LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior right-hander Chad Green allowed only one hit in a career best seven shutout innings to lead the No. 4 Louisville baseball team to a 7-0 win over visiting Akron on Friday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the victory in the series-opener, the Cardinals improved to 4-1 overall, while the Zips dropped to 0-4 on the season. The two teams will continue the weekend series on Saturday at 2 p.m., ET before concluding on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Improving to 1-1 on the season, Green (Effingham, Ill./Effingham HS) had the best outing of his career while surpassing his previous long outing of 5.2 innings in 2011. Finishing with three strikeouts and just one walk, Green did not allow a hit until the seventh when Brady Stewart connected for a two-out single for Akron’s only hit against the Louisville starter.
After seven dominant innings from Green, freshman righty Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest HS) followed out of the Louisville bullpen by striking out three in two scoreless innings of relief to close out the Cardinals’ first shutout of the season and their first overall since a 5-0 win over No. 20 St. John’s on May 11, 2012.
At the plate, junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) led the Cardinals going 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a stolen base, while sophomore infielder Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) continued his hot start to the season going 2-for-3 with his first career home run. Whiting has hit safely in all five games this season and is hitting .625 (10-for-16) with seven RBI and six runs scored overall.
Senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC) finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base for the Cardinals, who finished with a 12-3 advantage in hitting on Friday. Junior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) added a double, was hit three times, had an RBI, a stolen base and scored once in the win.
The Cardinals broke through for an early run on Friday against Akron starter Jon Pusateri when Young connected on a 1-2 pitch for an RBI single up the middle to score Johnson for the 1-0 lead. Johnson started the scoring chance when he was hit by pitch with two outs and then moved into scoring position with his stolen base.
Following a scoreless second inning, Louisville pushed its advantage to 2-0 in the third when Young sent a 3-1 pitch from Pusateri over the wall in right center for his first home run of the season and the seventh of his career.
After another scoreless inning in the fourth, the Cardinals added to their lead with two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. After earning a one-out walk in the fifth, junior designated hitter Jeff Gardner (Louisville, Ky./Whitefield Academy) moved to third on a single by Sturgeon and a throwing error by Pusateri. Moments later, he scored on a wild pitch to push the Louisville lead to 3-0. Freshman first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh HS) then connected for an RBI sac fly to deep centerfield to score Sturgeon from third for the four-run lead after five innings.
The Louisville sixth inning started with Whiting sending a 1-0 pitch down the right field line and over the wall for his first career home run and a 5-0 lead. One batter later, Ratajczak sent an 0-1 pitch down the right field line for his second triple and then scored on an RBI double by Johnson for the six-run cushion.
The Cardinals added their final run of the day in the eighth inning as Ratajczak singled to center, moved to second with a stolen base and then scored on an RBI double to left field by Young.
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Postgame Louisville Notes
- Friday’s game was just the third all-time on the baseball diamond between Louisville and Akron with the Cardinals winning all three matchups.
- The Cardinals improved to 4-0 this season in day games.
- With hits on Friday, Nick Ratajczak, Cole Sturgeon, Adam Engel and Sutton Whiting have each hit safely in all five games this season.
- Dating back to last season, Ratajczak has hit safely in 10 straight games overall, while Sturgeon has hit safely in eight straight.
- Through five games this season, the Louisville pitching staff has allowed only nine earned runs for a 1.80 ERA overall.
- With four more stolen bases on Friday, the Cardinals have 22 stolen bases overall through the first five games of the season.