May 21, 2009
CLEARWATER, Fla. – In a game that was suspended in the top of the fourth inning on Wednesday night and resumed Thursday morning, Louisville used a seven-run first inning and never looked back en route to a 12-2 victory over Notre Dame in winner’s bracket game from the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament at Bright House Networks Field. The Irish are now scheduled to play St. John’s, who they upended 14-5 in the tournament opener, later Thursday night in an elimination contest. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Notre Dame drops to 34-22 overall, while the Cardinals improve to 42-14.
Freshman Ryan Richter was charged with the loss for the Irish. Richter (South Bend, Ind.) lasted just 0.1 innings in his third career start. The freshman surrendered seven runs, four of which were earned, on four hits. Richter also walked two.
Tyler Mathis picked up the victory for Louisville and improved to 1-3 on the season. The righty tossed 5.0 scoreless innings and yielded just two hits. Mathis struck out six and walked three.
Senior Jeremy Barnes (Garland, Texas) went 1-for-4 with his team-leading 14th home run of the season – a two-run shot off Cardinals’ starter Justin Marks. The Irish managed just four base hits in the game.
Junior David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) opened the fourth inning and quickly retired the Cardinals in order, but the Irish were not able to solve Mathis. The righty kept the Irish at bay over his first 3.0 innings of work, but Notre Dame did put together a threat in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Irish loaded the bases on a senior Evan Sharpley (Marshall, Mich.) walk, Louisville error and sophomore Golden Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) infield single, but Mathis escape without any damage as Barnes popped out to end the inning.
Mathias did walk senior Ryan Connolly (Binghamton, N.Y.) to open the bottom of the eighth inning, but then struck out junior Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.) and sophomore David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) before issuing another free pass to Sharpley. Mathias got out of the inning after sophomore Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) fouled out to the catcher to end the inning.
Mills added 3.0 solid innings of relief. The southpaw allowed an earned run on three hits. Mills did not register a strikeout or walk.
Freshman Steve Sabatino (Lockport, Ill.) also pitched pretty well. The lefty allowed just one earned run in 3.0 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two.
The Cardinals jumped on Richter in the top of the first inning. The southpaw had Josh Richmond down 0-2 to open the game, but issued a walk. Adam Duvall followed with a double and Andrew Clark made it 3-0 with a three-run home run. Richter then had Chris Dominguez down 0-2 before again issuing another walk. Phil Wunderlich then singled down the line and was dead at second base, but Ashdown’s throw was bobbled by Barnes allowing Wunderlich to slide in safely and also allowed Dominguez to scamper home. After Ryan Wright flied out, Doyle booted Alec Lowery’s ground ball, which should have ended the inning, but Jeff Arnold stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run home run to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead. That would end the day for Richter.
Senior Sam Elam (Mesquite, Texas) replaced Richter and retired the final two Cardinals of the first inning. The southpaw then sent down Louisville 1-2-3 in the second.
Louisville scored two more runs in the top of the third inning off Elam without benefit of a hit to grab a 9-0 advantage. Elam walked three, hit another batter and balked. The Cardinals also swiped three bases.
The Irish did get to Marks in the bottom of the third. Pollock ripped a double just inside the third base bag and cruised home on Barnes’ 14th home run of the season to bring Notre Dame within seven runs, 9-2.
— ND —