Falcons after allowing three runs on three hits in 1.00 inning of work. Junior lefty Dean Kiekhefer earned the start for the Cardinals and allowed only one unearned run on two hits in 5.0 innings.
The Falcons opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as shortstop Jon Berti reached and advanced to third on an error by second baseman Adam Duvall and then scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Tyler Elkins for a 1-0 lead.
Louisville came back for to even the score at 1-1 in the second inning as Arnold was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a single to center by freshman Kyle Grieshaber and scored on a throwing error by centerfielder T.J. Blanton.
Following three scoreless innings, Bowling Green regained the lead in the sixth as Berti reached on an error, advanced to third on a double by Elkins and then scored on an RBI groundout to the right side by Dennis Vaughn for a 2-1 advantage.
The Cardinals evened the scored the at 2-2 in the seventh as Arnold was hit by a pitch from Bowling Green reliever Ross Gerdeman, moved to second with stolen base, advanced to third on a balk and then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Grieshaber. That set the stage for the Cardinals' eighth inning rally.
- With Saturday's doubleheader sweep, Louisville improved to a perfect 6-0 in the all-time series with Bowling Green.
- The 3-0 start to the season is the best start for Louisville since the 2003 squad started 6-0.
- Junior outfielder Drew Haynes closed out the first weekend of the season as the Cardinals' top hitter with a .625 average overall thanks to a 6-for-11 start at the plate.