LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior righty Jared Ruxer pitched seven dominant innings while the offense had its second straight explosive outing as the No. 10 Louisville baseball team rolled to an 18-2 win over Samford in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cardinals (14-4) and Bulldogs (11-7) are scheduled to conclude their three-game series with the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, which was previously scheduled for Sunday afternoon but altered due to possible inclement weather. Louisville, which has won six straight games overall, opened the weekend with a 20-10 win over Samford on Friday afternoon.
Ruxer (Indianapolis, Ind.) allowed only one run on four hits with six strikeouts in his second straight seven-inning outing to earn the win and improve to 4-1 on the season. It was the third straight victory for Ruxer and the 12th of his collegiate career.
At the plate, junior second baseman Zach Lucas (Louisville, Ky.) led the Cardinals, who finished with an 18-4 advantage in hits, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. Senior outfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky.) went 2-for-6 with one RBI and scored twice, while junior shortstop Sutton Whiting (New Wilmington, Pa.) was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and three runs scored.
The Cardinals wasted little time attacking Samford righty starter Alex Milazzo scoring seven runs, including six earned, on six hits in the first for their highest scoring inning of the season. The scoring started with a RBI single to right by junior Grant Kay (Omaha, Neb.), while Lucas added a RBI single to center for the 2-0 lead. The Cardinals added to the lead when two runs scored on a fielding error at first base and another run on a wild pitch. Senior catcher Shane Crain (Lexington, Ky.) added a RBI double off the wall in left and senior third baseman Alex Chittenden (Indianapolis, Ind.) delivered a RBI single to right for the final two runs of the inning.
After the Bulldogs plated their first run of the day in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to left by shortstop Tyler Filliben, Louisville answered with two in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by sophomore first baseman Danny Rosenbaum (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and a RBI groundout by Crain. An inning later, the Cardinals increased their lead to 10-1 in the fifth on a RBI groundball off the bat of Kay to score Whiting.
Louisville added to its lead in the seventh inning as Gardner connected for a RBI double to left center and Lucas added a RBI single up the middle for the 12-1 advantage. The Cardinals tacked on six more runs in the eighth inning on a RBI single by Sturgeon, a RBI single by freshman Nick Solak (Woodbridge, Ill.), a three-run double by freshman Corey Ray(Chicago, Ill.) and a RBI sac fly by Rosenbaum. The Bulldogs scored the final run of the game in the ninth against freshman righty Mason Richardson (Owensboro, Ky.).
Freshman lefty Robert Strader (Louisville, Ky.) worked a scoreless eighth inning before Richardson closed the game for the Cardinals. Milazzo suffered his first loss of the season and dropped to 2-1 overall after allowing seven runs in one inning of work.
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