CAMDEN, N.J. - Scoring two runs in the 11th inning, the fifth-ranked Louisville baseball team returned to its winning ways with a 6-4 series-clinching road victory over Temple on Sunday afternoon at Campbell’s Field.
After their 12-game winning streak was halted on Saturday, the Cardinals (40-12, 16-5 American) bounced back to clinch their third straight series triumph and remain tied for first atop the American Conference standings. Louisville also clinched its seventh 40-win season in eight years under the guidance of head coach Dan McDonnell, who is 349-154 with the Cardinals.
With the game even at 4-4, Louisville gained control in the 11th when senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.), who started the inning with a single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky.), stole third before scoring after the throw by Temple (13-29, 8-13) catcher Michael D’Acunti sailed over the head of third baseman Frank D’Agostino and into left field. Later in the inning, the Cardinals added an insurance run when junior Mike White (East Orange, N.J.), pinch running for freshman Will Smith (Louisville, Ky.) after he reached on another error by the Owls, scored from third on a two-out, RBI bunt by junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.).
The victory was locked down by junior righty Nick Burdi (Downers Grove, Ill.), who closed a strong performance by the Louisville bullpen by striking out six in three innings of perfect relief for to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the season. Including the work from Burdi, who lowered his ERA 0.59 and has 53 strikeouts in 30.2 innings of relief this season, the bullpen finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed only one hit and in 6.2 innings of shutout relief.
At the plate, Gibson finished 3-of-5 with a RBI and a stolen base, while Chittenden was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Senior outfielder Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky.) was 2-for-5 with his team-leading seventh home run and two runs driven in, while senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) added a home run and a single in the win. Lucas chipped in with two hits and one RBI and freshman outfielder Colin Lyman (Algonquin, Ill.) had two hits, a stolen base and a run scored.
Up next, Louisville will begin a four-game homestand in the final week of the regular season with a visit from No. 9 Indiana on Tuesday at 6 p.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.
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