LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 11th-ranked Louisville baseball team plated four runs in the first inning and never trailed in a 6-2 series-clinching victory over visiting Georgetown on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their 25th home win this season, the Cardinals improved to 32-10 overall and 10-4 in BIG EAST Conference action, while the Hoyas dropped to 23-17 and 5-9 on the season. Louisville will look for its seventh weekend sweep of 2013 on Sunday at 1 p.m., ET and admission is free for the series finale.
After walks and stolen bases from junior outfielders Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS) and Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) started the first inning, junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) singled through the left side to plate Engel for the 1-0 lead. Following a walk to freshman designated hitter Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS) to load the bases, junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) delivered an RBI single to plate Johnson for the second run of the frame.
Later in the inning, senior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) delivered a two-out, two-run single to left field to plate Young and Rosenbaum for the 4-0 advantage. Overall, Young paced the Louisville offense going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two stolen bases, two RBI and two runs scored.
On the mound, junior right-hander Jeff Thompson (Greenville, Ind./Floyd Central HS) struck out eight while allowing two runs on five hits in 7.2 innings to earn the win and improve to 7-1 on the season. Junior lefty Cody Ege (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington HS) and junior righty Dace Kime (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) combined to record the final five outs of the game in shutout fashion and clinch the win.
An inning after the initial four-spot, Louisville pushed its lead to 5-0 on an RBI double to right field by Young to score senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC), who was hit by a pitch from GU lefty starter Thomas Polus to start the second frame. After moving to second with his seventh stolen base this season, Ratajczak advanced to third on a flyout to right by Johnson before scoring on the double by Young.
The lead remained at five until the sixth when Hoyas’ catcher Nick Collins sent a 1-0 pitch from Thompson over the left field wall to score centerfielder Justin Leeson and cut the Louisville cushion to 5-2. An inning later, the Cardinals pushed their advantage to the final 6-2 margin thanks to an unearned run. After reaching base and moving to second on a throwing error by GU third baseman Curtiss Pomeroy, Young took third with his second stolen base of the day and his 20th of the season. He scored immediately after the steal of third when the throw by Collins from behind the plate was off-target and caromed away from Pomeroy.
Polus was charged with allowing five runs, all earned, on four hits with three walks in 1.1 innings to take the loss and drop to 2-6 on the season.
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Postgame Louisville Notes
- With Friday’s win, Louisville improved to 25-5 at home this season and 205-75 (.732 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since it opened in 2005.
- With their eighth win in the last nine matchups with Georgetown, the Cardinals hold a 16-4 lead in the all-time series with the Hoyas.
- Louisville improved to 10-6 on the season against lefty starters.
- The Cardinals won for the second straight game and the fifth time in 10 games this season when being out-hit by an opponent.
- The four-run first inning was the Cards’ highest scoring opening frame since they scored five in the first against Kent State on March 1.
- For the season, Louisville has a 38-12 scoring advantage in the first inning. The first inning is the Cardinals’ second highest scoring inning this season trailing only the 55 runs in the eighth inning.
- Louisville, which entered the weekend ranked sixth in the nation in stolen bases, added five more on Saturday to increase the season total to 109.
- The 7.2 innings of work on Saturday for Jeff Thompson was his second longest outing of the season, one out shy of his eight shutout innings against Xavier on March 16.
- For the season, Thompson has a 1.83 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 11 starts and 69.0 innings pitched to go with his 7.1 record. He has 18 career wins as a Cardinal, which ties him for sixth all-time at Louisville with B.J. Rosenberg (2004-08) and Brian Halford (2003-06).
- The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 24 of 42 games this season, including each of the first two in the series with Georgetown.
- With his 2-for-4 day at the plate on Saturday, Ty Young earned his team-leading 18thmultiple hit performance of the season.
- Young finished with two RBI on Saturday to mark his team-high 13th multiple RBI game of the season.
- After entering the weekend ranked fifth in the nation in hit-by-pitch, the Cardinals have been hit seven times the last two days, including four times on Saturday, increasing the season total to 90.
- Nick Ratajczak was hit twice on Saturday and once on Friday to increase his team-leading total to 17. The 17 HBPs this season place Ratajczak in a tie for eighth on the Cardinals’ single season leaderboard with Boomer Whiting, who was hit 17 times in 2007.
- In less than two full seasons as a Cardinal, Ratajczak has been hit 45 times, which places him third on Louisville’s career HBP leaderboard trailing only Logan Johnson (74 from 2004-07) and Boomer Whiting (47 from 2003-07).
- With a pair of walks on Saturday, Coco Johnson has reached base safely in 17 straight games, the second longest streak of the season for a Cardinal.