LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman righty Anthony Kidston pitched a career-best eight shutout innings to lead the eighth-ranked Louisville baseball team to a 4-0 win over Elon on Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With their sixth shutout of the season, the Cardinals improved to 28-7 overall and clinched their sixth series sweep of 2013. The visiting Phoenix dropped to 20-18 on the season after suffering their first sweep of the season.
Kidston (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) matched a career-high with seven strikeouts while allowing only three hits and one walk to improve to 5-0 overall. His previous long outing came last Sunday when he pitched six quality frames in the Cardinals’ win at Cincinnati. On the season, Kidston has a 1.62 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 39.0 innings of work.
Junior left-hander and outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) capped a good day by recording the final three outs of the game with one strikeout to earn his first save of the season. At the plate, Sturgeon was 2-for-4 with an RBI as the Cardinals finished with a 9-4 advantage in hits.
Junior infielder Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) closed a strong week at the plate going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored while extending his career best hitting streak to 12 games. In four games this week, Young was 9-for-16 (.563 average) with five RBI, four runs scored and three stolen bases. Junior catcher Shane Crain (Lexington, Ky./Wabash Valley CC) added his first career home run in the winning effort for the Cardinals.
Kidston and Elon starter Kyle Webb controlled the first three innings of the game before Louisville broke through for a run in the fourth frame. After leading off the inning with a double to left field, Young moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior outfielder Coco Johnson (Benton Harbor, Mich./Central Arizona) before scoring on an RBI groundout by Sturgeon.
An inning later, the Cardinals pushed their advantage to 3-0 plating two runs on two hits and one Elon error. Sophomore infielder Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa./Louisville Ballard HS) started the inning with a single to center and after moving to second with his 14th stolen base of the season, advanced to third on a throwing error by Webb after fielding a sac bunt by junior outfielder Adam Engel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Loveland HS). After Engel stole his team-leading 30th base of the season to move to second, Whiting scored from third on an RBI groundout by senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC). Young then followed with an RBI single to right to score Engel for the three-run cushion.
The Cardinals added their final run of the day in the sixth when Crain belted the first pitch he saw from Elon lefty Andrew MacDonald over the wall in left field for the 4-0 advantage. Webb, who allowed two earned runs and three total runs on six hits in 4.2 innings, took the loss for the Phoenix and dropped to 3-2 on the season.
Up next, Louisville will begin a four-game road stretch with the second matchup of the season against rival Kentucky on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., ET and the game will be televised regionally by FOX Sports South.
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Postgame Louisville Notes
- With Sunday’s win, the Cardinals improved to 23-4 at home and 203-74 (.732 winning percentage) all-time at Jim Patterson Stadium since it opened in 2005.
- Louisville improved to 3-0 all-time against Elon and 9-2 against current members of the Southern Conference.
- The Cardinals’ 28-7 mark is one game behind the best record in school history through 35 games trailing only the 29-6 effort of the 2010 team, which went on to set school records for regular season wins (46) and total wins (50).
- The six shutouts in 2012 are the second most in school history behind only the seven shutout wins during the 2007 College World Series season.
- Louisville has allowed two or less earned runs in 21 of 35 games this season.
- The three-hit performance on Sunday was the team-leading 15th multi-hit game of the season for Ty Young.
- During his current 12-game hitting streak, Young is hitting .500 (24-for-48) with two home runs, 17 RBI, nine extra-base hits and six stolen bases while slugging .854.
- Young has also reached base in 18 straight games, the longest of the season for a Louisville player.
- Overall, Young leads the Cardinals in hitting at .400 with three home runs and 39 RBI to go with 18 stolen bases in 22 attempts.
- On the season, the Louisville pitching staff has a 2.27 ERA with 338 strikeouts in 320.2 innings pitched.