LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior right-hander Chad Green pitched seven strong innings while junior catcher Kyle Gibson paced the offense with three hits as the No. 4 Louisville baseball team earned a 6-1 victory over visiting Xavier in Friday’s series-opener at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Starting his fifth straight Friday game while going seven innings for the third time this season, Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) allowed only one run on six hits with four strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the season. Entering the game with the Cardinals’ holding a three-run edge, junior right-hander Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) followed Green with two innings of shutout relief, including a pair of strikeouts, to earn his first career save.
Gibson (Henderson, Ky./Henderson County HS) matched a career high with three hits in his four at-bats to go with an RBI and a run scored as Louisville improved to 14-2 overall with its fifth straight win. Senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC) added two hits, including a double, and a run scored, while senior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) chipped in with a single and two RBI in the win.
After pitching controlled the first three innings of Friday’s game, the Cardinals fired first plating two runs on four hits in the fourth against Xavier (6-9) starter Jon Richard. The inning started with Ratajczak doubling down the left field line on a 0-2 pitch from the left-handed throwing Richard. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior outfielder Matt Helms (Eufaula, Okla./Seminole State CC), Ratajczak scored the first run of the game on an RBI double down the left field line by junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep). After moving to third on a deep fly ball to right by freshman designated hitter Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS), Young was plated on an RBI single by junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) to push the Louisville lead to 2-0.
The Muskeeteers answered with their only run of the day in the fifth inning when second baseman Selby Chidemo connected for an RBI double down the left field line to score third baseman Stephen Schoettmer and cut the UofL advantage to a single run. Xavier was threatening for even more with runners at first and third and only one out before Green forced Musketeer first baseman Brian Bruening into an inning-ending 463 double play.
Louisville added to its lead an inning later plating two more runs on two hits for a 4-1 cushion. The scoring opportunity started with Rosenbaum reaching base with a one-out infield single, while Sturgeon followed by earning a four-pitch walk. Gibson then scored Rosenbaum with an RBI single through the right side for the first run. After moving to third on the single by Gibson, Sturgeon scored on an RBI groundout by Wasserman for the second run of the frame.
Following a scoreless seventh inning, Louisville tacked on two unearned runs in the eighth, which started with a throwing error by Xavier shortstop Patrick Paligraf. The Cardinals took advantage of the XU miscue when Wasserman delivered a two-out RBI single to center to score Sturgeon and sophomore shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) added an RBI single to left to plate Gibson for the final five-run margin.
Richard took the loss and dropped to 2-2 on the season after allowing six runs, including four earned, on six hits with six strikeouts in eight innings as the only pitcher for Xavier on the day.
The Cardinals and Muskeeteers continue their three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m., ET while Sunday’s weekend finale is also set for a 1 p.m., first pitch. Admission is free throughout the weekend.
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Postgame Louisville Notes
- With Friday’s win, Louisville improved to 12-1 at home this season and moved to 192-71 (.730 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since it opened during the 2005 season.
- The Cardinals hold a 29-19 advantage in the all-time series with the Musketeers, including a 19-11 edge in Louisville.
- Including Friday’s opener, the Cardinals have allowed two or less earned runs in 13 of 16 games overall. Louisville’s team ERA now sits at just 1.62.
- Righty Chad Green has allowed two or less earned runs in all five starts this season, including one or less in four of those. Overall, Green has a 1.16 ERA and 20 strikeouts in his 31.0 innings pitched this season.
- Catcher Kyle Gibson finished with a season-high three hits on Friday, which also matched his career high which he has accomplished three times overall. His most recent three-hit performance prior to Friday came in the Cardinals’ win over Missouri on June 3, 2012 during the NCAA Regional in Tucson, Ariz.
- The Cardinals finished with a 10-9 edge in hits this season and improved to 12-0 in 2013 when outhitting their opponents.
- With his 0-for-5 outing at the plate on Friday, outfielder Adam Engel had his seven-game hitting streak halted while also not reaching base for the first time this season.
- After entering the week leading the nation in stolen bases, Louisville did attempt a stolen base on Friday marking the first time this season the Cardinals have not swiped at least one bag.