Louisville wins series against Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 8 Louisville baseball team beat No. 17 Ole Miss 10-8 Sunday afternoon to claim an important early season series win over a Southeastern Conference opponent.

Sophomore Ryan Wright had four hits and four RBI and junior Phil Wunderlich added three hits with three RBI to lead the No. 8 Louisville baseball team to a 10-8 series clinching win over No. 17 Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium.

After a 6-1 win in 12 innings in Friday night's opener and an 8-3 loss in game two on Saturday, the Cardinals' offense erupted for 16 hits, the second highest total of the season, to take a big lead midway through the game and then held on down the stretch to improve to 14-1 overall. Ole Miss dropped to 12-4 overall with the loss.

Wright (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) led the way with a 4-for-5 day at the plate overall with two runs scored to go along with the four RBI, while Wunderlich (Chicago, Ill./Downers Grove HS) finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and the three RBI. Redshirt sophomore Stewart Ijames (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) added two hits, two RBI and a run scored, while freshman Kyle Grieshaber (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS) added two hits and two runs scored as every position starter for the Cardinals finished with at least one hit in the game.

On the mound, sophomore righty Tony Zych (Monee, Ill./St. Rita HS) improved to 1-0 on the season despite allowing six runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings in his third start of 2010. Junior righty Gabriel Shaw (Paducah, Ky./St. Mary's HS) came out of the bullpen to pitch 1.0 inning of relief allowing one run on two hits and was followed by junior lefty Bob Revesz (Grove City, Pa./Grove City HS), who retired one of the two batters he faced.

Head coach Dan McDonnell then turned to junior righty Neil Holland (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS), who recorded the final five outs of the game to earn his second save of the weekend and the third of the season. In 16.2 innings of relief this season, Holland has a 0.54 ERA with 22 strikeouts and has given up only two hits overall.

After a slow start at the plate in Saturday's loss to the Rebels, the Cardinals pushed two runs across in the first inning against Ole Miss starter Matt Tracy. Grieshaber started the inning with a stinging double to the left center gap and then moved to third on a single to left by Wright. Both Grieshaber and Wright, who moved to second on the throw from left field following his single, scored moments later on a two-run single to left field by Wunderlich for the 2-0 advantage.

Ole Miss bounced back quickly in the bottom of the first as right fielder Matt Smith hammered his third home run of the season over the right field wall to score left fielder Tanner Mathis, who was hit by a pitch from Zych to lead off the inning, to even the score at 2-2 after one inning.

The Cardinals regained the lead in the second inning as Ijames led off with an infield single and was followed by a single up the middle off the bat of freshman Cade Stallings (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut HS). After both players advanced on a successful sacrifice bunt from junior Drew Haynes (New Albany, Ind./New Albany HS), Ijames scored from third on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field by sophomore Mike Morrison (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers HS) for a 3-2 Louisville advantage.

After Zych successfully worked around a leadoff double by the Rebels in the second inning to hold the Cards' advantage, Louisville added to its lead in the third inning as senior Adam Duvall (Louisville, Ky./Butler HS) led off with a single to left field, advanced to third on a throwing error by Tracy on a pickoff attempt at first and then scored on an RBI groundout by Wright to make it 4-2 Louisville.

In the fifth inning, Louisville continued its assault on Tracy, who took the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits to fall to 1-1 on the season, by scoring three more runs on four hits, all with two outs, to push the lead to 7-2. Wright starright center and then scored on an RBI single through the right side by Wunderlich. After Wunderlich moved to third on a double to left by senior catcher Jeff Arnold (Louisville, Ky./Male HS), both players scored on a double down the right field line by Ijames for the five-run advantage.

Ole Miss was able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double down the left field line by Mathis to score catcher Taylor Hightower to make it 7-3 Louisville.

The Cardinals answered back with an additional three more runs in the sixth on four hits off Ole Miss reliever Trent Rothlin. The inning started with back-to-back singles to the right center gap by Haynes and Morrison. After Morrison was replaced by pinch runner Drew Fitzpatrick (Warren, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney HS), he and Haynes advanced to second and third on a passed ball by Hightower and that was followed by a walk to Grieshaber to load the bases. Wright then hammered a 1-1 pitch to the right center gap for a bases-clearing three-run double to give Louisville a 10-3 advantage.

The Rebels came back in the bottom of the sixth with three runs of their own thanks to four hits and one costly defensive miscommunication by the Cardinals. After reaching base with a two-out single to right center, Zach Miller scored on an RBI double to left center by David Phillips for the first run of the inning. Moments later, Phillips scored on a popup off the bat of Hightower, which landed between Duvall at shortstop and Wunderlich at third after the two players did communicate on the play. Following the popup that would have ended the inning, the Rebels scored one more run on an RBI single up the middle by Miles Hamblin to cut the Cards' lead to 10-6.

Ole Miss pulled closer in the seventh inning as center fielder Tim Ferguson hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot to right field off Shaw, to trim the Louisville advantage to 10-7. And the Rebels added a final run in the ninth inning on an RBI double down the right field line by Smith off of Holland for his first earned run of the season and the final 10-8 score. Up next, the Cardinals return home for a four-game homestand against Xavier (Tuesday, noon ET, Elementary School Day) and Ball State (Friday, 3 p.m. ET/Saturday, 1 p.m./Sunday, 1 p.m.).

Louisville Notes

- With his 2-for-5 day at the plate on Sunday, Adam Duvall leads the Cardinals in hitting at .400 overall. He has also hit safely in four straight games and 13 of Louisville's 15 games this season.

- Despite allowing his first earned run of the season on Sunday, Neil Holland continued is impressive start to the season this week with a win and two saves in three of the Cardinals' four games.

- Freshman Kyle Grieshaber had the best weekend of his career going 8-for-16 (.500) with four runs scored and two RBI as the Cardinals' leadoff hitter against Ole Miss and he is now hitting .325 overall.

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