Clark propels Louisville past Morehead

Senior first baseman Andrew Clark's two-run homer in the seventh pushed the 11th-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 7-2 win over Morehead State on Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Senior first baseman Andrew Clark's two-run homer in the seventh pushed the 11th-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 7-2 win over Morehead State on Tuesday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.

With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 4-0 overall for their best start in head coach Dan McDonnell's four seasons and the best start overall since the 2003 squad opened with a 6-0 record. The come-from-behind victory is the fourth for Louisville in as many games in 2010.

With the game tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning and senior second baseman Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky.) on second following a lead-off double, Clark hammered 1-2 pitch from Morehead State reliever Michael Fahs over the trees beyond the right field wall for his first home run of the season. Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) finished 2-for-4 at the plate with the two RBI and two runs scored.

Sophomore shortstop Ryan Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored, while Duvall also added a pair of hits in the game. On the mound, senior righty Matt Lea (Collierville, Tenn.) earned the win with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief to improve to 1-0 overall, while redshirt freshman Justin Amlung (Louisville, Ky.) delivered his second straight impressive performance out of the bullpen with 4.0 innings of one-hit relief.

"That's back-to-back games where we haven't come out and played well in the first inning, so it's definitely a concern that we're not getting out of the gate," said McDonnell. "We turned to the bullpen early and Justin (Amlung) was dominant. At the plate, we were a little frustrated because we didn't make any adjustments early on, but you have to give credit to their lefty (Tyler Hieneman) as well. But we did do the little things right like steal some bases and manufacture some runs before we came up with those big clutch hits late."

The Eagles (2-3) opened the scoring in the first inning with two runs on two hits against Louisville freshman starter Andy Flett (Fenton, Mo.). Shortstop Drew Lee started the scoring with an RBI single to right field to score J.D. Ashbrook, while Cameron Flynn scored moments later on a fielder's choice to make it 2-0 Morehead State. Making his first career collegiate appearance, Flett then settled down with a scoreless second inning of work before turning it over to the Cards' bullpen.

The Cardinals' offense cut the deficit in half in the fourth inning as Wright walked, moved to third on a double to right field by senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky.) and then scored on a throwing error by MSU right fielder Lucas Bainer to make it 2-1 Eagles.

Following a scoreless fifth inning, Louisville evened the score at 2-2 as sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky.) singled to right field, moved to second with his first stolen base of the season, advanced to third on a single through the right side by freshman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn.) and then scored on an RBI groundout by junior outfielder Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind).

After Clark gave the Cardinals the lead for good with his two-run homer in the seventh, Wright closed the game out with his first home run of 2010, a three-run shot to right field on the first pitch he saw from MSU righty Cody Gibson. The home run came moments after Eagles' head coach Jay Sorg elected to intentionally walk Clark with two outs and Haynes on third base.

Morehead State starter Tyler Hieneman allowed two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work, while Cameron Flynn took the loss after allowing one run on two hits in less than an inning.

Up next, the Louisville baseball team will travel to the Sunshine State for the second annual Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge hosted by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission on Feb. 26-28. The Cardinals will open the event on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET against Michigan at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Fla. On Saturday, Louisville will take on Michigan State at 4:30 p.m. ET at Jack Russell Stadium. In Sunday's finale, the Cards will face Minnesota at 10 a.m. ET at the Naimoli Complex.

Louisville Notes
* With Tuesday's win, Louisville extended its winning streak to 10 straight games over Morehead State dating back to the 2000 season.

* Through the first four games of 2010, four Louisville players have at least one hit in every game including seniors Jeff Arnold and Adam Duvall, junior Drew Haynes and sophomore Ryan Wright.

* The Louisville bullpen continued its strong work on Tuesday with seven innings of scoreless relief. Through four games this season, the Cards' bullpen has allowed no earned runs, only one run overall and just 13 hits in 25 innings of work.

* On Monday, the Louisville baseball team moved up one position to No. 11 in the Top 25 and remains in the top 20 in all six major college baseball polls.

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