STORRS, Conn. (April 13, 2007) — Louisville starting pitcher Zach Pitts (6-1) pitched a complete game while allowing two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in leading the Cardinals to a 6-2 victory over the University of Connecticut baseball team Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.
UConn starting pitcher Mike Tarsi (Danbury, Conn.) (2-3) suffered the tough luck loss despite a strong outing on the hill. Tarsi finished the afternoon after allowing six runs on eight eights, while striking out seven in 7-1/3 innings of mound duty.
Louisville (23-10, 7-3 BIG EAST) scratched the scoreboard first by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Catcher Derrick Alfonso opened the inning with a single into left field before taking second on the following play as shortstop Chris Cates laid down a successful sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Boomer Whiting then singled to third base to put runners on the corners, and then swiped second base two pitches later. Second baseman Logan Johnson drove home the first run of the afternoon with a single to right-center field, while first baseman Daniel Burton capped the inning with a sacrifice fly.
UConn (14-17, 3-7 BIG EAST) answered with a run in the home half of the third inning to cut the Cardinal deficit in half. Freshman center fielder Harold Brantley Jr. (Silver Spring, Md.) delivered a one-out single through the right side before taking third base on the following play when Pitts’ pickoff attempt bounced into right field. Freshman Pete Fatse (Hampden, Mass.) knocked in his team-leading 19th RBI of the season with a single to shortstop to plate Brannon.
The Huskies tallied another run in the bottom of the fourth inning to even the score at two runs apiece. Senior first baseman Matt Untiet (Berlin, Conn.) laced a single down the right field line to open the frame, and moved to third on junior Matt Karl’s (Wallingford, Conn.) one-out single into right field. Senior catcher Larry Day (Amesbury, Mass.) produced the run as he collected a sacrifice fly to left field even though left fielder Isaiah Howes dropped the ball.
After three scoreless innings over which a total of two base runners reached second base, the Cardinals rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth inning to take game one of the three-game series. Louisville managed to load the bases with only one out before taking the lead when third baseman Chris Dominguez was hit by a pitch to drive in the game-winning run. Howes provided the Cardinals with some insurance runs when he doubled to right field to plate a pair. Louisville’s final run of the afternoon came on a balk charged to the UConn pitching staff.
UConn and Louisville wrap up a three-game series Saturday afternoon as the two clubs will take part in a doubleheader set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Game two will follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The two teams had originally scheduled to play Sunday afternoon at 12:00 p.m., but anticipated inclement weather resulted in the twin bill.