WVU Falls to Cards Again

The WVU baseball team is having tough going in Louisville, where it dropped its second consecutive Big East game to the Cardinals on Saturday.

The WVU pitching staff was rocked in the home of the Louisville slugger, giving up 16 runs (13 earned) in a 16-5 loss on Saturday. Starter Levi Maxwell was knocked out after just 3 2/3 innings of work after yielding nine runs on eight hits, while reliever Joe Stupka gave up seven earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Trent Ridgely and Jordon Yost managed to stop the bleeding as each contributed one scoreless fram, but by then the Cards were much to far in front to matter.

In addition to the Cardinal hits, WVU's pitchers were wild for much of the day. Maxwell walked two batters, uncorked a pair of wild pitches and hit an eye-rubbing four Cardinal batsmen in takin his first loss of the season. Stupka added to the carnage with three hit batsmen and two additional walks, and Ridgely, despite not allowing a run, plunked two more in the eighth for a total of nine hit batsmen. Those free bases left UL circling the diamond like a merry-go-round, and by the end of the fourth inning the 9-1 Cardinal lead made the rest of the game pretty much a formality.

West Virginia did manage to put some runs together in the middle third of the game to make it respectable for a time. Justin Jenkins drove home Adam White with an RBI single for WVU's run in the fourth, and the Mountaineers cut into the lead again with a three-run fifth inning, highlighted by Tyler Kuhn's single that scored two runs. Another tally in the sixth cut the lead to 10-5, but the Cards answered with six runs in the bottom of the seventh, including a grand slam, to put the contest away.

The final score could have been even worse had UL produced a few more timely hits, as 12 Cardinal baserunners were left stranded in the nine inning contest.

WVU managed nine hits in the game, but didn't get the additional baserunners and free advancement that their own errors allowed the home team. UL walked just two batters while striking out seven Mountaineers.

White and Jenkins each had two hits for WVU, while Kuhn's two RBI paced the team. White tallied two of West Virginia's five runs.

The Mountaineers will try to salvage the final game of the three game weekend set when they face the Cardinals at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. WVU is now 3-2 in Big East play and 15-7 overall. Louisville passed West Virginia in the Big East standing with the win, moving to 4-1 in the league and 18-8 overall.


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